Is Instagram your ‘thing’? A lot of people view Instagram as a place where young adults share pictures after pictures of their daily life.  For the artists and photographers, it’s a medium to share their artwork. Those who are obsessed with fashion, uses it as a way to spread their new trend to others.  It is recorded that Instagram has over 300 million users as of December 2014. Imagine how many users there are now! With the huge user base, a lot of businesses are turning to Instagram after leveraging their brands on Facebook and Twitter.

So you may ask yourself, how can I market using Instagram and make the most out of it?

Before starting out, you have to be mindful that you cannot add any clickable links as your captions. The only way you can add an active link is through your profile page. Add your business contact information, website link, and other social media channels through the profile.

Using Hashtags to Market and Brand online

Promote your brand through Hashtags

Create a hashtag for your business branding. If you are selling shirts, and your brand is called “Great Shirts”, create #greatshirts for your business. This will increase the likelihood of customers who posts images of them wearing your shirts to add the hashtag to their caption.

The reason behind the hashtag?

The hashtag will be a ‘link’ to your business branding in Instagram. When other followers click on it, they will be directed to a page with all of your product pictures that others have uploaded and added the same hashtag to their caption.
In other words, your customers will be your indirect branding promoter.

Marketing ‘Reviews’

You might have seen accounts of celebrities who are also brand ambassadors for certain businesses. They post the pictures of them wearing or using the item, adding a hashtag, and write a short review of the product. Most of the times, they will tag the brand while mentioning how much it benefits them.

Most would think that you have to pay celebrities or a public figure for them to post about your product on Instagram. However, it is not necessary. One of the best ways that you can get around it is finding people who are interested in your product.

If you are selling shirts (back to the example), look for someone who posts a ton of fashionable photos of themselves and has a lot of followers. They can be one of those who are marketing for your brand. Send them a few shirts at no cost. There is a high chance that they will post pictures of themselves wearing the shirt, tagging your brand, and thanking you.

Interact With Others

If your business is a new startup, it will be quite hard to gain a lot of followers on Instagram in just a short period of time. One of the few ways to can build it up is through interacting with other users who are interested in your product.

Search through the hashtags related to your branding. Example, #shirt, #newshirt, #newofficeattire and so on. There will be a lot of photos of those who are wearing shirts that is similar to your product.

Interact with them by commenting and liking the photos. Your comment will be seen by others who happened to chance upon the photo. Most of the times these like-minded users will look through your profile and follow you in return.

Engaging Instagram followers to market your product or services
Creating brand awareness and marketing through social media platforms takes a lot of hard work and time. More people spend time on their smart phones browsing through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, which means that if you promote your brand through these channels, it will be more discoverable compared to mainstream advertisements.


About the Author:

CEO of Bash Digital - Experienced IT Manager and Digital Branding Maven. Mother, Entrepreneur, Author and Lover of all things digital