social media how to Do you want more people to notice you on Instagram?

Have you looked at how other brands are increasing their Instagram visibility?

With the right pictures and tactics, you can create a stronger Instagram presence.

In this article you’ll discover five ways you can build visibility on Instagram.

instagram app

Get people to notice you on Instagram.

What’s the Big Deal About Instagram?

The big deal about Instagram is that it gets more engagement than Facebook or Twitter.

Forrester studied 2,500 brand posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and found that Instagram posts had 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

Pictures draw people in like nothing else. Below I tell you about five ways you can use Instagram to capitalize on that to capture more attention for your brand, and give examples of each.

#1: Highlight User-Generated Content

If you want to get people excited about your brand on Instagram, give them the spotlight. People love to be recognized and when you showcase users in your stream, you can be sure they’re telling their friends about it—and about you.

GoPro’s brand is centered on adventure, and their Instagram account has some of the best user-generated content in the world. Whether it’s surfing, rock-climbing, diving or off-road driving, GoPro’s customers and fans love to show off how they’re using their GoPro cameras.

gopro instagram profile

GoPro users contributed almost every image on GoPro’s Instagram account.

These shared photos are great for GoPro because they show the brand’s energy and get people excited about having their own adventures and using a GoPro camera to record and share those experiences.

#2: Keep Your Online Personality Intact

Regardless of the social media platform you’re working with, it’s important to have a consistent presence. Your online personality—logo, voice and even emotion—should be the same no matter where your fans find you.

That’s pretty easy to do on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, but when it comes to an entirely visual channel like Instagram, how can you do it?

You want to be sure people can easily find and recognize you, so I suggest you use your logo as your Instagram profile picture and your company’s full title as your username.

The pictures you share should reflect your online voice and even the emotion your brand elicits (like the spirit of adventure associated with GoPro).

aquabumps instagram image

Watermarks carry your brand’s presence across platforms.

Another way to incorporate your logo is to create a watermark you can use on every picture you share. In the example above, aquabumps uses a watermark to reinforce their brand (and help protect their photos).

To keep things simple, if you’re designing your own images, consider creating a template that includes your logo’s font and consistent color palettes.

#3: Use Hashtags for Listening and Reach

Hashtags are pretty much a staple of social media, and if you look at just about any Instagram feed, you’ll see that hashtags are big here too.

As on other platforms, Instagram hashtags serve to promote your brand and products, help you keep track of mentions and connect with people in particular communities.

If you’re using a brand-specific hashtag in other places (like Twitter), bring it over to Instagram and encourage your followers to use it when they upload a picture of them using your product.

If you want to get in front of even more people, take advantage of existing popular hashtags. Find the ones that are most relevant to your brand or product and use them as needed.

Webstagram offers an up-to-date list of the top hashtags on Instagram.

popular instagram hashtags

Use popular hashtags to get noticed.

Instagram suggests being specific and relevant, and observing trends when you’re choosing hashtags. You can find handy case studies of how other brands have built their profiles on the Instagram for Business blog.

#4: Show Off Your Talents

What is the one thing your company does better than anything else? How can you show that talent in a picture? The picture doesn’t have to be flashy or market-y, it only has to be interesting to your audience.

Photographer and stylist Meghan Plowman knows her community and what they respond to. Her clean images of food, apparel and interiors are eye-candy for anyone who loves beautifully styled lifestyle photos.

Meghan’s images are not at all promotional, but she’s done a brilliant job of branding herself as an experienced and talented stylist—simply by highlighting her talent.

meghan plowman instagram profile

Showing off your talents is an effective way of building your brand on Instagram.

People may follow you on Instagram because they like your company or photos, but they’ll stick around and tell others about you if you wow them.

#5: Combine Your Social Channels

As great as Instagram is, it may not be the best primary marketing tool for you. It has its place, yes, but what if the majority of your success is on a different social platform?

Obviously, you’re not going to quit doing what’s working and focus your efforts elsewhere. But what you can do is integrate your marketing efforts across social platforms.

By cross-promoting your accounts, you can use your primary social channels to encourage new Instagram traffic. Alternatively, you can tell your Instagram followers to check out your other profiles.

Australian group Bondi Harvest hosts a weekly cooking show featuring local produce. Their main social channel is YouTube, but they’ve found Instagram valuable as well.

On Instagram, the Bondi Harvest team posts beautiful photos of their cooking, as well as snaps from around the famous Bondi Beach. In their Instagram photo captions, they drum up interest for and direct their followers to YouTube for additional information and ideas.

bondi harvest instagram profile

Use all of your social profiles in concert to drive more traffic to each one.

