Be An IG OG: 6 Instagram Marketing Top Tips

Instagram has over 1 billion users and has pretty quickly become the #2 social network of choice for many brands after Facebook. It's usually #1 when it comes to younger users such as Millennials and Gen Y users, growing substantially in the last year compared to Snapchat. Instagram can make or break your business so I put together some top tips for you to keep in mind:

Top Traffic Today

Most marketers should know that on average Instagram still does not drive nearly as much website traffic as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or even LinkedIn. That is partly due to Instagram marketers not including clear Call To Action text on posts, profiles, or stories. I optimize the quantity and quality of referral traffic from Instagram by including a Call To Action on nearly each image / video I upload, saying to either click the link in the profile or another main website with a simple URL to remember. You can change your profile link daily to drive traffic to your newest blog posts, YouTube video, or special offer instead of having that same old home page link for months or years at a time. You should also be posting 1-2 Stories per day on Instagram, all of which should be linked to your relevant content. Using shortened trackable links are good options as well. All of this will help to drive more traffic to your websites while increasing visitor conversions. You can also link each of your Stories to the website of your choosing so take advantage of this valuable opportunity.

It's About Engagement, Not Just Likes

Engagement is a much more accurate measurement than just "likes" or even impressions. Besides increasing the quality of your posts, being more consistent and selective can always help out. A great way to increase engagement is to ask a question in your post or request feedback. You can also start adding relevant hashtags to your posts which is almost guaranteed to get you more Likes but could potentially make your post look spammy if used in excess. Also, nearly every social network has exaggerated impression statistics, including Twitter and Facebook which owns Instagram. For better or for worse, there will always be plenty of people that view your posts on any social network but will never like or comment. And while Likes are important, they shouldn’t be the absolute endgame of any personal or business account.

Hit The Hash

Hashtags on Instagram are very important. I'd recommend that you at least consider using up to the 30 hashtags per post limit to increase post exposure hashtags including local keywords like #localcity #localtown #state #region etc can sometimes help people find you. Don't forget to hashtag your stories as well! It certainly doesn't always look the most professional and can appear spammy, but you can't argue with results. You might turn off a few followers with them but you'll probably gain ten times that amount in new followers and engagement. 

Follow The Leader?

While it can come across as spammy, following multiple accounts and later unfollowing those that don't follow back can drive some new followers, likes, and website traffic. This is a gray area in the Instagram terms and conditions to say the least and overall I wouldn't advise engaging in this practice or using automated programs to do so. But some marketers like Neil Patel do encourage it, and advise you to follow the followers of your peers or business rivals. This way you can get new followers that might be interested in the content you are posting.

If you have the time for tedious tapping and want to take this risk, you can follow up to around 100-200 new accounts per day. You can also unfollow accounts manually, with a limit of around 1,000-2,000 unfollows in 24–48 hours before your unfollowing activity becomes blocked. That block stays in place for 1–3+ days. Numbers and lengths of time could vary based on the number of followers you have, length of time you’ve had your account, spam / abuse reports against your account, and other factors. A lot of unfollowing and/or automation programs on Twitter have been weakened or shut down lately and this could certainly happen on Instagram as well in an effort to improve the average user experience.

Don't Buy Instagram Followers

This is kind of the next level of the previous point about following / unfollowing accounts to grow your followers, but least most of those followers you'll gain are actually real accounts! There are plenty of shady websites and mobile applications that sell Instagram followers but they are most likely bots or fake accounts created at a click farm across the world. 

It’s a violation of Instagram’s terms and conditions to buy fake followers for marketing purposes and could get your account locked or deleted. Even if it wasn’t a violation, it would most likely do more damage to your account than good. You would have a lot of followers but your post engagements would not be nearly be in line. Most people would quickly realize that your followers are fake and your account reputation will be tarnished… probably the exact opposite of what you were looking to achieve. Those followers can also be deleted at any time by Instagram or the account creators. A year or 2 ago there was the large Instagram fake profile flush (Insta-pocalypse or Insta-geddon for some) and a lot of Instagram “Influencers” and even celebrities were exposed for having a high proportion of fake followers, many of which they purchased. Some accounts lost 50–98% of their followers! It was such a disaster for some of these exposed users that they ended up deleting their entire account… but not before plenty of screenshots were taken and humorous articles were written. 

You’re better off spending the time and money improving your Instagram account organically, paying for advertising, and even using other social media or web platforms to ask that people follow you on Instagram.

Get Verified

This last one is much easier said than done. Getting verified on Instagram for most individuals and businesses is much more difficult than getting verified on Facebook and Twitter. I think Facebook realized that they verified too many questionable accounts, and Twitter even more so, that they wanted to keep Instagram's verified blue check a more select seal of approval. If you are a large company, have deep pockets, or have a connection at Facebook then you might be able to swing a verification if you're on the fence. Other than that the only real way to get verified is to become so popular on Instagram and create so much valuable content that they won't be able to ignore you.

Instagram can be a challenging but very rewarding social media marketing platform and piece of your digital strategy. Keep these tips in mind, be consistent, and be patient and you'll start enjoying a strong return on investment.

I hope you enjoyed this article about important Instagram marketing tips to help with your social selling.

Interested in more articles about digital marketing?

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Published by Michael J Schiemer
Owner of Bootstrap Business
Money - Marketing - Motivation
Digital Marketing | SEO | Social Media
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