Instagram 101

June 28, 2018 Sanaa Hajoui

Instagram is an effective tool for developing your brand. If you put in the right effort, you can continually acquire new followers and increase their level of engagement. Here are some tips for helping you get there. 


1. Post often

Post often so that your brand remains visible in newsfeeds and remains front of mind with your followers. And don’t forget to offer a variety of content – talk about new products, share news related to your employees, showcase company ads and run contests.

2. Respond to your audience’s requests

Build your Instagram brand by listening to your audience (and your potential customers). Make sure you really understand what they want to see and focus on their needs. Be a visual storyteller and show how you feel through pictures. Don’t be afraid to open up and get closer to your followers by inviting them behind the scenes of your business. 

3. Always use captions

Because Instagram is primarily a visual tool, people often forget to add captions to their photos. The caption field offers a valuable opportunity you don’t want to waste. You can use captions to add context to your photos, to make people laugh, to capture your audience’s interest with a question, or to support a company contest.

4. Use hashtags

As with Twitter and Facebook, people use hashtags to find specific content they’re looking for on Instagram. How many hashtags should you use? The answer varies depending on the source, but most agree that a post will result in more engagement if it contains at least 11 hashtags. 

5. Think local

Do you own a small business? You can benefit from leveraging your local presence. Label your photos so they indicate your location; this makes it easier for users to find you when they search for content related to their neighbourhood, city or region. And interact with other local accounts, too, so their followers notice you.

6. Organize contests

Ask users to republish (regram) or comment on your photos, or post their own photos, with a hashtag associated with your brand. Give participants the chance to win some of your products. Gift cards, cash prizes and trips tend to work very well, but don’t forget that the prizes should be related to your business in one way or another. And if the total prize value is more than $100, make sure to register your contest with the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (only applies in the province of Québec).

7. Collaborate with influencers or try advertising on Instagram

Ask influencers (in your industry) to expose your brand to their followers by taking over your account for one day or by sharing their opinion of your company with their followers. You could also try advertising on Instagram – advertising through photos or videos can make it easy to increase brand awareness.

Did you know? There are 400 million active accounts on Instagram, so it’s very important to make your brand stand out!

Need help managing your social media strategy? Contact a Yellow Pages advisor.


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