12 Ways to Successfully Promote Your Instagram

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We get it. You took an amazing photo, put on the perfect filter, uploaded it and now youre waiting for the likes and comments to roll in your feed. Its a great feeling and payoff when you know your content does well on Instagram. And for your brand, you want that feeling to be consistent.

However, getting others to engage with your Instagram isnt as simple as uploading decent content and calling it a day. Your brand must understand how to promote your Instagram to reach your biggest audience possible. Theres more than700 million usersand casting the perfect net with your promotions can reel in big rewards.

The hard part is just learning how to promote your Instagram for success. It shouldnt take a PR expert to make you successful, so skip the pay-per-follower sites and follow these 12 tips to organically grow and promote your Instagram:

Instagram has turned into a must-have social network for marketers. Even more so, younger audiences continue to seek Instagram for brand interactions, engagement and personality. According to theSprout Social Q2 2017 Index, 51% of millennials enjoy brand personality on Instagram.

The platform continues to be an environment of sharing, liking, tagging and commenting. Additionally, younger generations can be inspired to make purchases on Instagram, despite its limited link in bio.

Instagrams core users can navigate the app seamlessly, although its not as traditional as marketing on Facebook or Twitter. The visual appeal of the app is unlike other networks as well. Images and videos from brands drive engagement, which only help you promote your Instagram even further.

According to ourQ1 2017 Index, 60% millennials and 67% of Gen Xers said they were more likely to make a purchase from a brand they follow on social media. And the single-scroll environment of Instagram puts your content front and center in the viewers smartphone or tablet.

Think about how much more engaged your brands audience would be if they had to scroll through each Tweet one at a time. It should be no surprise that a report from Forrester discovered brands see user interactions on 2.2% of their posts, which is the highest by far per network.

If youre a brand looking to promote your Instagram, this is the perfect network to boost audience engagement. Its all about learning the environment and taking advantage of how users interact.

When you want to promote your Instagram for your brand, the first thing to do is make a clear distinction between your business and personal accounts. For starters, you should optimize your Instagram account so youre focusing on the audience and not just the product.

This means selfies, friend groups and travel photos need to stay out of your brands Instagram account. While it seems completely obvious, a surprising amount of personal content makes its way to brand feeds. Think of what your audience wants to seenot your friends or an inside joke.

Absolutely stunning / lovepolaroid by @zoefortuna

A post shared byPolaroid(@polaroid) onJun 22, 2017 at 7:03am PDT

On the other hand, this doesnt mean your brands Instagram feed should only be full of products.Polaroiddoes an excellent job of separating the business from personal without taking out the personality. Its feed is extremely inviting to both newcomers and fans alike.

Striking a good balance between business and personal can give a little something to all of your followers on Instagram.

The majority of your customers know they can probably find you by doing a quick search on Instagram Explore. Your job is to make it as painless as possible to find you. Dont make it harder by using different profile names across all your networks. Keep all yoursocial media handlesconsistent and simple by following these best practices:

For example,Revolution Breweryuses the same handle across networks, simply titled RevBrewChicago. The shortened username makes it easier for users to find the brewery, but by adding Revolution Brewery as the Instagram profile name, both are searchable.

continues as we host the annualGalaxy-Hero C2E2 Cosplay Friday, March 16 from 6:00 10:00pm at the Revolution Tap Room. Join us for a heroic night of beers, comics, a Cosplay contest, and a chance to win 3-day passes to C2E2. Follow the link in our bio for party updates. c2e2 galaxyhero comics comicbooks cosplay reedpop revbrew revolutionbrewing revbrewchicago

A post shared byRevolution Brewing(@revbrewchicago) onMar 12, 2018 at 5:14pm PDT

In the same vein as your username, your bio should be just as simple and match your brand. Keep Instagram bios to a minimum, but at the same time, make sure you mention who you are and what you do. Because at the end of the day, this is one of the few places to truly promote your Instagram.

Thats why its essential to always have a link in your bio. Using URL shortening tools such as Bit.ly helps you keep your link concise and easily trackable. And within Sproutssocial media publishing tools, you have instant access to Bit.ly shortening for social posts, including Instagram.

While linking to your homepage isnt the worst idea, several brands use this space to link to promotional, sales or other marketing landing pages. This way you can keep the move from Instagram to your site more cohesive.

As a rule of thumb, hashtags are a great source of discovery on Instagram. Whether you want to increase your visibility or find exactly what youre looking for,hashtags for Instagramare the best way to do so.

Its a good idea to continually search the newest hashtags in your industry. The hashtag doesnt have to exactly correlate with your brand, but it should still be relevant. Once you find some candidates, use them in campaigns, to find new followers and get that little extra reach!

Did you know7 in 10 Instagram hashtagsare branded? Thats why you should also look to craft your own unique branded hashtag to build more awareness around your profile. Using a combination of both branded and standard hashtags is a great way to track engagement.

With SproutsInstagram analytics tools, you have the flexibility to track outbound hashtag performance by selecting any number of profiles. See what garners the most engagement and how your branded hashtags work in broader industries.

Let your creative side shine with hashtags like Nests Caughtonnest, which shows real-life events captured on customers security cameras. Even hashtags like AskWestElm show you simple party favors that can make your home a little fancier.

For those dinner parties when you wanna be REAL fancy. Got more home decorating + housekeeping questions? Send them our way with askwestelm!

A post shared bywest elm(@westelm) onJun 27, 2017 at 12:02pm PDT

Lastly, monitor hashtags your competitors use too. While it may not be your intention to compete on certain hashtags, you could still end up discovering ways to better reach your potential customers.

