Is your small business on Instagram? If not, it's time to start. Over 100 Fortune 500 companies and countless small businesses have begun marketing on the photosharing app, and doing so is very easy. All it takes is a smartphone and a little creativity.

The most important thing to consider when marketing on Instagram is gaining followers. There are several ways to do this, and for the most part they involve finding and occupying the niche that most suits your company. Search for hashtags related to your business under the "Explore" tab to find other users who are already engaged in your niche. Follow users who post content related to yours and people who like that content. In time, this will lead interested users to your page and increase your user engagement. Be sure not to follow too many people in one day, between 30 to 50 users.

In order to keep these users interested, it's a good rule to post often, but no more than once or twice a day. The objective is  to keep users engaged, but not overexposed. The pictures you post should rarely be "call-to-action"- style posts. Instead, use your account as a window into the lifestyle you're selling. If you're a dentist, you'll want to show a friendly, personable atmosphere. Highlight members of your staff, take pictures with satisfied patients, or post teeth jokes. When people feel personally connected to a brand, they'll be more likely to follow  and "like" you.

As far as the pictures themselves go, feel free to get as creative as you want with your editing. The three filters most effective at attracting interactions are Mayfair, normal or #nofilter, and Inkwell. Videos on Instagram are almost as effective as pictures, and the same rules apply to them. As well, it's important to hashtag your captions. There is a very strong correlation between the number of hashtags used to the number of interactions on your page. Be sure to hashtag words relevant to your business, such as for dentists: #dentist #teeth #toothbrush etc.

These are only a few basic tips for getting your own Instagram account up and running. Above all else, remember to be likeable!

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