What you'll learn in this blog: How to use Instagram to expand your business.
Instagram is blowing up in 2018. The service now has hundreds of millions of active users, and it’s not just a place of amateur foodies posting pics of cappuccinos anymore, it’s a legit social network with business pages and live video. You don’t need to be highly artistic to be great on Instagram—you just need to be committed to the platform.
When I first got on Instagram I had zero followers just like anybody else when they sign up. I didn’t magically get to over 500,000 followers, it took a lot of creativity and strategic posts. Here is some of what I did:
Everyone puts up pictures of morning oatmeal—I wanted to stand out.
Rather than just post my oatmeal pic, I asked people to guess the ingredients. Not only did I turn this into a contest, but I promote my Facebook page as well. You should be on multiple social platforms and look to add followers from one platform to another.
The fact is, posting pics of food has always been popular on Instagram. I’ll post food once and awhile, but notice that I use hashtags and connect it with my brand. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic. Hashtags allow for people to search for your posts. There are hundreds of millions of posts on Instagram for #food and #foodporn and that number is growing every second.
Taking pictures of perfectly plated breakfasts is a sure way to increase your Instagram followers!
I also like to make short videos on Instagram, very similar to what I do on Twitter. Sometimes I tag my friends for more engagement. To tag someone simply type their handle (username) in the post. It’s great to use comedy at times and have fun on Instagram—people want to be entertained.
One tactic I use on Instagram is to write in the post asking for people to comment. In this particular post, I simply ask for people to comment if they’ve had someone hate on them, criticize them, or been envious of their success. It’s always on topic with the picture or the quote on the picture. If you don’t ask for comments, don’t expect to get any.
Another tactic I use is to say “Tag a friend” to whatever the post applies to. Here’s a recent example of how I do this after the hashtags:
Getting big on Instagram is not rocket science, but nobody at college is going to teach you how to do this. They will teach you 17th century British Literature, but they won’t teach you how to make money on social media—because they don’t do it themselves.
You don’t need an MBA; you need to create an internet presence. This involves more than building a website and hiring a nerd to run your web department. If you want to get big on places like Instagram it will take a serious commitment on your part.
You aren’t going to be great on Instagram from the beginning.
You can make a few posts, but that is like taking a couple of buckets of water from the ocean. Nobody is going to notice—the space is just too big. That said there is enormous and massive opportunity on Instagram to grow your brand and business. Don’t be overwhelmed and do nothing.
1.Awareness—People need to become aware that you exist. Generate some posts that show your brand, your face, and what you do.
2.Give—Share content that offers value. Remember it’s not about you but rather what others receive from you.
3.Educate—Bring a quote that makes people think, lead them to a new way of thinking.
4.Shares—Post information that you think others will share. It takes creativity to go viral.
If all this seems overwhelming to you, don’t feel bad. I was recently poking around on Instagram and I realized that nobody really knows 100% what they are doing on this platform. Do stuff until you figure it out. Commit first, figure the rest out later. You can learn by doing. So be the person that does doing better than anybody else.
Comment below how you've used Instagram to grow your business.
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Grant Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author, the #1 sales trainer in the world, and an internationally renowned speaker on leadership, real estate investing, entrepreneurship, social media, and finance. His 5 privately held companies have annual revenues exceeding $100 million. Forbes named Mr. Cardone #1 of the "25 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2017". Grant’s straight-shooting viewpoints on the economy, the middle class, and business have made him a valuable resource for media seeking commentary and insights on real topics that matter. He regularly appears on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, and MSNBC, and writes for Forbes, Success Magazine, Business Insider, Entrepreneur.com, and the Huffington Post. He urges his followers and clients to make success their duty, responsibility, and obligation. He currently resides in South Florida with his wife and two daughters.