Everyone has dreams of being #Instafamous. It’s elusive and painfully cool. But, what if we told you that you don’t actually have to be Instagram famous for your brand to see top results?

Being successful on Instagram isn’t just about numbers and follower count (as irresistible as numbers and follower count can be) – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Instead, success comes from clever, unique content and engaged audiences. Creating a great Instagram feed is just like any other marketing strategy; it takes time, effort and a sprinkle of insider tips. That’s why we’ve put together a simple but highly effective five-step guide on how to take your Instagram from good to great and, if we do say so ourselves, downright fabulous.

Do Your Research

Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags. When used savvily, these little metadata tags can cause HUGE impact. The goal for your brand’s Instagram account is to use the most relevant and highest traffic hashtags. They are essentially the Instagram equivalent of keywords – you need to find out which ones your target audience are most likely to click on and engage with.

Free sites like Hashtagify help you find relevant # with the click of a button. Alternatively, finding hashtags on Instagram’s own platform is easy as pie. Simply open up the app, click on the ‘tags’ search bar, type in any keyword relevant to your photo, et voilà!

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According to experts, you will get the highest amount of engagement if you use at least 11 hashtags. Pick and choose wisely, and you will gain a lot more popularity in the ways that truly matter!

Additionally, coming up with your very own hashtag (which you can promote in the captions under your content) will, in turn, promote user-generated content – a goldmine of photos that can be re-purposed whenever, wherever. A unique hashtag works as a source of interaction between your brand and your audience, and will show you just how many of your followers are engaging with your account.

Drive Your Audience

On your brand’s Instagram account, you have full control of the wheel. With imagery and words, you can drive followers on your Instagram page to your website, with the potential of converting them into ‘leads’, or in non-marketing terms, customers.

Never underestimate the power of an Instagram caption. They are essential to your content because it gives users a reason to be looking at your content. Captions provide immense opportunities to use your branded hashtags (see above) and call-to-action phrases – “discover more”, “book today”, “subscribe now”.

Instagram’s one-link rule can be frustrating, but did you know there’s a cunning little way around that? Contact us via the form below and we’ll share our secret.

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Look at the Bigger Picture

Pun intended. By promoting your brand on Instagram, you are looking to convert visitors into new followers. Ask yourself these questions: How many of your followers like your photos? How many of these interactions turn into a sale?

Knowing these stats is important in building a loyal fanbase and discovering what works and what doesn’t. Most of the time, beautiful sells and consistency sticks. A visually stunning feed with the right amount of posts per day (enough to keep your followers interested but not overwhelmed) will gain your brand some serious brownie points. That’s why it is vital to look at your Instagram feed as a whole, rather than lots of separate squares.

When you are posting an image, details matter. Think about how it will look like next to your other photos – do the colours complement each other? Is it clean and easy on the eye? Or too busy and chaotic? By putting in that extra bit of time to curate your feed, with a consistent element or theme in mind, your feed should flow seamlessly.

Get Your Chatterbox On

Instagram is one MASSIVE community. 700 million users, to be exact.

The more you interact with this community, the more you gain. Never be too proud – by liking, commenting and following other people, you will leave positive impressions left, right and centre. After all, who doesn’t like a good compliment?

Follow accounts that you actually admire and are inspired by. They will give you endless ideas and tips to improve your own account. Interact with them enough, be relaxed and sincere… you might build some very rewarding relationships that may lead to cross-promotion.

On your own account, respond to comments that people have left. Answer questions, have a laugh, say thanks – be as personable as possible. Be the account YOU’D like to engage with.

It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Running a business is hard work. Sometimes you just don’t have time to spend thinking of the wittiest caption alive. Luckily, we live in the 21st century, and there is many a life-hack app floating around that will save you both time and energy.

Cue Rubric – a brand new tool that generates “instant, cool captions” for your photos. The app (available on all iOS devices) promises to solve any caption woes by using visual recognition technology to generate a selection of relevant captions. Like magic.

Speaking of help, this month we’re launching a service where we analyse how your Instagram account is performing against your competitors, give you an insight into your audience growth and engagement rates and show you how to take it to the next level. Which means more followers, more website visitors and ultimately more business. What’s not to *like*?

Simply drop your name and email in the form below and let our fingers do the hard work for you.

Yes! Tell me how my Instagram is performing