Jenn Herman
March 25, 2014

Tips for Creating a Powerful Instagram Strategy

instagram strategy

This is the third post in a 12 month series on the use of Instagram for businesses.

If you’re going to use Instagram as part of your business marketing, it’s imperative that you have a good strategy in place. Many businesses have taken the time to craft a strategy for their Facebook and Twitter accounts. But when it comes to Instagram, they randomly post content with no real expectations or goals.

Instagram can be very successful in growing your business and generating traffic. But you have to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it!

Here are some key tips to help you create an effective Instagram strategy.

Know Your Goals

What do you want to get out of Instagram? Are you looking to boost brand awareness? Do you want more traffic to your website? Do you want to generate more sales? Are you trying to build relationships with your audience? You first need to know what your goals are so that you can properly craft relevant Instagram posts.

Know Your Audience

Who is your audience? What’s their demographic? Why are they using Instagram? Once you know who you are targeting, then you can create content that they will enjoy.

Determine Your Message

Now that you know your goals and your audience, you can work on crafting your message. You may want to focus on showcasing your employees and behind-the-scenes posts of your business. Or you may want to focus on showcasing your products. You may want to share posts about your city or local attractions. Or you may want to include posts of your customers. User generated content (UGC) may be highly effective for you. You may even want to find a way to incorporate many of these types of posts. Find the message and the content that works for you and your audience.

Instagram is still a largely photo based site, even though they introduced video last year. For some, videos may be a big advantage when sharing their message. Determine if video is valuable to you and your message. Either way, continue to create high-quality photo posts.

It’s also important to know how you will use the captions on your posts. Captions give you a place to add additional content to your posts. You can describe the post, ask questions, include hashtags, and find creative ways to craft your message directly to your audience.

Take Advantage of Hashtags

Know which hashtags are popular and relevant to your industry and niche. If you have custom hashtags for your business, include them in your Instagram strategy. Determine how many hashtags and which hashtags you will use on your posts. I recommend using 3-7 relevant hashtags on each post.

Choose a Posting Schedule

It’s important that you post on a regular schedule. Whether you post once a week or four times a day, consistency and an active account are requirements of a successful Instagram strategy. If people visit your account and find that you aren’t actively posting, they are unlikely to follow you.

The more frequently you post, the more likely you are to receive higher levels of engagement on your posts. However, you should avoid posting too many posts too close together. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with repetitive posts in their feeds. Instead, space out multiple posts by at least an hour or more.

Know How You Will Engage

When people comment on your posts, know how you will respond and who will respond. If you have multiple people managing the account, have a set standard for the tone and language you will use in responses. If you’re asking questions, be prepared to respond to their answers. If they ask you questions, be prepared to answer them.

Utilize social listening and pay attention to what others are doing on Instagram. Then use this information to respond to your audience and craft ways to engage with them authentically.


Take these tips to carefully craft an Instagram strategy for your business. The more prepared you are to use the platform and connect with your audience, the faster you will see results.

The following two tabs change content below.
Jenn Herman is a social media strategist and Instagram advocate who writes a blog focused on understanding trends in social media management. She provides tips, resources, and training for small to medium sized businesses that need to structure their social media strategies for success. Her business background includes Administration, Sales, Human Resources, and Marketing. If you would like to learn more about how to use Instagram, you can download "The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Instagram" here.