Whether we admit it or not, social media has become a huge part of our social lives. Cooked lasagna? Write a Facebook status about it. Feeling sleepy? Tweet it. Pizza party? Perfect, must Instagram that. As a marketer or business owner, you must always be in the loop on the latest trends, and move in to where the crowd is.

Social media has been around for quite some time now, so you probably already have a growing Facebook page and Twitter profile. But how about Instagram?  How do you cultivate your Instagram account to be more visible and be engaging to possible customers? We got you covered on that as we share 12 ways to promote your business on Instagram.

1. Use call to action on the image or in the caption

Call to action statements can be included on the image itself, or in the caption. Urge your customers to buy your product, or at least check out your latest products on your website. Although it’s not guaranteed that every single potential customer would follow, call to actions can still help give a slight push to your potential customers to take that extra step.

2. Add a location

Putting a location tag or “Geotags” as they are commonly referred to, allow more potential customers to find you in real life. You can also use geotags to help promote events, or prove the authenticity of your brand.

3. Use appropriate hashtags

Hashtags are a popular way to introduce your product to customers. However, be careful on your use and make sure not to overdo it. Got a new shoe line? #shoes #shoestagram #shoesoftheday are some of the top best appropriate picks for that post, but adding #selfie is a little too unrelated.

Also, you can use generic hashtags such as #tbt (throwback Thursday), as well as #wcw  (woman crush Wednesdays) and #mcm (man crush Mondays) if, and only if, it’s appropriate to your post.

You can also use brand specific hashtags as they can be a very useful and unique way to make a statement online. It’s a practice that major brands use such as Coca-Cola’s #ShareaCoke or Chanel’s recent #LeRougueCollection1. Hashtags can be as simple as your brand, or new line of products that you are currently endorsing. It can be anything that is unique and people can easily associate with your brand.

4. Use the direct messenger

Direct messenger is Instagram’s version of Facebook’s private message. Using your business’ account you can send a direct message to your potential customers about specific products they can enjoy or deals and discounts they can avail.

5. Try different long and short captions

Aside from the photos, captions are also important aspects of Instagram marketing. Try posting short and long captions alternately and check which one works better for you.

6. Share your posts on other platforms

Instagram allows posts to be shared to other social networking sites such as Fac
ebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and even the Swarm app. Take advantage of such feature to boost visibility across social media platforms.

7. Use high quality photos

Although Instagram has a built-in filter feature, make sure to always use high quality photos. Be creative on
your posts. Remember that on social media, aesthetics is a good way to draw attention from your potential customers.

8. Feature your partners

Your posts do not have to be strictly limited to matters concerning your products. You can also choose to post photos of your partners and their products. While this tip may not apply to everyone, this could help those with partners help leverage their brand and help establish authority by showing your customers that you only partner with trusted companies.

9. Create a strategic bio

To sell your products, you must also sell your brand through a creative and effective bio. The bio is one of the first things that people notice when viewing profiles and so it’s important to give a good impression.

10. Create an editorial calendar to plan all Instagram posts

Plan your posts for the entire month through an editorial calendar. Doing this will not only save you the hassle of having to brainstorm for new ideas every week, but it will also keep you from messing up your weekly schedule.

11. Respond to comments on your posts

While not all brands follow this strategy, some use comments to their advantage. You can thank your followers for liking the photos, or even give witty but respectful and appropriate comeback for negative comments. You don’t have to respond to every single comment, but giving wise few ones will encourage your followers to comment on your post, thus boosting your engagements.

12. Like other people’s photos

In order to get attention, it is sometimes effective to give out some. Like photos that are related to your brand. If you’re a company that sells shoes, you can search for photos of your product and like them. You can also like posts where your product was mentioned. That way, people are notified and urged to visit your profile.

Social media can be a very effective platform to introduce your brand to the world. In social media, the key is to be witty and creative. It’s a way to help showcase your company’s personality and interact with your customers at a personal level. This helps you build a loyal and growing fanbase. So what are you waiting for? Pick up your smartphone or tablet and let people know what your brand is all about.

Here are other tips you might want to try.