When it comes to social media, most business owners tend to have a fairly firm grasp on how to handle Facebook and Twitter, but Instagram still appears to challenge many small businesses.

With Instagram gaining one new user every second it is no doubt that it can be advantageous for your business to be on this social networking platform.

As a result I have put together a list of 8 things you can and should do to effectively promote your brand on Instagram:

1. Fill in all the sections on your profile: This is the best place to leave a first impression – the place to showcase who you are and what you do. Make sure you fill in all the sections on your profile. Also, leave a link to your Facebook page, twitter page or website. Your prospects want to check out your various profiles to find out more about your services/products . Don’t give them a dead end. This may also lead to more followers on your other platforms too.

2. Find your customers: Search for people already talking about your business or your field. Find people in your location (#London) or people that share your interest (#cupcakes). These are the people who will potentially buy from you. Find them, follow them and show them why you are awesome.

3. Show off your products: Everyone loves to browse all types of products, so let your followers do some window-shopping! Show off  your latest collection by posting beautifully edited pictures, share a photo of a new or lesser-known product or zoom in on a miscellaneous product and asking them to guess what the product is.

4. Be consistent but not spammy: post frequently, but do not bombard your followers with thousands of pictures! Consistency keeps your followers engaged. Depending on the type of business you run, 2-3 posts a day is a good limit! If you have quality material, share it…just spread it out!

shutterstock_1469421115. Be engaging: Tag people, talk to them, check in to other businesses, use your location, add some hashtags. Adding layers to your posts gives people a better feel for who you are and spreads a little Instagram love!

6. Introduce your employees: Humanize your brand by using Instagram to introduce your fans to the people who make your company what it is. It’s a great way to show your brand personality. So go ahead, take some pictures of the team, when they are hard at work or having a sociable evening out!

7. Take them with you: Are you soon going to a trade-show or sponsoring an event? Use that as an opportunity to take your Instagram followers with you wherever you’re going. Take pictures of you setting up and interacting with prospects! Make sure you add a fresh spin on the story, otherwise you risk being plain boring!

8. Be unique: Be fun and show off your personality! Instagram is not only for posting pictures of food and cats. You can document YOUR work, show off YOUR quirky moments, and tell YOUR filter-filled story

 Instagram can be beneficial to your business if you integrate it as part of your social media marketing strategy. In  How to Generate Leads from Social Media E-guide  you can learn how to create a social media marketing strategy that actively drives leads and sales.