Along with the global photo-sharing and selfie madness, Instagram is now one of the best sources of traffic to website owners, affiliate marketers and businesses in general. Depending on your niche market, this amazing social media networking site or image networking site is a phenomenon to many social media marketers. This new media can make a huge difference in your advertising campaigns so why not give it a try and see what kind of traffic it will generate your business.
Instagram is growing in popularity every day. People love to take photos and upload them to share with the world. Wouldn’t it be great if you can put this social media site to use and make some money with it? The best thing is, you can and Instagram is easy to use as an online business to make a decent income. So you want to know how to start this business? Well, it is very easy and I will show you how!
Reasons to Choose Instagram for your Business
First, you want to know why this is a great business idea. Let’s look at the facts. There are over 500 million active monthly users. It is really easy to find people who are interested in your specific niche and to present them with material that will catch their eye on the spot! Remember, you have a very short amount of time to attract a potential customer, so this is key when deciding what types of pictures or videos to use on your account.
Going along with the massive amount of monthly users, there are more than 75 million people who use Instagram every single day. Of course, this number can be much larger on any given day and it can change drastically; as quickly as you are done reading this article.
More than 20% of Internet users are now on Instagram. You may think to yourself that is not a really huge number, but when it comes down to it, there are millions upon millions of people who use the Internet daily. There are times when people take breaks at work or, on the weekends when there is nothing else to do they will surf the Internet. Users will likely search for something that has media rather than read something with just words. Pictures and videos are among the most popular type of content that the average person is looking for.
One fact, which is good to know about Instagram to get you motivated to start your business, is that more than 80 million users use this platform in the United States alone. So are you convinced yet that you should start your business using Instagram? If not, then you might as well not read anymore. If, however, you are even slightly curious, please continue and read more exciting reasons to use this platform for business.
Easy or not so easy – You be the Judge
Maybe you are thinking it is not that easy to start a business with Instagram. ”With all the thousands of posts that are out there, it might be too crowded for me to get people to find and follow me”. Well, truth be told, it is easier than you might think. So how does one grow their Instagram business after they have their account setup with some pictures ready to go, but not many followers? There are several ways to do this.
First, do your research. One thing that attracts people to an image is colors. This is a known fact as many marketers will tell you. I know someone who sat in a seminar for marketing and they were literally blown away by what was said. Did you know that a yellow background with red font actually gets someone’s attention more than other colors used? Of course, this should not be a majority of what your posts look like, but when you want to place an ad on Instagram to attract a potential buyer to your affiliate link and offer, you may want to consider this. And do your research to see what other types of ads work.
Making a Picture Viral
It is important in this day and age to make images that people will share. I find the best way to do this is to make the picture funny and memorable. There are so many different types of pictures posted on Facebook that are colorful, have a funny saying and sometimes a cute animal. If you notice, you can see how many times they are shared – it’s quite mind-blowing. Well think of that as a technique when creating an image for an ad, but of course, make it something that will encourage the follower to click and look at your offer.
When someone sees something they like, they are more likely to share this with their friends. Sharing is the key to getting your affiliate offer, products or service out there. The more eyes that see it and like what they see, the more potential and actual buyers there will be. I’m sure this intrigues you as much as it did me.
You can make a Business Account
Yes, you can actually create an Instagram Business Account. Just sign up the way you normally would if you were creating an account for the first time. Make your username something related to your business. For instance, if you are promoting Sporting Goods and more specifically fishing gear, then create a name that is something like “greatfishinggear” so people know this is where I get the awesome products for my fishing needs.
One thing I want to suggest is that you keep your business posts separate from your regular posts.
There is nothing more aggravating then when your friends want to promote something and all you see are ads trying to make you click here and there to buy something.
You will have fewer followers than you had before if you try that, so please keep this in mind. If you don’t want to see ads everywhere, then most likely, your social followers don’t want to either.
It is also important to keep the ad posts to a minimum. You may think, well then how am I supposed to get people to click on the ad? Like I said before, make it memorable and attractive. You can post once a day or a couple times a week. Nothing happens overnight, so be patient. When you have the right ads and strategy in place, you will begin to notice an influx of followers to your business and even regular Instagram account.
You can also let people know about your business on your regular account, but again don’t go overboard. If you follow these rules, you are sure to keep people liking, sharing, and following your posts.
Hashtag, if you didn’t know, started out as a typo. Someone wrote something on Twitter and had # before a word, and the hashtag was born. Now it is widely used on all Social Media to reference something important.
It is nothing super spectacular but is so important these days. I am reminded of the commercial for Honda where they say Hashtag this and Hashtag that. Well, you want to #keywords to encourage your followers to click and go to an offer. Make those words memorable and interesting so people will have a reason to click on them.
