If you are already taking steps to improve your presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you’re on the right path. Though Instagram isn’t as popular as these platforms, it does have a huge audience, and it’s growing faster than any other platform. Here are five tips for stepping up your Instagram game and making this social platform work for you and your brand.

Stay on Brand

Your brand has likely has an aesthetic theme – something that makes it different from all the other brands in your industry or niche. The best thing you can do to maintain a positive Instagram presence is create a theme and stick to it. Theming your profile makes your brand more visible, and this theme might consist of visual components like fonts, colors, and even patterns. Next, choose consistency in all your Instagram posts once you’ve chosen the look that suits your company best.

Go Beyond Photos

Instagram is a place for photographs, and even though these tend to dominate most feeds, there’s so much more you can do. For example, you can create Instagram Stories that people can scroll to see a timeline you choose. You can also record video to share with your audience; recently, people have begun to rely on videos as quick sources of information. There’s also Boomerang, which is an app allowing you to create mini videos in a loop that you can share with your audience.

Engage with Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to social media is simply posting your photos, videos, and updates and failing to actually engage with your audience as they engage with you. Everyone posting on Instagram uses relevant hashtags so others can find their posts, and you can benefit from doing the same. Tag your location, too, so locals can find you. Be sure that you like and comment on your followers’ posts, and respond to their comments on your own. People today appreciate companies that go out of their way to engage with them.

Leverage Influencers

If you want to make a name for yourself on Instagram, you’ll need to leverage some influencers who can make that happen. There are some choices to make here. Who are the right influencers, and how should you go about getting their help? Influencer marketing is vital to your success, so be sure you take the time to do your research. Who does your audience like most, and why? How do you reach out to those influencers? What can you offer in return?

Promote Others

Part of being able to leverage Instagram influencers involves promoting these influencers to a degree. By using shout-outs for your fellow businesses, you can create positive social media relationships. You can choose unpaid or paid shout-outs, and this depends on the size of your business. For example, if you’re still growing, you might shout out a company the same size as yours in exchange for them shouting yours at the same time. Both companies can reach new people this way. Those with larger budgets can pay others – including brands and influencers – to simply mention them on Instagram.

As you can see, there are many unique ways to make Instagram work for your needs. Create a theme to start, and while you should post photos, your Instagram posts should consist of much more. Be sure that you’re engaging with your audience, and work with influencers and other companies in your niche to help grow your brand. In time, you’ll be able to grow your following substantially.