Using your different social profiles to support each other reminds viewers that you offer additional content and value across the web.

Make Instagram Work for You

With higher engagement than other social networks, Instagram offers huge potential to brands.

It’s easy to create your own great visual content and use it to strengthen your community relationships.

By asking your followers to contribute their own pictures, using hashtags to both listen and reach, highlighting your talents and integrating your social channels, it won’t be long before you’re building a more human relationship with your fans that leads to a stronger Instagram presence.

What do you think? Who are your favorite brands on Instagram? Have you tried any of the ideas in this post? Let us know! Share your experience and advice below.

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  • Erik

    A good example of showcasing followers and the logo/template idea is a shopping centre here in Toronto … Scarborough Town Centre @shopstc

  • I’ve seen the suggestion to include trending hashtags before, but is there any evidence that users actually ‘follow’ hashtags? It’s great that there are over 528m posts with #love, but do users actually look through that, ever? I’ve never seen any evidence/statistics to support using the ‘popular’ hashtags on Instagram to increase…..anything.

  • Royale

    Love your articles Zach! I’ve found Instagram is becoming one of my favorite social media plataforms for engaging! You’re right. There’s nothing like the visual impact! Cheers!

  • Cross promoting your other channels on Instagram is great, but the ability to link is near impossible except for the in profile section, and without a direct link, the call to action is almost always lost on the user…

  • Derek

    We started promoting our products with videos and the reaction from our customers has been fantastic. I’d like to start sharing the images that our fans share with us but am not sure how to do it. Would you please outline this process? Thanks!

  • Shane Deegan

    Ricky, spot on. Using popular hashtags like #love is akin to admitting “this is junk. please respond with junk of your own” The only customers cruising the junk heap at #love #me #follow are those looking for follower count for follower count’s sake. Unless you’re using #love as an irreverent jab at the concept of using ineffective hashtags, it is…. ineffective.

  • KristiGarrett

    I noticed that Bondi Harvest uses videos on their Instagram — Great idea! Does anyone know what program they use to create them?

  • Zach Kitschke

    Hey Derek, the best way is just to comment on your fans’ images and ask if you can share their photos. PetBox ( does a really good job of sharing photos from its community.

  • Zach Kitschke

    It’s tricky as you can’t link from an individual post. Although seeing a post on Instagram can be a reminder to go elsewhere to do something (i.e., visit the website, go to the YouTube channel). That’s why it’s important to use the link in your profile carefully to direct people to the best spot!

  • Zach Kitschke

    Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the article 🙂

  • Zach Kitschke

    Hey Eric, thanks for sharing. I’ll have to check it out!

  • Zach Kitschke

    Don’t think the “spray and pray” approach works very well, however it does pay off when you use hashtags strategically. The popular hashtags are just a starting point, but often more niche communities are a better focus. Tourism Australia did a fantastic drop with their #seeaustralia campaign. Instagram uses the #vwvan example on its blog — if people are searching for that particular hashtag they’ll be more likely to find your image.

  • Jitendra Padmashali

    Great blog !! As per my view visual content allows you to quickly convey the core of your message and instant photo sharing has become increasingly popular. Instagram today
    has more than 30 million followers and more people join the network everyday.

  • Great summary of Instagram tactics that work. I find “Regramming” in particular is a great tool because it highlights your followers, and acknowledges the posts of other people that you’d like to follow you.

    I have been using Instagram as a tool to find fresh community content and then sharing (with attribution of course!) to other social media like Facebook. Many of my most successful posts have come from this strategy.

    I think the watermarks are also an excellent idea to help both reinforce the brand and automatically carry attribution forward when people regram or cross post your pictures.

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  • Lanny Sari

    Is instagram only for product selling? How to upgrade it for blogger? Thanks for reply:))

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  • ROI focus

    “Engagement” does not equal ROI… get real folks, your time and money (form most brands) is better spent elsewhere. Look at the list of the top hashtags… not a profitable mainstream brand / penny to be seen I suspect.

  • Zach Kitschke

    Thanks for the comment!

  • Zach Kitschke

    Cheers Russ, interesting to hear that you use Instagram to source community content. Thanks for reading!

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  • Steve

    It does work with getting you likes

  • Tracy

    I find asking your followers to contribute photos challenging. Unless there is some type of incentive for them, for example posting a picture to win a prize, they will rarely contribute. Do you have any suggestions/recs for how to get people to contribute or at least want to? Kind of a tough question…but any suggestions would be highly appreciated! Thank you!

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