Instagram is fast becoming the most important point of brand engagement in your social outreach arsenal. A good Instagram strategy can include videos, stories, and even paid advertising, all leveraged through a visual medium that just about everybody loves.

As a visual medium, Instagram is unparalleled in its ability to capture people’s attention. If you are engaged in an industry that is design-focused, like landscaping, interior or architectural design, or retail, Instagram can become an extension of your on-premise efforts and help you to capture the attention of a much wider audience. Most content marketing professionals will agree, if you’re not on Instagram, or if you aren’t putting some effort into it, you’re missing out.

Key Instagram stats

In case you’re waffling, here are some interesting Instagram statistics for you to mull over:

– Gender use is evenly split between male and female
– 33% of internet users use Instagram
– 80 million people in the United States use Instagram
– 80% of Instagram users are outside of the United States
– 60% of Instagram users are on the platform daily
– 90% of Instagram users are under 35 years old
– Instagram use is growing 5X faster than any other social platform
– Most accounts grow by 16% per month
– 93% of our communication is visual
– People remember 80% of what they see, compared to 20% of what they read and 10% of what is said

Additionally, Instagram’s engagement is 10 times more than Facebook, 54 times more than Pinterest, and a whopping 84 times higher than Twitter. Pictures may tell a thousand words, but those metrics say a lot!

So, now that you know it’s a good thing, let’s get to the meat. Here are four great ways to help you grow your brand on Instagram:

1. Represent your brand appropriately

Make sure you choose a username that matches the rest of your online presence. Use your brand logo or a professional headshot for your profile picture. If possible, keep your messaging and design consistent across all channels to maximize your brand recognition. Do a little research to find out what hashtags work best for you and then use them consistently in all of your posts. Being seen alongside your top global competitors will win you more followers, and using the right hashtags will help you get there.

2. Make sure your account is a business account

A business Instagram account gives you access to advertising and analytics that aren’t available with a personal account. You will be able to access real-time information on how your posts are performing in order to get the most out of your efforts. A business account also gives you the ability to post your hours, address, phone number, and expanded business profile content. If you started with a personal account, you can easily switch to a business account in settings.

3. Make sure you follow Instagram’s code of conduct

Instagram, just like other social platforms, is a hotbed of spam. Because of this, they have established strict policies on user conduct and posting. Get familiar with their protocols and make sure anyone who is posting on your behalf does the same.

4. Be consistent, be creative

Remember – this is a visual medium that thrives on creativity. Use your imagination and post interesting and compelling images. Most important of all, however: be consistent. Post regularly, whether it’s daily, or at intervals during the week. Another tip from top brands: choose one filter and use it consistently. The world’s most successful companies got there because they continue to deliver a consistent brand look and message.

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