In just a few short years the use of Instagram has skyrocketed, with millions of active users sharing and viewing photos through the application on a daily basis. With such a large potential audience, it has become one of the most effective platforms for brands to market themselves and to target potential customers.

However, regardless of how effective it may be, there are a few rules to keep in mind when integrating Instagram with your online marketing strategy. Let’s take you through a few do’s and dont’s of using Instagram for your business.

Take it nice and slow – Any form of social media requires a steady, consistent approach. Just because you may have time to spare, doesn’t mean you should post 30 images in the space of 10 minutes. Enrich your value by sharing only your best and most relevant images on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the amount of followers your business has.

Develop a personal identity – Instagram is about sharing cool and intriguing images, and this is often where many businesses go wrong. People won’t engage with your posts if they are constantly flooded with professional stock images taken straight from your website. That’s what the website is for! Instagram photos are meant to be the “backstage pass” to your business, even something as simple as an image of what one of your employees are wearing that day or a new product that you’re about to release – it’s all about what happens behind closed doors that excites an audience.

Engage with your audience – This might be slightly more challenging for larger brands that have well over a million followers, but when possible it is important to interact with people on Instagram. Respond to messages that people have left on your post and establish a two way dialogue with your audience.

Reward your followers – An exclusive discount is a fantastic way to keep your loyal followers coming back to your Instagram channel. For some businesses, a competition would be a great way to reward followers, while some may just stick to discounts and special offers. Keep it relevant and ensure audiences are engaged by including promo codes in posts.

Be Social