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With 400 million users, and (gulp) 3.5 billion posts liked each day, Instagram has become a key player in the social media sphere. Boasting 25% more engagement than other social networks, the photo-sharing app is changing how industries market to today’s behemoth mobile audiences. With its significant demographics and pool of millions of daily users, Instagram can be a gold mine for your business. Read on to learn how to build your presence, increase engagement, and skyrocket your visibility.

Use #hashtags to increase visibility

Take a few minutes and invest in some keyword research for your niche. You want to use the most relevant hashtags that are being searched that also best represent your brand. Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post, so you’ll have some wiggle room to experiment with different combinations.

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Keep a list of your most used hashtags in a note on your phone to make it easy to copy and paste with each post.

Tell a visual story about your brand

With videos, you have the ability to tell a story. Instagram allows videos up to 60 seconds, which is short enough to be easy to create, and the perfect length to keep the attention of prospects. Adding video also breaks up the monotony of the daily photo rotation. The sky is the limit: make your stories funny, lighthearted, and informative. Create a call to action directing the viewer to your website by clicking a link in your bio. Test one out with your audience and track the results.

Run a contest

Offer an entry for a free product or service in exchange for a follow, share, or newsletter registration on your website. Provide a discount, special report, or other very desired item to anyone who leaves a comment. Have followers tag their friends for free publicity and to increase views on your Instagram page. Don’t forget to give a deadline within a few days to create a sense of urgency.

Do unto others

The best (and easiest) way to get attention from others on social media is to GIVE attention to others. Spend time each day engaging with other Instagramers. Like their photos. Make comments. Follow accounts. You will notice a huge jump in your following and engagement if you do this consistently.

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Attract more followers with a branded look

The accounts that have followers running back for more are the ones that have a distinct look. Make sure that every post is in alignment with your brand. Are you inspirational? Every photo better inspire. Do you share no-nonsense advice? Make sure every photo is on point. Don’t baffle your audience with posts that are confusing.

To filter or not to filter

Along with the content of your posts, the filter you use for each photo will add to (or detract from) your branding. If you are going to use them, decide on a few favorites that are similar in mood. As we’ve said, keep a uniform look with all posts! If you like a lower saturation, look at filters like Reyes or Nashville. Or choose Mayfair (said to increase engagement) to add richer color.

These are just a few of the steps you can take to increase engagement on Instagram. As always, keeping in communication with followers, liking pictures, and commenting on content consistently is the best way to foster a sense of brand loyalty and trust.