Instagram is one of the most popular and influential social media platforms around. With over 500 million active monthly users, the picture-sharing app is a must-follow for any business or brand. With all that emphasis on photography and images, it’s no wonder that so many people are interested in making the most of Instagram’s popular features,’categories’ and ‘captioning’ functionality.

Here’s where you can learn how to best capitalize on and harness the power of Instagram’s photo-sharing platform to grow your business and brand.

Understand The Power Of The Picture

One key to becoming a better Instagram caption is understanding the importance of every picture. While Instagram doesn’t always make this clear, you must consider every image you post on the platform as an investment in marketing and brand building. And, as a business owner or marketer, you should never underestimate the power of a good picture.

Your pictures should serve a purpose; they shouldn’t just be pretty pictures. Even if you’re not a professional photographer, you should still have a general idea of what your pictures will look like before you press that shutter button. This will help you decide what kinds of pictures you should be posting and what kinds of captions you should be using.

For example, if you’re featuring products or services for entrepreneurs, you should post more product-related photos and captions. If you’re focusing more on creating a professional image for your brand, you should post more images of yourself and others in your industry. You should also consider posting more frequently throughout the year so your content continues to have a fresh look throughout the year.

Build An Established Base

Instagram is a place that people come back to time and time again to see what’s new. To really stand out among the other 500 million users, you must be doing something new and interesting. By establishing yourself as a creative and vibrant account, you’ll be able to grow your following and, eventually, your business.

If you’re looking to improve your Instagram presence, focus on being creative and engaging with your audience. If you’ve got a great product to promote or a service to provide, don’t hesitate to share it on social media. However, if you want to grow your account and eventually, your business, build up a following slowly and steadily.

Feature A Variety Of Subjects

Instagram is all about showcasing the beautiful things in life. If you want to captivate your audience and gain their interest, you should be featuring a variety of subjects. From food and travel to fashion and style, there’s something for everyone on the platform. You should avoid just showing one area of expertise and limiting yourself to, for example, food-related content if you’re a fitness-focused brand.

By featuring a variety of content, you’ll be able to attract a more general audience and encourage them to come back for more. If your content is always food-related, for example, people might get bored and stop following you.

Avoid Self-Promotion

This goes against popular opinion, but you should be avoiding self-promotion on social media platforms like Instagram. While it’s good to share the things you’re passionate about and relate to your audience, you should never, ever treat social media as just about you and your products. You’re better off connecting with your audience and serving them content that they want and need.

For example, if you’re a fashion-related business, you should be featuring images and content that relate to fashion, style and beauty. If you’re a fitness business, you should be posting videos and images that are related to exercise and health. It’s good to relate to your audience and be passionate about what you post, but you should never, ever post just to please others. You should be doing this to make your audience feel like you understand and care about what they want and need. Never forget, you’re there to help people, not to promote yourself.

Learn How To Use Hashtags

Last but not least, we have hashtags. Everyone knows what hashtags are and how they work, but not too many people know how much they can do for their content. Just like keywords, hashtags can help you get more eyes on your content and, ultimately, grow your account.

When you use hashtags, you’re not only telling the search engines that your content is relevant to certain keywords, you’re also inviting your audience to engage with you and your content on social media. Just remember: if you want people to actually see your content, you should be using relevant and eye-catching hashtags. If you want to create a buzz or trend around your content, go for more general or common hashtags. But, as a general rule of thumb, try to use keywords and hashtags that evoke a positive response in your niche. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you might want to use #fashion or #style in your hashtags to attract a more general audience. If you’re a restaurant brand, you could use #foodporn or #foodgasm to attract photographers and gastropub fans respectively.

Above all else, make sure that your hashtags are relevant to what you’re posting and that you’re using the right tags for the right content. If you don’t know what hashtags to use, ask your Instagram followers or even other bloggers in your niche for help. They’ll be able to tell you which hashtags are most effective on your behalf.

As you can see, there are quite a few ways you can make the most of Instagram. With just a few tweaks here and there, you can vastly improve the effectiveness of your content and grow your account quickly and steadily. Of course, we’re not suggesting that you stop promoting and connecting with your audience on other platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. But on a platform like Instagram, you can really stand out from the crowd and effectively build a brand for yourself.