The statistics are staggering – 60% of online adults have an IG account (that’s Instragram for those not up on their social media vocab). And nearly ⅔ of Americans use IG on the daily. While not necessarily the ideal playground for every business, it’s easy to see what would make playing on #’s and IGTV so inviting.

The downside with so much traffic? It’s easy to get lost in the social media world, when everyone is SHOUTING for your audience’s attention. It’s estimated that by the end of the year, ¾ of US businesses will be on IG. And 2 MILLION businesses are monthly advertisers, meaning you’re fighting a bit of an uphill battle to be seen. But with such a big pie, even a small slice can be more than enough to make any entrepreneur jumping for joy with the flood of new connections, followers, and clients.

The trick for any business on IG is maximizing your effort. If you’re going to hustle on IG, here are the best tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting the most out of your work.Have a business page – and create an inviting bio. SO important. It should be short and sweet, but eye-catching. Tell more of your story by using emojis. It should give a glimpse of who your business is, what it does, and what it stands for. Need an example? Wendy’s bio: “📸🍔 🔥” That’s it. Short, sweet, no confusion. Apple’s bio: “Everyone has a story to tell. Tag #ShotoniPhone to take part.”

Mix up your content. Post different types of content – shares, new images, branded images. Show pics of your different products. Use different camera angles and filters. Test out each new IG beta they let you. But beware going off-brand. If you are a serious brand – stay serious. Silly brands – don’t take yourself too seriously.

PICTURE IS KING. You can write all you want for a caption but IG is set up for easy speed-scrolling. You need a quick image that SCREAMS your brand AND is interesting to make them stop scrolling. Without seeing who is posting the image, they should know it’s you because it feels like you. Original content is the ideal – IG users don’t want to see the same post shared 8 times. They want to see you. Using similar graphics, including your logo on your images as a watermark, keeping within a certain color scheme – all of these will help keep your images feeling like you, but with changing content.

ABCTA: Always be Calling To Action. Beautiful images are great, but your followers need to know what to DO ABOUT IT. A call to action should be included with EVERY. SINGLE. POST. Call now. Click here. Download here. Join today. Click for more details. Follow us. Schedule your appointment. Take our…all of these are great CTAs. Catching your followers’ eye won’t get you anywhere if they don’t know how to engage with you!

Use those #s and geotags! Geotags are especially good for brick-and-mortar businesses! Highlight where you are, where you’re headed, and even tag who you’re seeing to gain additional attention from browsers. When it comes to hashtags (#), look for ones that have thousands of uses or up to the low-millions…massive numbers of other similar hashtags may get you buried, but you also don’t want too few or it’s not a valuable use of your # limit. Also, consider creating your own # for people to use when they post about you or your products.

IG Stories are the stories for you! Not sure if your content is the best, but want to test it out? Want to offer a short-term giveaway (you know – like for only 24 hours…hint, hint). Use IG Stories! These images last only 24 hours for your followers to see. These can even be short videos, so be sure you have SOUND to enhance the experience for your followers!

Build your calendar. That’s right – you can BUILD your content ahead of time and have it plan to roll out exactly when you want it to. This allows you to not have to be active to post it at every second of every day (or however often you prefer to post). Creator Studio – the free app within Facebook business pages – allows you to sync up your Facebook page and IG page – and even cross-post the content to both places. You can also use paid services like Hootsuite and Gain to help you visualize the posts you schedule. Pro tip: respond to everyone who comments – even if it’s just as a thank you! This will make your followers feel appreciated and more likely to like you and/or your brand, and want to work with you.

If all else fails, bring in a professional. Most business owners didn’t start a business because they LOVE social media (present company excluded, of course!). For a lot of entrepreneurs, social media is boring – or worse, intimidating and overwhelming. If you’re one of those entrepreneurs, consider either hiring someone to help you figure out a system that will work for you to create content and build your social reach OR even to do it for you. There’s nothing worse than spending time on something related to your business that you HATE. And taking this one task off your plate can give you more time to do what you love, like serving your clients!

That’s it! 8 steps to up your IG game. If you’re loving the idea of #8 – reach out for a with Flamingo Consulting LLC for a FREE Discovery Session!