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Instagram, recently purchased by Facebook, is a great platform for businesses to showcase their products, recruit future employees and generate new business.

Unless you’re famous, it can be difficult to gain a huge following on Instagram.

Growing your following takes time and attention daily.

Here are some great tips for you to use gain more followers.

Optimize your profile

Your profile on Instagram tells potential followers who you are, what you do and gives them a good reason to follow you.

How do you create a good profile? Start by making your username the name of your business. It should be recognizable and easily searchable. Make sure your profile is public, otherwise people won’t be able to find you. Next, use a profile picture that is used on your other social media platforms for continuity in branding.

Fill in all the information about your business. Tell your followers who you are, what you do and be friendly and personable. You can include a link to your website’s ‘About’ page in case someone wants to read more about your business.

Lastly, enable notifications so you can see when people share or comment on your photos.

Get some mad photo skills

Post quality matters on Instagram. Bad photos are big no-nos on Instagram. No, you don’t have to take a photography course, but you should get familiar with some great photo apps so your images look good.

There are some great free photo and photo editing apps available for your phone. I love and use the following:

  • VSCO Cam

  • Live Collage

  • Foodie

  • Splice

  • Hyperlapse

When to post

Create your editorial calendar for this social media platform and start posting. The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays and Thursdays at any time except between 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Use relevant hashtags

If you use relevant hashtags, your posts will get exposure to a wider audience that just your followers.

Use hashtags smartly and sparingly. Limit the number of hashtags to three.

Research relevant hashtags in your industry to find the ones you should be using.

Be social

Interact with your followers and with other users on Instagram. To make Instagram work for you, follow others in your industry. Once they see that you’re following them, they might follow you back.

As you gain followers, respond to their comments. Follow them back and engage with their posts.

Run a contest

A great way to expand your reach while increasing engagement is to publish a post promoting a contest. Ask people to follow you or comment on the photo to be entered into the contest.

Make it easy for them to follow you

Add a button to your website’s home page that links to your Instagram account. All your social media platforms should have similar buttons on your website.

Promote your Instagram account on your other social media accounts.

Start creating your Instagram account. Use these tips to get started and create that huge following you want for your business!

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