social media how toAre you using Instagram to promote your business?

Want to increase your exposure?

Making a few simple tweaks to your Instagram marketing can generate more engagement and increase the visibility of your content.

In this article you’ll discover how to get more exposure for your brand on Instagram.

grow your instagram exposure

Discover how to grow your Instagram exposure.

Listen to this article:

#1: Embrace the Hashtag

Descriptive hashtags on Instagram will help expose your content to more people. This will lead to more engagement and ultimately grow your followers.

For anyone who doesn’t already know, hashtags are short, descriptive keywords, preceded by the hash sign (#), which enable users to find content they’re looking for with a simple click. Relevant hashtags in posts help create a dialogue between your business and other users.

crossfit instagram image with hashtags

Hashtags are an excellent way to improve engagement on Instagram posts, since they help interested people find your content.

There are a number of things you can do with hashtags to get the ball rolling on Instagram.

First of all, add hashtags relevant to your industry or niche to every post your business makes on Instagram. Remember, you can use as many hashtags as you want, which will help you attract a wider audience. Note: Research has found even small accounts that use 11 or more hashtags receive an average of 77.6 interactions.

So if you’re an online retailer specializing in women’s clothes, include the hashtag #womensfashion, among others, in your photo description. This will help users find inspiration, as well as help you land more followers, improve brand awareness and increase sales.

neverlandstore instagram image with hashtags

When you add relevant hashtags to your posts, you make it easy for users interested in your niche to find them.

Plus, spend some time commenting on relevant photos from other Instagram users with a hashtag you’re targeting. Your brand will be exposed to users who are already interested in that specific hashtag, which will also help increase followers and engagement. There are a few more things you can do to get the most out of hashtags.

First, be as specific as possible when choosing your hashtags. This will help your brand connect with other like-minded users on Instagram. You’ll have a much better chance of converting them, since they’re highly targeted prospects.

Also, be relevant. Make sure you use applicable hashtags on your posts, so people who are interested in what you do are able to find you.

Finally, keep your eyes open. Pay attention to which hashtags other users are including on their photos. You may find a new, popular hashtag that will help you reach more people.

#2: Engage With Your Community

To make the most of your efforts on Instagram, it’s vital to spend time engaging with your community and other users on the platform.

See what photos and hashtags attract the most comments and likes, and jump on the bandwagon. You can also re-post exceptional images from your followers.

australia instagram image of user generated content

Posting your own content isn’t enough. To be successful on Instagram, your business must engage with other users and their content.

Also, determine where people from your target demographic hang out. Find out which accounts they follow and then engage with them. Comment on their photos and like their posts. Remember to add value with your comments and don’t be spammy.

If you’ve done your research and interact with the right people, these users are likely to engage with your brand and follow your account. Your brand will also start to show up on their followers’ radar.

#3: Launch a Contest

The prospect of getting something for nothing has always been alluring in the world of marketing. Use the reach and popularity of your Instagram account to host competitions and attract more followers. An Instagram contest is a great way to drum up excitement and get people talking about your brand.

instagram contest image placeit

You can use Instagram contests to engage your current followers and attract new ones. Image: Placeit.

Whether you go with a tag, hashtag, like to win, share or other type of promotion, your Instagram contest will certainly be a hit.

#4: Build Awareness of Your Instagram Handle

Even though this is fairly obvious and straightforward, it’s still worth mentioning. The first step in Instagram marketing is to promote your handle to your customers. Then they’ll know you have a presence on Instagram and where to find you.

There are various ways to spread the word that your business is on Instagram. If you have a storefront, print out an Instagram badge along with your username. Laminate it or put it in a frame and display it in your store. This is something you can share virtually on your social platforms as well.

You can write a blog post on your Instagram presence, and share it on your different social platforms. Be sure to link to your Instagram account from your website as well.

instagram callout image

Make sure your customers know you have an Instagram account, and tell them where to follow you.

#5: Cross-Promote Visual Posts on Other Social Media Channels

Part of the reason Instagram is so popular is that people love visual content.

Don’t limit your visual posts to Instagram. Share them on all of your social channels, such as Facebook and Twitter. That way you can leverage the fan bases of all of your social accounts.

Cross-promoting is yet another way to raise awareness of your Instagram account.

Final Thoughts

Instagram now has more monthly users than Twitter, which makes it one of the most popular social media networks out there.

A visual platform like Instagram is the perfect social media channel to convey your brand’s personality to your audience. Use these tips to effectively market your brand. You’ll increase your audience, as well as your visibility, and in turn grow your business.

What do you think? Do you use Instagram to market your business? How have you increased your following? What types of posts get the most engagement for you? What tactics work for you? Please share your experience and recommendations in the comments.

Instagram contest image created with Placeit.
how to grow instagram exposure

Tips for growing your Instagram exposure.

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  • Amazing blog! 😀 you have really helpful tips 🙂

  • Sandra Shinn

    I disagree regarding the hashtags. Yes, you should use them and be specific. However, from a consumer standpoint, I view the use of [11] hashtags as desperate and obnoxious. Too many hashtags can signal that one is new and doesn’t quite know what they’re doing yet. Instead I would suggest using 2 – 3 of the most common and relevant hashtags for your post. That way you still reach a large audience while not appearing as a “newbie” to Instagram.

