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You. Your brand. Building Revenues for Organizational Growth with Instagram – Part III
October 19, 2018

Courtesy of Neonbrand

Craft your promotional tactics for Instagram success.
You’re committed to building your brand. Your Instagram profile is ready and set to launch. Now, what will it take to strategically grow your audience, gain followers and attract future business partners? Many of the top influencers use Instagram as a business tool. Check out this “Webfluential” social media value estimator; it’s interesting to note what top celebrities command. Did you know that South African rapper Cassper Nyovest has 2.03 million followers on Twitter and can earn as much as $7,500 per tweet? Other stars, such as Kanye West, make as much as $45,000 per tweet. There are many good sources that offer advice on Instagram growth. Forbes magazine recently published a useful feature article on strategies for Instagram success. It takes work and the proper content, but it’s well worth the investment.

Hashtags are helpful.
Hashtags that accompany your Instagram posts drive traffic. Words associated with hashtags play as search terms for Instagram followers. So when you’re writing about a meal you’re served, include #recipes that #foodies will follow. When you type in a hashtag term, a pop-up will let you know how many posts are associated with the term. For example, “recipes” has been included in almost 4 million posts, while “foodie” has been posted over 15 million times. Using the proper hashtags will be an asset to your growth campaign. Also remember to incorporate the “@” sign, which signifies a user account. If you compliment rapper Cassper Nyovest in a post, include “@casspernyovest” to ensure that your post feeds into those who follow him on Instagram. This is also useful for companies or corporate leaders you may want to connect to.

Like and be liked.
A big success play on Instagram is being interactive with others. If someone “liked” one of your posted photos, go to that person’s profile and “like” three or more of their posted images. When you post, be sure to include a “call to action.” End your post with a question, to prompt more responses. When you get users responding, you’re one step closer to gaining a follower, which is the “currency” of influencers on social media. Add funny photos; ask viewers to write a photo caption for your image. By featuring those who wrote witty captions in future posts, you will be attracting more “likes,” and those you feature will be likely to become followers.

Find partners to monetize your social media audience.
Work to build your Instagram audience. Experts state that as you near the 10,000-follower mark, you will reach influencer status. I’m not endorsing the following sites; however, check to see how influencers connect with agencies and companies who wish to pay for their influencer services. Some to consider are Tribe and TapInfluence.

Here’s the challenge: Develop your next 30-day social media plan. Choose the photos, lay out the content. Explore hashtags and usernames you wish to incorporate. Include content from your affiliated organization. You have a lot to offer; let your light shine and start the path to being an internet trendsetter!

Interested in taking the next step with your business? Check out our #YALIEntrepreneurs page.

Thomas S. Mueller is an associate professor of advertising in the Communication Department at Appalachian State University. He is a lead instructor in the department’s internet-mediated online degree program. Dr. Mueller facilitates seminars on marketing and communication for Mandela Washington Fellows who participate in Appalachian State’s summer experience program. He has developed several tips on building your personal brand on the social media platform Instagram, with potential to become an “influencer” who generates money from business partners. While his tips will not ensure easy money for your project, they may help you take the next step toward funding. You can view Dr. Mueller’s 2018 Mandela Washington Fellows presentation, “Making Money with Instagram,” on YouTube.

The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government.