8 Tips to Cultivate Instagram: How to grow your presence
13/08/2021 | Written by Barbara Weinberg, Senior Content Editor

Quickly advancing from a simple photo-sharing platform, Instagram has launched invaluable features to help businesses market and sell. With roughly a billion active users a month, Instagram belongs to one of the most popular social media networks - a cornerstone for sought after brands. Ninety per cent of the population follow an online business. Instagram engages audiences, grows conversion rates and drives profitable traffic. 

If your Instagram presence is lagging, here's how to catch up!

1. Preparation

Think of your Instagram Bio as a Homepage, the foundation of your business and brand identity. Be creative and tech-savvy with fonts, hashtags, emojis, placement and content to entice your audience. Optimization is essential to capitalize on Instagram's single link policy, directing visitors to a preferred site. The link can be updated for specific promotions or start a conversation with your followers.

2. Germination 

An essential growth ingredient is recognizing trends. Engaging, high-quality, relevant content and images will deliver the targeted message. Approximately 100 million photos are uploaded every 24 hours, with more than 40 billion photos shared. Identifiable quotes, insights, fun facts, selfies, or behind-the-scenes convert well in this platform. Be consistent, choose a simple colour palette, limit fonts to those used on your website and marketing material. Remember that content is forever, even if there is a late change of mind. Unfortunately, a screenshot of a deleted post can appear without the owner's knowledge or consent. 

3. Simple Aesthetics

Keeping your Instagram text uncluttered, in sequence and pleasing to the eye is as simple as the 123 key on your device. When pressed, the Return button in the lower right corner becomes accessible. Leaving white edges around images are impressive, giving design elements breathing space. There are comprehensive tools to whip your brand into shape and craft unique visuals.

4. Incorporate Metadata

Instagram hashtags can make or break your marketing strategy. Take note of who your audience follows. There are online tools to help find the most visible and engaging hashtags to follow. Post hashtags in the comments section for better reach and easier viewing. Think about your core topics, brand and keywords and incorporate separate hashtags for each one. The most used hashtag is #Love - 1.7 billion.

5. Breed

There are 500 million active Stories daily, accounting for more than 35% of Instagram ad impressions. Stories breed the best replication of social experiences. Strive for dynamic content, use Boomerang, go live, incorporate stickers and collate images and short video clips. Stories support hashtags for higher visual content. Unlike curated feeds, they are immediate and raw, with positive selling points. Inspire action with limited information. Questions lead to curiosity, and curiosity leads to clicks. 

6. Cross-Pollinate

A recent documentary revealed anyone could become a successful influencer. The concept didn't exist a decade ago, but now it's a viable career path worth $10 billion. It takes 5,000 plus followers and over 300 sponsored posts a year to generate $100,000. Once you select your niche for collaborations - focusing on building community - it takes dedication, business smarts and social media savviness to grow your brand. Sponsoring user-generated content will get you into customers' feeds. Posting unique Instagram contests will spike interest to a wide field. 

7. Sprout

People average 28 minutes on Instagram a day. To attract followers cast your net wide and publish no more than a few times a day to avoid spam. You don't have to be present to post. You can pre-arrange content for release through apps like Buffer. Posting frequently and at the best time of the day/week/month encourages engagement. Another beneficial scheduling tool is the Consistent Content Calendar. It keeps track of your performance rating so you can alter content quality and consistency accordingly. 

8. Monitor

Instagram Analytics categorizes customers by specific demographics, age, gender, and location to help monitor accounts. It provides an overview of how posts and stories are performing. By observing viewer engagement, it can determine if strategy and content are hitting the mark. Analytics, accessed through Instagram's Insights tab, give a better understanding of what's working best.

To grow your presence: Prepare. Germinate. Incorporate. Cross-Pollinate. Sprout. Monitor. Grow. Contact OBCIDO. 

omar@obcido.com or visit our website www.obcido.com

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