  • Sandra Shinn

    Okay, spammer. Bye.

  • Thanks!

  • Harmony Walton

    There’s actually a maximum number of hashtags you can use on IG.

  • The major challenge with Instagram continues to be he lack of ability to add clickable web links. All of the hoops that Instagram makes one jump through to wring business value from it are a circuitous route toward driving traffic to where sales happen. It’s great for building relationships, but extra effort toward actual revenue. Also, I like looking at the pictures 🙂

  • Ricardo Morales

    In my opinion I think users are not overwhelmed by many hashtags. As a user I skip it entirely, so I don`t share that view.

    What I mean is, if I see a wall of hashtags I skip it. However, those HT must be after the text, not before or in between. If a posts #talks #JustLikeThis is #HellaAnnoying

  • Sandra Shinn

    Haha, I agree with that. But I didn’t state that the use of many hashtags is overwhelming. It is, however, obnoxious and apparently useless. You yourself just said you skip it. So why bother posting 15 or so hashtags if you can reach the same audience with 2 or 3 relevant and common hashtags?

  • Ricardo Morales

    I think we agree in many things. People don<code>t READ HT, maybe up until 3 as you say__abENT__#46; But people who search for them may reach your content that way__abENT__#46; If I</code>m interested in #HugsNotDrugs and you post about that, I might get to know you if you use the HT.

  • Sandra Shinn

    Based on your example, would you agree then that the amount of hashtags is also content-based? If you use #hugsnotdrugs, are you also going to use #hugs, #drugs, etc.? Probably not. Instead, you’d use a couple of those most pertinent hashtags which an individual would be more likely to search and thus connect.

  • Ricardo Morales

    Yes, you<code>re not gonna use ALL THE HASHTAGS you can possibly cram, but you can use more than 3 or 11__abENT__#46; As long as they</code>re pertinent.

  • Sandra Shinn

    We’ve reached compromise.

  • I’m never consistent in the number of hashtags I use. I guess for me it depends on the actual photo and it’s context. Sometimes I have 10 hashtags, sometimes I have 2.

  • In my experience, I’ve found that hashtags on Instagram work extremely well. I haven’t had that same experience using hashtags on Facebook or Twitter. But to your point about using a lot of hashtags, and some taking exception to that, I think that it’s fine as long as it’s after your caption. I find that using hashtags in your actual caption looks tacky and unprofessional. But as long as they’re after the caption, use however many you want. People usually skip reading big blocks of hashtags anyway, but they do get more eyes on your post.

  • Lorien

    I have to say that IG has been one of the most engaged social media platforms that we use for my company. It has created incredible growth and a huge increase in sales. It is the top referral source to our website and business. Once I found out where our target market was and who they were following it was easy to increase exposure and increase followers. We are now over 100,000 followers in less than a year and still going strong. We love you Instagram!

  • Ashley Po

    I love using Instagram for marketing. I was never one to use many hashtags until I started interning for my current company. I find that hashtags really don’t hinder people as long as it’s either at the very bottom of your post or you use it to highlight certain subjects in your post since you can’t bold letters. And of course we don’t hashtag random words, we really make sure they are relevant to the text and illustrate our overall goal of the picture, while being popular phrases.

    The only thing that troubles me is when I want to link things, especially since you can’t copy and paste text. As of now, I just use tinyurl to shorten our url so our audience has a better chance of re-typing the url and checking it out. To highlight the url even more, I put it down as the location of the photo.

    We haven’t had a contest yet because we don’t have enough followers yet. We did try giving away free tickets to a Philly game at one point when we had 1500 likes and that’s when we learned we needed a lot more people. We had enough to call out winners, but just enough at that point.

  • Great comment. Basically the way I see it is that using as many appropriate hashtags as possible opens your content to a potentially wider audience. It’s true that most people skip reading these, but people searching for these times are more likely to come across your content this way. Of course, don’t go overboard, but a few extra HT won’t hurt anyone.

  • I just started using hashtags and have noticed some accounts will use almost literally a dozen. I do find it annoying and I have assumed that if I find it annoying than so will my potential customers. I try to keep them very specific to what picture I’m uploading. However, as a user, I find them incredibly useful to find exactly or almost exactly what I’m looking for.

  • Do contests really work for small businesses on Instagram? I have tried this before on Twitter and even Facebook but both didn’t get a big return on Followers. I’m wondering if the response will be different on Instagram.

    Also… any thoughts on give-aways that require a person to tag the business to get a freebie?

  • Yes Instagram works well with contests. You just need a dedicated easy to remember hashtag. It may bring exposure but not necessarily new fans.

    A good way to get followers on Instagram is with the app – Crowdfire.

    It allows you to follow your competitors followers and easily unfollow those that don’t follow you back.

    It probably works best with local followers.

  • Never thought of putting URL as the location of the photo. Sounds smart, will try today 🙂 thank you for sharing that!

  • Your opinion is not a common one! 2-3 hashtags are great for Twitter, but the majority of users don’t seem to mind upward to 10 hashtags on Instagram. 🙂

    Though research supports my claim, I respect your opinion and, of course, we are all different.
    So I thank you for sharing it. <3

  • Renec112

    fawour .com is a great tool too 🙂