Also, a great way to use Hashtags is to include your business name. You can also link your business website to a Hashtag on your business Instagram or even personal account. You can also Hashtag your business Instagram to your personal account by saying something like “I caught a big fish the other day; want to know how I did it? Check out #bigfish.” Then it should direct them to a picture on your business Instagram of you showing off your catch.
Always include some personable material on your business account so people will take you as a real person and not someone who just wants you to buy from them. You can, of course, make your picture clickable so people can get the gear that helped you make your big catch. It is also a great way to motivate people to pick up a hobby, if they never fished before, and they can begin to purchase fishing gear from you!
Involve your Followers
Many times, people want to share their life with the world. When you have a business that has tons of followers, have your fans send you their funniest or cutest pictures to post on your Business Account.
When people see that there are others in the world that like your business and are promoted on your page, they are more likely to feel you care about people. I once heard someone say they saw their picture up on a website and were very excited about it.
They said “I will continue visiting this site and this is where I am going to keep buying my office supplies.” So do you think this strategy works? Put it to the test!
One more thing you can do is to like your followers’ photos and videos. If you aren’t doing this, they may forget about you or even worse, think you don’t care about them on a personal level.
Always be personable and think of others as you go about your day. When they see the likes from you, they will be more likely to remember your name and brand.
Also, comment on their posts. Make sure when you do this, you are adding to the conversation. Most likely you do not want to promote your business in the comments. I see this all the time on YouTube where people comment on a video and put a link to their offer. This is SPAM and is a very unwanted behavior.
There is no worse feeling than when someone wants to take everyone’s eyes off the post and go to another post. You would feel like you don’t matter enough, and so will they. And when someone comments about what you said, comment back. This will get the conversation going.
People want to hang around someone who is real and not trying to be something they aren’t. This goes for when you are promoting something you are selling. Post a picture of you using a product you sell in an authentic manner. Sometimes people don’t think outside the box and you may have to encourage them to see the ways the product can be used.
If it is something that sparks their interest, you may just have a new customer. This is why using pictures and video are so important these days.
People like to see how it is done. Of course, you don’t always have to be so serious when promoting your products. Throw in a picture that shows the wrong way and then the right way to use the product. Write the word “fail” or “major fail” on the one photo and on the other photo show them the correct way to use it. You can get some laughs out of that and more followers and sharers.
Core Values are Important to People
What are your company core values?
Think about that and incorporate this into your posts. Do it in a story or as an event on your page.
Let people see visually what is most important to your business so they have more of a reason to like your brand and company.
One way to get people to follow you and look at your content on Instagram is to let them know that here is the only place you will see this post. If they want to get the best deal or best product on the market, then they should know they can only get in through Instagram. Make sure they know this and see how many people will follow you.
Ask Questions and Ask People to Vote
I actually found this to be a very interesting way of engaging followers. One way to do this is to ask your followers “have you used your _____ today? Maybe “what is your favorite coffee flavor?” It can be so simple. People love to share with the world their likes and even dislikes so this is a great way to get people involved.
You can also ask a question like which is better, vanilla or chocolate and put up a poll and show responses. People are always interested to know what is popular. Seeing poll results help them to know. If you are promoting a product, people can see how popular it is and will want to buy it.
When and How Often to Post
Now that you are more excited and informed about how easy it is to have a business on Instagram, one question may still be lingering in your mind. How often do you post? Well, for starters, be consistent with your posts. If you post every Tuesday and Thursday, always post on these days. Also, think about the time of day. When do people normally get up for work, when do they take lunch, and when should they be home?
This is important because Instagram, like any other social media site, gets floods of posts. You want people to be more likely to see your post, so post at a time of day where people would normally be logged on. The three times mentioned above are the best times to post something. People are more likely to see your posts.
The number of times to post will determine on your followers. If you post a couple times a day and notice more followers, then that is a great frequency to use. It does depend on the demand of your brand, so keep that in mind. If you are seeing that people stop following you, you may be posting too much. You can lessen the posts to once a day, or even a couple times a week. Always test what works by monitoring your followers, and how many people are clicking on your links.
Keep it Trendy
One last thing to note is to be aware of the trends. People are most likely following a trend because they want to know what other people know and be a part of the crowd. People may say they want to be an individual, but keep in mind; they want to feel different about certain things in their personal lives, such as the clothes they wear. You actually want to attract the people who follow trends because they are the ones who like what the majority of people like. The more people who like something you sell, the more likely they are to see your ad and click the link then buy your product.
Always keep in mind these tactics when you are starting your Instagram business. It is very easy to start one and will not cost anything upfront, so there is a lot of room for fast profits. A lot of people want their own business because they know there is money to be made. Of course, people imagine a business being hard work and needing large capital to start. Now with the Internet and Social Media like Instagram, you are well on your way to making those picture perfect profits! Results will vary and there are no guarantees that one thing works over the other. So, keep trying and use different strategies until something works.
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