The transformation of Instagram since their start in 2010 has been undeniably innovative and successful. A mobile platform that started as a way to share photos has become a place for live video, real-time updates and so much more. In the midst of all of this, Instagram has also become a major driver of business for many brands and franchises. According to WebStrategies, Instagram is the most engaged social platform for brands.

So what should you do to capture and keep the attention of your customers on Instagram? Here are five ways for you to garner those likes, comments, reposts and more.

1. Regram and Curate User-Generated Content

Reposting an image or regramming, is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to engage your audience on Instagram. The user whose photo you have reshared will love that your company has recognized them and will continue being a strong brand ambassador. Reposting their photos also shows users that you are paying attention to them. This will continue to help you build a positive reputation.

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Another benefit of regramming is finding quality images that already exist and using it, instead of paying photographers to take them for you. Once you begin reposting, other customers will begin posting photos with your products in hopes of being regrammed–creating even more photos for you to choose from.

2. Include CTAs (Call to Action)

So how does a company persuade its customers to post photos in the first place? Create a call to action. In your captions, ask your audience to share their favorite flavor, post how’d they style the product and much more. You should also start a hashtag related to what you want them to share and use that to promote your campaign.

Google Instagram CTA

Calls to action can range from a variety of things. You can use CTAs to increase the number of likes and comments your posts receive. Tell viewers to “double tap,” your photo if they agree or favor what is posted. You can do this by putting the CTA directly on the photo or in the caption.

Spark discussion in your comments by creating enticing captions. Ask your customers to choose between two product flavors. Tell them to share how they discovered your brand. Challenge them to describe your services in three words. What you can ask them is endless. These answers will also help you understand how your audience sees your brand.

3. Create Contests

A brand can also increase Instagram engagement with the help of contests. There are an array of different types of contests you can host on Instagram. Here are few to help get you started:

  • Likes. Ask followers to like your photo to enter a contest. The winner will be one random liker.
  • Regram. Ask followers to repost one of your photos as an entry to the contest. Ask them to tag your page and hashtag it so that all the entries are easy to find. This will also increase the number of viewers that your brand gets exposed too as the photo will appear on many timelines.
  • Comment. Ask followers to comment your post to enter. This could mean asking them to share why they love your product or service or asking them to tag a friend. A contest like this also has the ability to showcase your brand more and direct traffic back to your profile.
  • Photo challenge. Ask followers to create original content using one of your products. Give them a specific hashtag to use so that you can easily find the entries. This will help create more user-generated content that you can use in the future.

4. Use Influencers

If you are looking for ways to indirectly reach out to potential customers, reach out to social media influencers first. It is without a doubt that social media influencers have the power to convince their followers and viewers to try something new. People love hearing everything from product reviews to new experiences from those that they relate with and look up to. Working with influencers will increase your brand’s exposure, awareness and show that your brand is current and relevant.

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A company should be careful and cautious when choosing an influencer to work with. An influencer has a brand and following of their own. It is important to find one who represents the same ideas that yours does. You also want to make sure that their audience is similar to those you wish to target.

Instead of trying to start a conversation with a large audience, work with an influencer so that they can introduce you as a crucial part of theirs.

5. Go Live

The newest way to reach your Instagram followers is through the Instagram Live feature. Instagram Live allows users to start a real-time broadcast with their followers. Users can do this through the Instagram Stories feature, which allows you to post photos or videos for 24-hours.

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Companies can use Instagram Live for demonstrations, new product announcements or anything as simple as a Q&A. The feature allows followers to comment or send likes while the broadcast is going on. This means that whoever is running the video has the opportunity to give lucky followers a shout out or an answer to a pending question. Use this not only to build your brand but to show that you care about your customers and their concerns.

It also gives you the opportunity to show that you are the master of your industry. By showing live product presentations or tutorials, you are letting your followers know that there are no gimmicks or edits, your product is authentic and real.

Put these tips to use so that you don’t miss a single like, comment or follower. Your audience is waiting to hear from you through Instagram, so get the conversation started today. While you’re at it, go ahead and follow @meetSOCi 😉

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