With more than 800 million monthly active users worldwide, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms around. As the need to connect with real-world customers continues to impact companies, Instagram business strategies should be the forefront of your path to success in 2018.

We live in a world where information, entertainment, and even shopping is just a swipe and tap away. So including Instagram in your company’s online footprint is essential to the growth of your business, no matter what industry you serve.

Here are the top Instagram business tips we at Bayshore Marketing Group believe you need for a successful year!

Get Familiar With Your Audience

Be prepared to do your research, as no two social media platforms are equal. One of the most fool-proof methods of researching and finding your target audience is following hashtags related to your business. While using the most popular hashtags may increase your visibility, finding niche hashtags is the best way to meet your audience where they are. Utilizing the Instagram Explore page and search feature is the first step in identifying and building new relationships with your audience.

Tell Your Story with Stories

Since its introduction in 2016, the Instagram Stories feature has surpassed its 24-hour video predecessor, Snapchat. Boasting a user-friendly platform, a much wider base, and a useful search option, it’s clear why Instagram has been able to edge out the competition.

With Stories, you now have the ability to place your brand within your audience’s reach. In seconds, you can live stream events, or give a behind the scenes glimpse of your company. These short clips may not be permanent, but the impact they have on your audience can be rewarding.

Many brands have taken on Instagram Stories to offer 24-hour coupons, creating polls, and for business pages exclusively (with 10,000 or more followers), you can now embed links to get followers to your website or products. Instagram also offers the option to highlight your favorite Stories by pinning them to your profile. You can now create albums of your Stories to easily promote important posts, products, and tutorials to your audience.

Mention Your Way to Growth

Showcasing your happy customers and engaging your target audience has never been easier. A simple @ mention to thank a follower for a great comment, or sharing one of their photos on your business page is a great way to build lasting relationships with your audience. Manage this task by becoming a very active member of the Instagram community you create. Follow comment discussions to show your audience that you care about their opinions and use branded hashtags to easily pool user content.

Example of Birch and Vine Instagram business hashtag search page.

Example: #birchandvine, created by the award-winning Birch & Vine restaurant in Downtown St. Petersburg.

The Power is in the Grid

Set yourself apart from your competitors by mastering the art of a creative photo grid.

The app store is filled with applications to enhance your photos to near-professional quality. However, it takes more than a set of interesting photos to propel your Instagram business profile forward. Posting unique content, in a methodical format, will aide in cultivating your brand’s individuality.

Try telling your brand’s story by transforming your feed into a work of art. Instagram’s 3×3 tile layout can easily be manipulated into breathtaking visuals. This stylish approach has been adopted by big names like L’Oréal Cosmetics and Ivy Park.

Curating photos and video to fit a specific design allows you to organize your posts, and the results are stunning. Check out these simple Instagram grid layout ideas by Plann to get you started.

Instagram Business Strategy is Key

Social media is in a state of constant change, and in order to have a successful strategy and reap the benefits the assets in this space have to offer, you may want to employ the help of knowledgeable social media strategists to help you along the way.

Our team of experts at Bayshore Marketing Group is here for you! We listen to you, understand your goals, and will plan, implement, execute, and get your results based on your needs and budget!