Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app that is available on Android, Apple iOS, and Windows phones. Because of its focus on the visual aspect of merchandising, it is a perfect platform for selling products using aesthetic appeal and imagery. If you already have a business website and are currently using other social media platforms to connect with potential consumers, you may find that your personal friends and followers can view, comment, and like your Instagram posts related to your business, allowing you to make the transition to yet another platform that will generate greater online traffic and boost your overall profit.

Instagram is a social network like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, but it also has some unique features. You can use the following quick tips and suggestions to learn more about Instagram and what it can do to help build your business.

Use those Instagram hashtags to your advantage. The easiest way to get started with Instagram for your business is to use hashtags that are unique to your brand. You may decide to include the business name, brand, or slogan, or even come up with a simple tagline that shows what separates your product from others like it. Remember that you are looking for words or phrases that will capture the attention of Instagram users and make them curious about your business. Hashtags filter posts, so find a hashtag that is unique and memorable enough to filter posts about your store or product.

Instagram hashtags can be used to complement photos of your products and help followers discover new accounts. As a rule, hashtags can generate business followers, but only if they show up in the right searches, so be sure to use only relevant keywords, phrases, or photos that will bring not only new customers but the right customers to your business.

Some hashtags were created specifically for Instagram photo challenges, like those that encourage users to post retro photos, so if you’re looking to generate a great deal of traffic in a short amount of time, you may want to add your hashtag to one of these. When using the hashtag, be sure to add it to your Facebook posts, Twitter Tweets, or at the end of your blog as well. Never throw a hashtag out to consumers without contextualizing it in some way. Unlike Twitter which allows for only two hashtags, Instagram will allow up to 30.

Install an Instagram sales app. Many smart apps have partnered with Instagram to make selling easier for ecommerce entrepreneurs. Some apps help a business sell the items featured on their Instagram feed through bios and posts. Others help businesses generate breathtaking visuals as part of your content creation. Others use auto-generated emails that contain associated product link or create slideshows for use on your business site. There are also apps that help you generate relevant hashtags for promotions or quickly and easily repost reviews of loyal consumers. Many Instagram apps designed for use by online stores to automate work, gain popularity, or convert followers into customers are free or inexpensive, so they are definitely worth researching and considering.

Invest in tools to manage your Instagram account. There are also Instagram tools that help you grow your Instagram following with a fully managed service. Close monitoring of your Instagram account and the accounts of followers will allow you to connect with others who are sharing content that will be an asset to your growing business. Signing up is easy, and it will allow you to use hashtags, locations, and usernames to target potential consumers in just about any industry to grow your business with real followers and potential consumers.

Generate content through social proof. Whenever possible, use the influence of others to help market your product and generate interesting content. You can use through testimonials provided your followers, reviews of your videos, or photos of your product in use to show others the value of your product and inspire loyalty and confidence in your customers. For most ecommerce businesses, there is real value in capitalizing on the opinions and interest of others to sway potential new customers. Link your other social media platforms and connect with these using hashtags. You may also want to use Instagram ads that are available for all users by doing some quick research on the sponsored posts that appear in your newsfeed. Remember that selling on Instagram is not like selling on other social networks. Instagram is a real-time, visual network that requires you to lead your sales with clear, eye-catching images of your product. Avoid distracting lighting issues and make sure your photos are easy to identify.

If you have been successful at building a business and generating sales using Instagram, what suggestions do you have? Feel free to share here.

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