Instagram is by far one of the most powerful marketing tools in today's climate because it is base on the fact that 'a picture says 1,000 words'. I could actually end this article here and you will get the point anyway. Just let the picture speak... Shut the hell up!

A user on Instagram is not a 'consumer', they are a user of the service provided by Instagram which allows them to choose what photos they would like to see and notify you that they like your PHOTO. No one goes on Instagram to shop. People get on there to get fashion and travel ideas, check out the latest memes, see friend's updates and just let the visual senses take over. Rather than keeping this simple, marketers (not all) have a tendency to oversell or push too hard for a sale. Since Instagram is not a platform that sole purpose is to drive sales, you will be missing out on some key potential if you continue to push.

If you look at business profiles on Instagram that provide a service or product, think about the feel you get from the images, or even the captions. It would more than likely look and feel staged and a bit lame. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot brands that are doing it properly and they all have the same traits. None of them actually sell you the product or service directly. No mentions of price, where to pick it up, who to call, website to visit etc... That's what your business bio is for. The ONLY exception is for accounts that has the shopping feature set up which lets a visitor see the price (on the photo). This works well with clothing brands.

If you do have a product or service you are marketing on Instagram, here are my suggestions...

  • Stop marketing immediately!
  • If you do not have professional photos, source photos from Instagram users that have used and featured your product or service on their account. You can find these by searching hashtags. It is VERY important that you credit the photographer and also DO NOT SELL ANYTHING IN YOUR CAPTION. You'll be surprised at how far this will get you. If visitors see that you are posting other people's content and crediting them, EVERYONE will start tagging you. It is illegal to use someone's intellectual property for marketing unless you have their expressed written consent. Please also see Instagram's guidelines and terms. Great read.
  • Depending on your clientele, you might actually have access to unlimited content. Tour companies should definitely take advantage of this. It's FREE and you do not have to take one photo. Just credit the photographer and watch others tag you to get featured.
  • Don't be silent. Get on the app and spend the day liking, following and commenting on photos. DO NOT BE A ROBOT EITHER. Engage others and also use "I" instead of "We" when commenting on specified topics.
  • Don't sell your product or service, instead, explain the experience related to the photo. Ask a question, give praise to someone or something in the photo.
  • Post whenever you feel like! Don't worry about times, days and all of that hype. Just put the content out there.

I could seriously go on and on but I reckon I'll wrap it up now. I'm not big on typing too much and not many would make it this far. What you should take out of this is that you just need to use the platform the way it was intended to be used. Beautifully captured and interesting photos with a short caption explaining the photo, feeling or experience. Leads and sales are simply a consequence of your actions.

Go back to the basics on this and keep it simple. I can almost guarantee growth. I'd be happy to help with your social media growth but it will be very expensive for you so maybe just try my few tips and be sure to follow me on Instagram! I don't give tips or do any type of marketing on there, sorry.

P.S - Don't be an asshole, it is only social media so be engaging and sincere.