With our preferences for images biologically engineered into our brains, Instagram is the perfect tool for brand marketing. Source: Shutterstock

How to grow your brand on Instagram

WITH more than 800 million monthly users, Instagram has become a powerful networking engine for brands. As one of the most widely used social media platforms, the picture-sharing app gives entrepreneurs the power to grow and promote their brand more effectively than ever.

But how? Here are several ways in which your business can stand out from the rest:

Stay recognizable with a consistent username

The first, yet arguably most important, step is to ensure your Instagram username matches your business name as closely as possible. Across your social presence, it is crucial your company has consistency in its usernames. This increases your chances of being seen, while eliminating any confusion for your audience. The key is to stay recognizable.

Curate engaging visual content

Source: Shutterstock

The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, and your brand should use this to its full advantage.

With so many active users on Instagram each day, and thousands of images being posted each second, it is important your brand creates professional image and video content to catch the eye of your audience.

Your content will depend on your brand niche, with your audience generally wanting a look into your world, what products or services you are offering and working on, plus “how to” videos etcetera.

With our preferences for images biologically engineered into our brains, Instagram is the perfect tool for brand marketing. In fact, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, with images being processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

Offer promotions and exclusive announcements to your followers

With 41 percent of Instagrammers reporting they follow brands to take advantage of perks and giveaways, offering this is a brilliant tool to increase followers and sales.

Overlaying promotional text on eye-catching images is a great way to announce sales and discounts. There are many free apps such as PicLab and Phonto that allow you to choose the font, message and text position in an attractive and informative way.

Source: www.instagram.com/asos

Utilize hashtags to widen your discoverability

With Instagram feeds changing at a fast pace, your brand content is vulnerable to being buried under Donald Trump memes and cats in sombreros. Hashtags are the only way to increase the duration of your posts: categorizing them into communities linked by a keyword.

How do you ‘hashtag’, you may ask? Start by brainstorming keywords relevant to your brand. From this, you can research trending hashtags, using data analysis apps such as Iconosquare. For example, you can find out whether #winterfashion or #winterstyle is trending more than the other. Then you can search through previous users of the tag to see if your brand/image fits into that community.

Creating a unique hashtag will also place all your content into an easily searchable collection. This also means consumers can tag your unique hashtag in their own photos, increasing brand awareness.

While hashtags are an important tool for your brand, it is important not to go overboard. Engagement is shown to go down on posts with more than five hashtags. Instead, it is better to post more hashtags in the comments section.

Know your metrics

Which posts are getting the most likes? What is your average number of likes and comments per photo? What are your follower analytics? When is the best time to post?

For your brand, it is important to know what is working and what could be going better in order to increase engagement on your page. Apps such as Iconosquare offer easy-to-use analytics and exclusive features allowing you to understand and improve your Instagram activity.

Source: https://pro.iconosquare.com/

One brand utilizing the power of Instagram in order to grow their exposure is fashion company JE London. Professional footballer and CEO of the company, Junior Eldstal, spoke to Tech Wire Asia about what Instagram means for his brand.

“I think social media is a massive platform for a lot of small business like ourselves, and is one of the main ways JE London reaches out to our consumers in Europe and Asia,” he said.

Source: https://www.instagram.com/jelondon.uk/

“I particularly find it useful to look at things like what time of day people are looking at our posts in order to determine what time we should upload content, where we are getting the most likes‚Ķ this gives us a proper insight on how best to run the business.

“We find video content gets a lot more views and likes than images, and I think this is because customers can really feel more connected to us as a brand.”