Instagram is an extremely powerful tool that, in the right hands, can be used to successfully promote a brand. Having a presence on Instagram is a cheap and effective way of communicating your ideas and products directly to potential customers while simultaneously increasing the strength of your brand.

Many businesses fail to recognise the immense opportunity that Instagram presents as a marketing device and miss out on the benefits a well-run account can bring to an organisation. These five tips will help you to simply and easily manage an Instagram account that will successfully promote your brand.

1. Bio

Firstly, you need to write a bio for your account. This is simply a few sentences succinctly describing who you are and what you do. State your business name and spend some time creating a catchy description of your trade. Most Instagram accounts are kept informal but you should write a tonally appropriate bio for your brand.

The most important aspect of a bio is that it is informative. Users who view your page should be able to instantly recognise who you are and what you do. The longer they need to spend reading to figure out that information, the less chance you’ll have of the user clicking the follow button. Sign off with a link to your website so users can click through if they wish.

2. Theme

The most effective brand accounts all stick to a theme. If all of the images you post are disjointed and unrelated, users will be less willing to follow as they won’t know what to expect in the future. Choose a theme that is based around the brand you want to promote and create a set of guidelines that should influence all future posts.

Every post should, of course, be different but they need to be similar enough in tone and style for your brand to become recognisable over time. Reliability and consistency are always important aspects of building an online following.

3. Quality

Everything you post on your Instagram account is an extension of your brand and will be forever associated with your business. For this reason, it is vitally important that you adhere to an appropriate level of quality at all times.

The most efficient way of ensuring high-quality posts is to draw-up a style guide that anyone who takes charge of the account must consult before posting. It is well worth investing in camera equipment, editing software and a professional photographer if you have the budget. Competition is fierce and anything you can do to stand out could be crucial to your success.

4. Share

The main point of social media is to connect with people. On Instagram, posts that go viral generally have a unique quality that makes people want to share the image. Before you post anything, consider whether the end-user would be compelled to share it.

Ask a question of your followers in the caption and use relevant and trending hashtags to increase visibility. You can also host competitions and giveaways that encourage users to share your post in exchange for the opportunity to win a prize. Anything you can do to incentivise users to spread your content far and wide could make a real difference to the number of people that follow your account.

5. Link

Finally, visitors to your account should always be aware of how they can find out more about your brand and business. A common method of doing so is to simply provide a link to your site in the caption every time you post. This enables anyone who views the post to follow the link if they want to find out more.

There is, however, always a risk of coming across as too corporate and soulless. The links to your site should always be the secondary focus of a post rather than the primary. Provide value to the user before supplying them with a link that complements the content.

Instagram, when used correctly, can be a fantastic marketing tool. Businesses of any size can utilise the platform to grow their potential customer base and advertise their products or services to the right people. Creating an effective Instagram account isn’t a complicated process but, surprisingly, many companies get it wrong or outsource it unnecessarily. Through the considered application of these five tips, your Instagram will go from strength to strength and your follower count will skyrocket.