Instagram is all about the looks. This platform has the ability to show users who you are as a business in beautiful, simple squares. Although the picture is a huge part of being successful on Instagram, you also have to know how to build a relationship with your users to achieve viral success.

Today we will talk about eight ways to engage your users on Instagram.

  1. Write several drafts first

With Instagram you won’t post as frequently as Facebook and Twitter. So take your time and make sure your pictures and captions really count. Remember engagement is more important than timelines on Instagram.

  1. Front-load the important stuff

With Instagram you really only have 3-4 lines before your caption cuts off. So make sure to lead with the exciting and relevant stuff. This does not mean you should only write captions that are 3-4 lines. Just be wise on how much you want to say. Lead with your call-to-actions and important info and then you can post your hashtags, mentions and other information.

  1. Add a call-to-action

Get your audience to engage with your posts. Verbs in Instagram captions and pictures get people to stop and look at you. Ask them to double-tap, share, answer, click your link, tag, comment, post or enter a contest and enjoy interacting with your now captivated audience.

  1. Limit to four hashtags

Hashtags are awesome. You can connect with thousands of people around the same topic, events, and brands. Just don’t overdo it, okay? Using dozens of hashtags just isn’t cool. Be strategic and selective with no more than 3-4 hashtags. And make sure to put them at the end of your post.

  1. Why so serious?

The most successful Instagram posts are more lighthearted, have a fun tone are genuine, and more personal than other social platforms. Don’t lose your brand’s voice. Stick to your brand guidelines we talked about. But, make sure to cater your posts to Instagram’s more laid-back nature.

  1. Emojis. Just do it.

They’re fun, they’re cute, and they’re creative. So, you should use them. Mix it up, put them at the beginning, right in the middle, or at the end of your posts to be fun, clever and at times witty.

  1. Cross-promote on other social channels

Don’t be afraid to encourage your Instagram followers to check out and get involved with your other social platforms. Talk about your recent Twitter polls or Facebook article. The goal is to have a relationship with your audience. If you can better invest in that relationship with another social platform for something, then direct them to it.

  1. Keep it brief

Short punch lines, quotes, mottos or quips go a long way on Instagram. Don’t over complicate your post with too many words.

We hope these Instagram tips have been constructive to your business. SMZ has the ability and knowledge to help your business thrive on Instagram. Let us know how we can help. Next week we will end this five part series by providing seven predictions for social media advertising.

Alec Schlitt, Account Coordinator