Did you know that we process images 10,000 times faster than text? Instagram certainly does. It’s no coincidence that most of the popular Social Media platforms are visually based. When we include images on Social Media posts we also get better engagement. According to Facebook, posts with images get 47% higher engagement rate.

Instagram is a highly engaging Social Media platform that is based purely on images. It lets users create and browse creative galleries of pictures, moments, and stories.

Businesses are doing incredibly well using Instagram. Used well, it is a valuable part of their marketing strategy to build businesses, engage their audience, and increase their customer base. It can also be said that as the platform grows (as of April 2016 , there are 5,000,000 active Australian users), many businesses  on Instagram are not yet fully realising their potential.

Like most popular media platforms, there are many things you could be doing to maximise its value to your business, far more than we could cover in a single blog post. In saying this, there are some great things you could start doing right now to improve your online impact with Instagram.

Some of the best places to start are to maximise your first impression with an effective profile image, make your business ‘findable’ by adding location to your posts, and to understand and use hashtags to their full potential. Here are 3 ways to get Instagram working harder for you.



1. Profile Image

Effective profile images are easily recognisable, professional, and contribute positively to your online first impression. Make sure that your profile picture captures and expresses the image that you want people to think of when they see you. This seems so obvious, but not everyone gets it right. You can use a professional, high quality image of your logo, yourself or your team. For further branding cut-through, wear your business’ colours to reinforce memorability and brand association.


2. Link to physical location

The geo-tag capabilities of Instagram allow you to show your audience where a photo was taken. I often tag my business premises in Instagram posts to make it easy for potential customers to find me and know where I am based. If your business residence is a physical location, make sure your address is correctly added not just in Google, but also Facebook. Why? Because Instagram is owned by Facebook. When you link your business Facebook and Instagram accounts, you have the opportunity to select and publish your location this way too.


3. Hashtags for Instagram

Hashtags can be complex, but they needn’t be. They are essentially a way of self-categorising content by type, topic and nature. When you search ‘#digitalmarketing’ in Instagram, the algorithm will display all public posts containing that hashtag. What does this mean for your business? It means you can achieve increased visibility in your industry, be involved in online communities, and allow your posts be found by the right people. Have a look at what hashtags prominent people in your industry are already using. Think about the purpose of your content. Get clear on what hashtags you would like to use, and include them in the caption or comment space in your posts. Start with reading my blog post about how to use hashtags.






Dot for the day: Think about why you are on Instagram. Make sure you complete your profile as much as you can and educate yourself on how to use hashtags.


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