5 Tips for Mastering Instagram Marketing

by Wesley Farnam - Jan 22, 2015

Thanks to the enormous popularity of Instagram, square photos have become the standard of mobile photography. Instagram has over 200 million monthly active users and more than 20 billion photos have been shared on the service. Whether you’re on Instagram as an individual or marketing as a brand, it's an awesome platform to provide your audience with unique visual content, while encouraging community engagement.

Whether you're a newbie or an old-pro on the social network, these five tips should give you a few fresh ideas about how you can get the most out of Instagram marketing:

Instagram Marketing Tips

1.) Editing is Everything – A recent Instagram update added more sophisticated editing tools to let you adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, warmth and other parameters via sliders. You're also able to adjust the strength of the preset filters you apply.

It's important to take your time with edits; use the Shadows option if part of your picture is a little too dark, or open up the Saturation slider if you want to turn the strength of the image's colors up or down a notch. Use filters, unique angles, and lighting to make your photos pop – and use additional apps like Adobe Photoshop Express, Diptic, or PhotoShake! to edit pics, or combine a number of photos into one.

2.) Use Specific Hashtags – If you pick hashtags that are too broad, then they'll get lost in the flood, so keep them relevant and use them sparingly. Browse through related hashtags already being used on Instagram to see if there are niche hashtags or even official hashtag streams relevant to your images that you didn't know about. Be specific, be relevant and be observant! Did you take a sweet picture of a Volkswagen Bus? Use hashtags like #vwbus #vw #volkswagen #1966 to accurately describe the picture for other users.

3.) Share & Embed – Instagram plugs into a variety of other social media services, so make use of these connections and share your photos with people who don't have Instagram installed.  You can turn the sharing options on or off for each individual photo – maybe you've got a photo that works better on Twitter and Facebook than it does for Flickr or foursquare? Pick your spots and avoid spamming your friends across multiple social networks.

Also, share your photos on your personal blog or your brand's website! Find the post via Instagram on the Web, click the menu button and choose View Photo Page, then open the menu button again and select the Embed option. The code that appears can be pasted anywhere else on the Web to showcase the picture, and you can embed images from other Instagram streams just as easily as your own.

4.) Flesh Out Your Profile – Your profile is the first page that strangers see when they're checking out your Instagram feed, so make sure you give them a few good reasons to tap the Follow button! Say something about yourself, what you do and the types of photos you'll be sharing. Make use of the website field to direct visitors to your Twitter feed, personal website, or portfolio. A cool profile with a great profile picture can often be enough to snag a few random follows from strangers!

5.) Join the Community – There are a ton of Instagram activities taking place on Instagram. Think of these community activities as Trending Topics – an opportunity to engage with other users by posting similar content that's unique and entertaining in its own way. There are many other communities worth participating in. If you’re a fan of black and white photography, check out MonartInsta_pick_bw and Streetphoto_bw. For general photo features, keep up with PhotoofthedayInk361all_shots and contestgram. The biggest Instagram community is JJ’s daily forum (#JJ), which includes thousands of members and a network of editors working with him to highlight Instagram photos on a daily basis.

Social Media Marketing

The Idea People’s social media marketing team creates and manages your social media networks and messages to keep your brand relevant and connected to your customer base. Our goal is to build a relationship-based marketing strategy to connect with your customers and inspire them to get involved with your brand.

Interested in learning more about social media marketing? Call Jay Joyce at 704-398-4437 or email jay@theideapeople.com.

Wesley Farnam
The Idea PeopleThe Idea People