GUEST POST from Rebecca Thompson of CLR Digital Media


Instagram has been around since 2010, and is one of the fastest growing social media tools. It was introduced as a way to add interesting filters to your images taken through your mobile phone. Each month, there are about 100 million new Instagram users so it’s no surprise that large and small businesses are focusing on Instagram marketing.

Here are four ways to use Instagram for picture-perfect marketing.

1. Learn How to Use Hashtags

Similar to using Twitter, hashtags (#phrase) are used to help people find your pictures. When using Instagram, you can use hashtags in the photo’s description. So if you type #beach into the description of your photo and someone is searching for an image of a beach, yours will pop up.

This works great for marketing, as someone looking for a product or service can find your image and website link. If you are avid Twitter (and now Facebook) user, you already understand the basic fundamentals of hashtags. Begin using them on your Instagram descriptions. The same goes for your Instagram profile.

[Top Trending Instagram Hashtags for 2016]

2. Engage With Others

Like other social media networks, marketing on Instagram is only successful if you engage with others. In order to get consumers to follow you on Instagram, you need to follow them. Start by finding Instagram accounts of people in your niche market.

Whether that is single moms 25-40 or teenagers 17-20, you have a market of people on Instagram. By following them and interacting with them on a regular basis, they’ll take notice of you. Comment on their pictures, and engage in the discussions relevant to your niche or your area of expertise. By continuing to engage on a daily basis, you’ll grow your followers and marketing potential.

[How to Find Your Target Audience on Instagram]

3. Share Images of Products

If you sell products online or in a brick-and-mortar store, Instagram is perfect for you. Get some appealling pictures of your products, and post on Instagram with relevant hashtags. This is going to announce to your followers and other Instagram users what products you are currently promoting. It is a fast way to get these newest products seen by the masses.

[6 Product Photography Tips for Instagram]

4. Hold Contests

Another way to use Instagram for marketing is by holding a contest. People love winning free stuff, and contests can be a lot fun. They also have the benefit of getting everyone engaged, having users announce your Instagram account to others, and gaining a huge following with one effort.

For example, you can create a hashtag for the contest, and ask your users to post a certain picture (you choose the subject) with the same hashtag. At the end of the contest, look up all images with the hashtag you created, and use an online random generator, like to choose a winner. The winner can win a free product, or whatever else you decide.

[Instagram’s Promotion Guidelines]

There are dozens of ways to use Instagram to your benefit. Since online users love interacting with others and looking at interesting images, it’s a great step toward increasing your fans and potential customers.

If you’ve found this post useful, schedule a consultation with Rebecca.

Rebecca ThompsonRebecca Thompson Councill is a Social Media Strategist and Consultant at CLR Digital Media. She helps small business owners understand social media. She teaches authentic relationship building and content strategies with her clients. Her believes in the power of value enhanced giving and collaboration. Her clients include printing companies, oil and gas companies and mom and pop businesses. She is the Founder of Houston Social Media Day and the Co-Founder of the Social Media Association of Houston, a non-profit association helping Houston businesses become more social savvy.

Question: What tips and tricks have worked wonders for your Instagram marketing?



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