Social media can be one of the most effective marketing tools out there, and Instagram is one of the most widely-used platforms for many brands. With well over 100 million daily users, Instagram has the potential to reach a wide and diverse audience. While there are plenty of ways to highlight your brand on Instagram through paid methods, these completely free options can also be a savvy place to start.

Post Regularly

Consistency is key when it comes to highlighting your brand on Instagram. The average business posts between once and twice daily, which is the sweet spot for consistent viewing without overwhelming followers. Rather than posting several less-than-perfect posts daily, stick with one great shot and caption.

Create a Brand Specific Hashtag

Any business can create their own hashtag to gather together related posts for easy viewing. A hashtag can bring together a community of Instagram users, and it can be a fantastic marketing tool for businesses aiming to boost their brand on Instagram. Be sure to use a hashtag that is relatively short as well as one that has not been used by another company or trend, which could render yours ineffective. Use your hashtag often, and ask followers to use it as well when discussing your brand.

Repost the Photos of Your Customers

Once you have a custom hashtag in place, repost fan pictures that support the image of your brand. For example, someone who has used your #businesshashtag and posted a photo of your products in action can be a hugely effective marketing tool. Repost the photo and caption, giving credit to the original creator of the post. This rewards loyal customers and hashtag users, and it can also help you spread your brand recognition across the social media platform.

Utilize Trending Hashtags

In addition to your custom brand hashtags, using trending hashtags can get more eyes on each of your posts. Take a look at some of the most popular hashtags out there, which might include #love, #instagood or #follow. However, be sure to use only those trending hashtags that reflect your brand and the demographic you’re pursuing. Using an awkward hashtag that clearly doesn’t connect to your brand might increase eyes on a specific post, but it will feel more like advertising and less like a genuine connection with followers.

Don’t Forget the Emojis

A great Instagram post consists of two key components: the photo itself and the caption. Captions can be inspirational or funny, but they can almost always be improved by the use of an emoji. These small pictures can add a spirit of whimsy and youthfulness to your brand on Instagram. However, I suggest you use them sparingly and only when appropriate.

Like and Interact With Users Who Mention You

Instagram is not a one-sided platform: To utilize it successfully, I recommend that you interact as much as possible with users who like and mention you. Search related hashtags to see those users who appreciate your products, and like these posts. You can even leave brief, positive comments on photos that are relevant and in line with your brand. Instagram is often reciprocal, so likes and comments beget likes and comments on your own posts.

One key element of a digital marketing campaign is Instagram. Through interaction, emojis, hashtags, consistency and the use of customer or user photos, you can get your brand noticed on Instagram more effectively.