With the political headaches and scandals surrounding Facebook and Twitter in recent years, Instagram has more of a social media presence than ever before. It’s estimated that there are almost 25 million active businesses on Instagram, with more than 80% of Instagram users following at least one business account. It’s clear that having an Instagram presence is key for reaching new customers in 2019. Below are a few simple strategies to use this social media platform to reach as many people as possible.

Branded Hashtags

 Hashtags are critical for visibility. They are the number one way that Instagram users discover new accounts. Instagram will automatically recommend that users follow accounts with similar hashtags to the posts they typically like, and so hashtags are also a great way to find people who will be the most interested in your product or services. Branded hashtags are a hashtag that is unique to your business. Kind of like a tagline, your branded tag should be something simple and memorable that people will associate with you and your business when they see it.

User-Generated Content

 Featuring content that comes from customers or followers is a great promotion strategy on Instagram. Seeing customer-created content gives all of your followers, old or new, the feeling that your business cares about the customer experience. It also makes customers feel like they are a part of the business, actively contributing to its growth and image. It’s a kind of advertising that doesn’t feel like advertising. Unlike reviews or customer testimonials, which have a more polished or professional spin, new customers are actually far more likely to trust the content that comes directly from another user.

Work with Influencers

Work with Influencers

This is the digital equivalent of a celebrity endorsement. If you can get someone with a big social media presence, like an Instagram “influencer” or a YouTuber to like or comment on one of your posts (or better still, use your product), you’ll see a huge spike in visibility. This will also lend a great deal of credibility to your business, as people tend to trust internet celebrities more than Hollywood or industry stars. The most authentic way to do this is to find a natural opportunity to tag an Instagram celebrity in one of your posts. The likelihood of them commenting on your post is high if it’s done in a way that seems normal. What you don’t want is to seem like you’re making a desperate grab for their attention.

Create a Brand Theme and Color Scheme

Cultivate a certain aesthetic, style, and even color palette for all of your business posts. You don’t want all of your posts to look exactly the same, but if they all have a similar aesthetic, they will start to become recognizable. People will know it’s you before they’ve even started reading. This will make your business a lot more memorable, and people will subconsciously (or consciously) begin to look forward to your posts because they’re familiar. Cultivating a unique style will attract people who are most likely to appreciate your product or service, and facilitate a kind of “culture” around your business.

Use Action Verbs

“We’ll be announcing the winner of our contest at 8 pm tonight” is not quite as gripping as “Announcing winners at 8 pm!” Calls to action are much more engaging than purely informational content, and people are more likely to do what you ask if you ask directly. Action verbs make it seem like something new is always happening at your business, which makes people eager to participate.