You may only think of Instagram as a place to edit and share snapshots of your fancy vegan lunch or your adorable new kitten, but the photo-sharing app can be highly useful when it comes to building your business's brand.
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"Social media, not only Instagram, is an incredible platform for people to use to drive more interest to their business," said Kayla Itsine, an international certified personal trainer and founder of The Bikini Body Training Co.
And with over 790,000 fans, Itsine knows a thing or two about successful Instagram branding.
When it comes to building up your following, Itsine said that having good content is the most important factor. While paid traffic is a useful way to gain traction and drive more interest to your pages, she said that at the end of the day, word-of-mouth is the most beneficial. [5 Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website]
"If you want to have more people inviting their friends to your page, you have to have something that's worth sharing or talking about," Itsine said.
Since content is king on social media, businesses looking to market on Instagram in particular should make sure that their posts are relevant and eye-catching with high-quality photos and videos.
Itsine's most important tip for Instagram success, however, isn't about what hashtags or filters and photo effects to use. It's even more straightforward: don't lie.
"If you don't know something well, do not talk about it. If you can't prove it, don't say it. There is nothing people hate more than someone who lies," Itsine said. "Social media is just like the rest of your life relationships. People want you to be real, honest and address issues we all have on a day-to-day basis."
Instagram is a fairly simple social network to use, because unlike other social networks such as Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, where text is the focus and no form of multimedia is off-limits, you're limited to only posting photos or videos (15 seconds or less) with captions. For this reason, maintaining an active Instagram presence may seem almost effortless. However, Insta-fame doesn't come without issues.
"The biggest challenge would be trying to help everyone. Obviously, the more interest and followers you gain, the more unique problems and questions you receive. As much as I would like to respond to each and every question, it's impossible because of the high traffic nature of my feed," Itsine said.
For businesses looking to grow their Instagram pages, just remember: it's all about quality. Great content, honesty and a personable, likable brand voice are all you really need for Insta-success.
Originally published on Business News Daily.