Get more Instagram followers and likes by following this guide

Instagram like the pros!
April 19, 2016 Mark Grado
4 minute read

Taking great photos and presenting incredible content is a surefire way to increase your brand reach almost anywhere. Except for Instagram. On a platform with thousands of amazing photographers, storytellers, and millions of cat photos - standing out on merit alone is nearly impossible. The solution? Knowing the rules, so you can play the game.

using instagram to get more customer leads

Rule 1 - Make Your Hashtags Count
Instagram lets you use up to 25 hashtags per post, so be sure to make them count.

More importantly, your hashtags must be targeted to the audiences you count as potential customers. You might be asking how to do this, and the solution is quite simple. If you're a BMW dealer in the Los Angeles area, simply tagging #bmw #m6 #LAbmw might net you a few likes from your followers, but it isn't doing much to expand your business.

This is where knowing your demographic comes into play. Post the same photo from the above example, but this time try hashtags such as #losangeles, #beverlyhills, #malibu, #hollywood, etc.and suddenly the same post that was being viewed in various locations around the world by BMW, is now being directly targeted to the neighborhoods and people most likely to walk into your showroom and make a purchase.

Rule 2 - Timing is Everything
Peak activity times can vary by age group, day, and time so knowing when your followers are most likely to be active on Instagram is key.

Sticking with the LA dealership as an example, they can expect most people shopping for their luxury cars to be employed, and thus not on their phones Monday-Friday from the time they commute in the mornings, until they arrive home in the evenings. Posting during work/commuting hours would leave the majority of followers missing the posts entirely. With this in mind, scheduling a post for 8pm and after on weekdays, or any time during the weekends would get a significantly more amount of eyes on the content.

Rule 3 - Know the Movers and Shakers
Every city (and neighborhood in bigger towns) has a long list of influential accounts that rack up thousands of likes with every post. You can find yours by searching by tag in Instagram, and entering #nameofyourcity. The top posts listed are almost always from the same handful of accounts, and you can also browse related tags at the top of the screen.

Once you find an account with a sizeable following, there's no harm in reaching out to explore what a shout out, or regram (where one user shares another's photo) would cost you. You can often times partner with an account that will guarantee your content a minimum of 1000 likes from consumers in your target demographic.

Partnering with one of these local photographers is an even better option, especially if you get 10 amazing photos to share in the future from your own page, while also knowing the photographer will more than likely share photos of their work with their followers as well.

Rule 4 - It's OK to be a Follower
With a third of all business owners surveyed citing the difficulty to find and convert new customers as one of their biggest business worried, you cannot afford to leave this free outreach program completely untapped.

Many accounts are afraid to carry a large amount of followers, but unless you're a celebrity, the amount of accounts you follow has no impact on how you are perceived.

Thinking of each Like and Follow from your page as a handshake with a member from the community can be a real game changer for your social media strategy. Targeting the accounts most likely to share similar demographics will give you a much better shot at finding the right people to convert into new customers. For example, if your demographic is comprised of individuals earning high incomes, it would make sense to mine the accounts of upscale restaurants and entertainment establishments in your area.

Curiosity almost always gets the best of people, and when a user receives notification that XYZ Dealership has followed them, a click to the account is almost sure to follow. Just make sure there's great content that makes people want to stick around!

Rule 5 - Rule Five - Brag a Little
Many business accounts keep their profile info on the bland and boring side. Big mistake! Simply listing your name and location won't do much to move users to action, or even make them remember you.

Don't be afraid to toot your own horn here! If your Yelp rating is 4 stars and higher, let it be known. Have you won awards or made news? Share it here, and don't be afraid to use the link in your profile to send users to a screen other than your home page. Many businesses have used this link to showcase their GoFanbase brand pages that are chock-full of happy customer photos and Five-Star reviews. So get creative!

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