Instagram is the eighth most-used social network globally, over 400 million monthly active accounts. It is the go-to network for those looking to project their image, be it street photographers, foodies, or anyone with a smartphone and a keen eye.

Brands too are hopping on to the network and building a visual identity of who they are amidst the selfies and quote images.

In order to effectively engage with your audience on Instagram, you need to define your brand voice. The images you post need to align with the strategy of your brand thus promoting your values and mission.

Here’s how you can go about it.

Sum up your brand’s identity

Start by identifying what makes your brand tick - your essence, and what you're hoping to accomplish. For instance for a sportswear company, your niche should be portraying the comfort and style that your users will experience even through the decidedly unglamorous activity of exercise.

Your focus should be curating content that aligns with your brand and identities with your target audience, thus negotiating with the speed at which you will connect with your potential followers.

The feed should always project the unique brand essence that you have identified.

Once you zero in on the type of content you want to share, put together a content calendar. The content calendar should help you stay organized and equally build on your Instagram marketing campaign.

How do you grow your audience?

As you go about your scheduled posting, it is important to note which conversations you want to be involved in. Here is where the importance of hashtags comes into play.

Users always follow certain hashtags to view content that revolves around their interests. The use of hashtags automatically places your content into that specific search.

Research on active tags that align to your brand, when you identify the right tags that suite your brand, Instagram users who like your feed will start to follow you. Picking the right keywords within these hashtags increases your chances of being recognized since hundreds of users keep adding content to the topic every single hour.

Engage your audience

While you are participating in this process, it is important to try as much as you can to engage your potential followers.

Engagement is a two way street, if you are looking to have followers to comment, like and connect with you, it is smart to do the same. Follow relevant hashtags and take part in the conversations around them.

Another effective strategy is to create a “tribe” on Instagram. A tribe is a group of users who are trying to reach similar groups on Instagram. As such you agree to share each other’s content, call out to your audience to follow their account thus building rapport with other accounts. Always remember social media is an ideal tool to build connections and engage people.

It is always important to note that consistency is key, post regularly and avoid over-posting content.

Sharing your followers’ content is a great strategy in building your audience and building a relationship with followers, but always seek their permission before you repost their content to avoid violating Instagram’s rules.

Instagram tools to use

Instagram recently created new business insights on their business page tools, designed to help you create better ads, this tool helps to unlock useful analytics about your account.

Repost makes it easy for you to repost another user’s content to your feed while giving due credit to the original source. This tool can be useful in highlighting your followers and sending love to your dedicated audience. helps you evaluate different hashtags you can use for your business. You start by entering a term in the search toolbar and Hashtagify gives you insights to how popular that specific term is and as well as listing related hashtags.

Canva and Adobe Spark help in creating spectacular captivating content. Both platforms give you pre-formatted material that you can post on any social platform, as well as templates you can use to create your own content.

Soldsie helps you turn your profile link into a virtual storefront. With Soldise, you can now turn your photos into a funnel for buying thus transforming your profile link into a buyable photo gallery.

Evaluating Analytics and Statistics

Evaluating of Instagram analytics and statistics entirely depends on the goals you set for your Instagram strategy, different brands use Instagram for various purposes, which range from awareness, driving traffic to websites or selling products.

Brands that focus on using Instagram for awareness can use follows, likes and comments as measurement for this particular objective.

Brands that use Instagram for sales or driving traffic to your website, converting on sales or capturing emails is your main goal, you should be in position to track the number of people who access your website through Instagram. You can do that by adding a UTM tracking code or use a custom shortlink in your profile.

Instagram has grown tremendously in the last couple of years, becoming one of the most visited social networks. Neglecting it with its exponential growth will be a grave mistake! Take advantage of this large user base and tap into the growing social media universe to grow your presence online.

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