With geotagging features on Instagram, its easy to make yourself seen across your city or in other parts of the world. If your business has multiple locations, use geotags to promote your Instagram in various locations. This gives Instagram users a chance to see an assortment of photos and videos tagged at a specific location.

Geotags create a hub of stored content. It also gives youa great opportunity to seeuser-generated contentshowcasing your brand or place of business. From there, you can engage with customers that tagged you and thank them for using your services.

For example, if you search The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you would find the Instagram location tag. This is the official tag of the venue where you can get tickets or see others posting. Thousands of people use this geotag when theyre in Cleveland, which gives the brand plenty of engagement opportunities.

If youre a brick and mortar store, Instagram geotags can be critical to effectively promoting your Instagram. Make sure your business is geotagged so customers can post their photos. Additionally,Instagram uses Facebooks APIto locate business results on the platform. Check your Facebook location settings to ensure youre set up correctly.

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Promoting your Instagram needs its subtletiesotherwise, your page will look like a billboard of advertisements. Its always best to mix up your feed by avoiding constant hard-sell posts.

Unless youre a major brand with massive recognition, you have to be a bit more subtle with selling. When users come to your feed, try to engage instead of directly sell. There are so many other creative ways you can sell to your audience without seeming like a shady used-car salesman.

Seanik is packed with ingredients from the sea: Japanese nori seaweed to soften hair and sea salt for volume.

A post shared byLush Cosmetics North America(@lushcosmetics) onJun 28, 2017 at 10:23am PDT

For example,Lush Cosmeticsis smart about the way they sell its product. Instead of going into grave detail about why you need it, the Instagram photo does all the talking alongside an informative caption. This is a visual space, so having your most creative folks handle your Instagram is a smart way to always look fresh.

Try to see Instagram as a promotional tool that drives traffic to your product pages. There you can do hard-selling calls to action and phrases. Youll go far on Instagram if you can produce amazing photos and videos, but your message shouldnt be lost or overbearing.

If youre following the appropriate steps to promote your Instagram, heres a trick you might want to explore. According toCuralate, a visual analytics and marketing platform, images with high levels of blue can generate up to 24% more likes than those with red or orange colors.

Additionally, photos that are brighter-colored can increase engagement by 24% as well when compared to darker images. With nearly 65% of Instagram posts receiving between 0 and 10 likes, its important to find any way possible to get more people to like, engage and respond to your posts.

Were definitely not recommending for every single Instagram photo to be blue, but when you put in the time and effort into a post, youre more likely to see your audience participate.

While its important to focus on new ways to promote your Instagram, you cant keep your efforts to just one network. To truly build your audience and promote your brand on Instagram, post links to your feed on other social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

According to Social Media Examiner,each social channelhas its own uniqueness when it comes to building an audience and promotion. On the other hand, you cant put all your eggs in one Instagram basket.

We are halfway through our jersey giveaway! Follow us on Instagram for the chance to win aBlackhawksjersey! Four jerseys still remain! /OGVKg8TdSb

Blackhawks Store (@BlackhawksStore)June 27, 2017

Try to promote across primary channels to boost Instagram traffic and followers. For example, the Blackhawks Store promotes its Instagram with giveaways.

Its a good idea to use Instagrams visual appeal to your advantage. You want to show off your product, services or employees in the best light, so why would you ever take poor pictures of them?

You can make Instagram special for your audience so they know this is where they can go to see the products or services in action. Or you try to use Instagram as a sole creative space for your brand, much like the companyReynolds Wrap.

The second you amaze your audience with your content, you earn their trust to follow and engage with you. At the same time, dont veer off the path too much. Some businesses use Instagram a little too freely to express their brand. Try tostick to your brand voiceand make sure each post resonates with that vibe.

While its great to use uniqueInstagram post ideas, its not always so easy coming up with them. If youre struggling for new ideas, try something you know is popular. Varioussocial media trendschange with the weather, but if you strike gold, youll see the payoff.

For example, one of the biggest trends in social media is face filters for selfies. Even though Snapchat started the game, both Facebook and Instagram are in the space. You can also take advantage ofInstagram Storiesto post fun and unique content with stickers, filters and other effects.

Taco Bell frequently uses Instagram Stories to make content resonate with viewers. This provides them with more ways to showcase their brand personality and ultimately helps promote their Instagram feed.

In-the-moment videos are popular enough for brands to get in the game. A report fromRecodefound Instagram Stories hit 250 million users, growing more than Snapchat.

Its always good to be in the know of social trends because they can easily help you drive traffic and build awareness without consistently creating new ideas.

How will you know where to improve your promotion strategy on Instagram if youre not tracking anything? This is an important question to ask yourself because so many brands tend to pick and choose different ways to promote their Instagram. But many dont track their steps to see if it developed a positive outcome.

WithInstagram reporting, you can successfully measure the performance of each post with presentation-ready reports to back up your claims. By monitoring your Instagram activity, you have better insights on engagement ratings and overall audience growth.

Whether you have to manage one ormultiple Instagram accounts, Sprout Social gives you the tools to measure the performance of each social profile. If you try to blindly promote your Instagram, youll end up missing out on what changes worked well and which ones fell short.

Theres so much that can go into a successful post, so make sure you have a better idea on your Instagram strategy by tracking key metrics.

As Instagram continues to surge in popularity, your brand has to take a slice of the pie and get active! Visual and interactive content is dominating the social scene, so take the right steps to get your Instagram visible.

Do you have any tips youd like to share on how to promote your Instagram? Comment and share your experiences below!

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Alex York: is a writer, Senior SEO Specialist and your guiding light to all things content. When hes not writing, youll catch him defending Ohio sports teams or endlessly scrolling through Netflix. Follow him on .

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