Five ways to use Instagram for Business Networking
Instagram continues to grow strong – the predominantly photo sharing network boasts over 800 million monthly active and 500 million daily active users. What’s more – there are upwards of 2 million advertisers on the platform, most of whom are SMBs. Instagram Stories, a feature launched much after its arch rival Snapchat tasted success with stories, quickly upturned the apple cart with Insta Stories overtaking Snapchat in both – daily as well as active users in a short span of time. But Instagram’s appeal does not end with sharing real-time moments through pictures. Leveraged right, Instagram can turn out to be a powerful networking tool – a heaven for network marketing and direct sales businesses.
Here are five ways to use Instagram for business networking and expand your professional footprint:
#1 Go ‘Sliding into DMs’: Widely popular with avid social media users, sliding into direct messages (DMs) means you can initiate a direct private conversation with anyone through their news feed or replying to an Instagram Story. This a powerful way to network on the platform but when you post a DM to a leader, influencer or potential prospect, take care to go through their profile and feed to know their style of communication, preferences, etc.
#2 Participate in Instagram Pods: Instagram Pods is the new name of Group forums on Instagram – that have up to 15 like-minded participants. The group chat is driven by an algorithm that generates a specialized, curated feed, highlighting posts based on the likelihood that users will interact with the content instead of the order in which it is posted. This means, if you want your post to be liked and commented on – post a link to it in the Pods and it will likely be consumed by a larger audience. Besides helping each other share high-quality content, participants in Instagram Pods gain valuable insights by networking amongst like-minded professionals.
#3 Get smarter with hashtags: The easiest way to get found, hashtags get you more relevant followers by making your content widely accessible beyond your network. To get it right, search for the most trending and recent posts that have hashtags similar to your area of interest and target those accounts for networking. You can even use branded hashtags to connect with like-minded professionals. Search for a popular brand in your domain or industry and you’ll be able to see its followers easily.
#4 Explore and win: The Explore section of Instagram is a goldmine for business networking. Powered by an AI algorithm that highlights relevant accounts that you should be following, it simplifies all the hard work and makes it super easy to follow new accounts, engage with their Insta content, and begin a relationship. The trick however, lies in personalizing this kind of cold outreach – make the effort to introduce yourself, state how you found the person’s account you are contacting on Instagram, etc.
#5 Tag a contact: This is a powerful call-to-action that can bring multiple users on the same page instantly. Utilize this tactic to make your content go viral and to gain new users and followers. You could share an inside industry joke, an inspirational picture or quote, or simply an engaging digital shout-out.
Building authentic relationships is the core of using Instagram for business networking. Need help taking your Instagram business to the next level? Talk to our Instagram experts – ping us on website live chat now!
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