With over one billion users, Instagram is one of the most influential and far reaching platforms out there. These days it is absolutely essential for businesses to capitalise on this by maintaining a relevant and captivating feed. Not sure how? Here are seven great tips for growing and maintaining your business’s Instagram profile, and ensuring your business benefits.

1. Pick a theme

Since there are so many accounts on Instagram, you need to think about what makes your account different and individual. The best way to approach this is to pinpoint the unique selling point of your business, and then create an Instagram theme around it.

This theme should encompass the aesthetic look of the images as well as the content you are providing. Choose one or two filters to use on every image you post and stick to a consistent colour theme. You can find great free filters on apps such as VSCO or Afterlight, or even just the default Instagram filters!

2. Post regularly

Every post is an opportunity to reach more potential followers, so it’s in your best interests to post often! You should also consider what time of day you’re posting. There are a few key times throughout the day that people check Instagram more regularly – this may vary in different cities or for different audiences, so try to monitor the success of posts at different times, or research peak Instagram times in your geographic area.

3. Use hashtags

Hashtags are essential to growing your following and engagement. They ensure you reach an audience that is interested in the content you’re posting, and thus are more likely to like, follow or comment. Collate a list of relevant hashtags to your business – these should be both broad, such as #cafe, and more specific, such as #melbournecoffee. Copy and paste these to the bottom of every post – or comment them to all your posts.

4. Plan and schedule

Planning and scheduling tools are one of the best ways to ensure you are posting regularly and cohesively. Business Instagram accounts are able to use scheduling tools such as Sendible or Later to schedule posts complete with captions and hashtags. These websites and apps are great as they enable you to sit down and compose all your posts for the next month in one go!

5. Utilise Stories

Instagram Stories are a great way to engage on a more personal level with your audience. Use them to capture daily updates of your business, such as freshly baked muffins or a new menu item. However, be careful not to overdo it! If you post too many Stories in a day, followers may get annoyed and unfollow. Try to limit your Stories to a maximum of five per day.

6. Repost fans and followers

When people post using your product or services, it’s a great idea to repost them to your own account. This means that followers can see your business is popular, and also demonstrates different ways to use your product. Additionally, it encourages more people to post about your business, which spreads the word!

7. Link to your website as much as possible

There is very little point building and maintaining your Instagram account if you can’t convert that popularity to sales! At the very least, make sure you link your website in your account bio. Ideally, some of your posts should include a call to action such as ‘visit our website to see our full range’ or ‘call us now for a free quote!’. Additionally, be sure to mention any special offers or deals you have to encourage followers to visit your website or store.

Finally, don’t be reluctant to use Instagram Advertising as a way to boost the reach of selected posts or Stories, ensuring your best content – or special offers – are seen by both your followers, and non-followers with similar demographics to your current audience.

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