What is life without Instagram? Instagram can be a wonderful tool to help your business grow. Once you nail it, the social platform can open up a world of potential, including loyal followers, new customers and big returns. However, it’s not easy! Getting it right involves time, dedication and creativity (amongst other things). Here a few of our top tips to help you on your way:

1. It’s All In The Planning
“Failing to plan is planning to fail” – a considered marketing strategy is essential. Firstly, you need to ask yourself “who is my target audience?”. Who do you want to reach and engage with? Think about their lifestyle – what do they like, where do they go, what do they do for work, and so on? Once you know and understand your audience, it will be far easier to create content that you know will appeal and encourage their interaction with your brand.
You need to promote a clear identity and message to your audience. Translate your brand ethos, values and personality consistently across the platform. A cohesive feed will give your audience confidence in your brand. If they like what you’re about, they’ll want to come back to learn more.

2. Time It Right
Figuring out when to post is a tricky one! There are no hard and fast rules, partly because it depends on when your specific target market is most active on Instagram. Test a few different times throughout the day/night and analyse your reach, impressions and likes. You’ll soon see a pattern and can adapt your posting time accordingly. The goal is to be as visible as possible to gain maximum interactions. Importantly though, do not post more than once a day and certainly do post more than once a week.

3. Juicy Content
That juicy content is a must! It’s worth investing time into your posts. Not only should your grid adopt a strong, consistent aesthetic, it also requires substance. Make sure that your post captions are considered, compelling and engaging. Tell a story and try to promote interactions by asking your followers questions. Also consider posting content that your audience is likely to want to share with others.
Single image posts are great but it’s important to mix it up and offer variety. Carousels are good (multiple image posts) as they provide more detail and encourage scrolling. So, too, are stories and reels! People love to see the real person or people behind a brand. Behind the scenes or process videos, for example, can help to create a closer connection between you and the viewer. If they know, understand and trust you, they’re likely to stay loyal to your brand.

4. Get Tagging
You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. It’s important to avoid the gimmick hashtags and instead to use those that are relevant to your post. This way, your posts should be more visible to your target market and those with shared interests. Also, consider tagging your location, tagging relevant brands and encouraging others to tag you. Tag, tag, tag!

5. Get Featured
Especially when starting out, it’s great to get featured or to collaborate with other accounts. For example, some accounts will invite their followers to participate in competitions and will ask for their brand to be tagged along with the entry. This provides a chance to get featured on their account and means that your account could reach all of their followers, potentially thousands of people. Make the most of other accounts’ reach – it’s free promotion!

6. Look Ahead
And finally, schedule your content. Allow a set period of time to collate, for example, your next 9 posts. This way, you can ensure that the overall aesthetic stays consistent and balanced. Importantly too, you can fully consider your captions and thoughtfully tell the stories that you want to share with your audience. It seems like a big task but will ultimately save time and stress.

To conclude, why not share your brand with the world? Celebrate and promote your unique brand identity and message on Instagram. It’s the perfect platform to reach a huge and enthusiastic market, if used the right way. Go ahead and get people talking.
Catersales offer brand design as well as social media set-up for multiple platforms, including Instagram. If you would like a helping hand to get you on your way to becoming ‘Insta famous’, simply give us a shout!

Posted by: Claire Mulreany