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With over 300 million users logging into their account every month, Instagram is one of the most popular social networking sites. It has more active accounts than Twitter, which was previously considered a marketing powerhouse. Business owners can’t afford to no make Instagram a part of their routine marketing campaign. Not only does an account help promote a product, it also helps lay the groundwork the business needs to establish the kind of relationship that turns first-time customers, into regular customers.

In 2015, Iconosquare conducted a study that showed nearly all of Instagram users, approximately 70% report that the social media site influences their shopping habits, with 62% of the users reporting that they found and tried out a brand based solely on the business’s account.

Getting Started

Before a business can start using the social media giant for their marketing tool, they need to create an official business account. It’s not difficult. Simply log into the website and follow the directions. Marketing experts advise keeping the business’s account separate from the owner’s personal account.

Make Use of Free Tools

Small businesses and start-up businesses will gain a great deal of traction when they take advantage of the easy to use, free tools Instagram create. In addition to setting up a free “contact us” button, the business should also learn how to use Insights, which helps the business gauge the success of each post, making it easier to build a successful Instagram marketing program.

Post Strategically

Posting a selfie or a photo of your dinner on a personal account is fine, but it’s not something a business should do. Everything posted to the business account should engage followers, build on the company’s brand, and encourage sales. The trick is learning how to post frequently enough that the business account remains relevant, but not so much that followers start to feel the account is pushing and write it off as a spamming account. Marketing experts suggest that posting twice a day is a good starting point. The business can gradually experiment with more frequent posts. Remember, post-optimization changes when a new product or marketing campaign is revealed.

Be Interactive

Businesses must interact with their customers. It only takes a moment for to respond to a question or comment, and that tiny action is often the trigger that inspires the follower to check out the official website and make a purchase. Most businesses have found that they’ve gained the most traction when they posted Instagram’s that encouraged interaction, such as a poll or a caption this image.

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