Wondering if it’s worth the time and effort to build a business account on Instagram? According to cision.com, Instagram gets 4.21 percent engagement per post compared to .07 percent for Facebook. It’s also the fastest growing among the larger social media platforms.

That is because a picture has always been worth a thousand words – who doesn’t love a good story told almost exclusively with pictures?

But one of the problems for businesses – and their PR people, Instagram continues to limit access to paid advertising on their site.  Yet, here’s a few ways to help build your business on Instagram now with a strong strategy, targeting of the right influencers and a few other tricks we provide below.

Hashtags

You already know about them. You should know that IG allows around 30 per post and that you can delete them from the post and put new ones in immediately one time. But you can also put new ones in several days later to refresh your post. However, don’t use all 30. Stick with about 3-5 at most per time.

So, what hashtags should you use? You can go to the explore page and find what hashtags get the most action. But here’s the thing – you want to make sure the ones you use have a solid connection to your business or the photo, and you don’t necessarily want ones that are close to the top of the popularity list.

Those at or near the top are used so extensively your picture is going to cycle out of view for those searching within only a second or two – shifting down to maybe photo number 200 or so just that fast. So using the slightly less popular hashtags search results in the low millions should keep your post in the frame longer and still get you a lot of views.

Theme

Your IG theme should be easily tied to your brand and what makes your business stand out from the rest. And the pictures on your IG account should tie easily to that theme. But as you consider the theme, also consider the eight pictures that precede the one you will be adding. Remember in most cases people see nine pictures at a time on IG. Make sure the pictures are both attention-grabbing and stunning in their own right, but they should also form an equally stunning grouping – all promoting your theme.

It helps to crop all your photos in the same way and use the same filters – or use other ideas that imply commonality. If you own a floral design company, you might show single arrangements using one color. Then each picture shows flowers gradually working their way through the colors of the rainbow. Even better, your Instagram account and business name is something like Rainbow Flowers or Colors of the Rainbow.

Quality Photos

Did you know that your cell phone camera usually takes pictures in two quality levels? If you use the version most of us use for selfies, allowing you to see yourself as you take the picture, it’s a regular resolution. If you use the outward facing lens, it’s a deeper resolution, less grainy and should translate better on Instagram. It may take a few more tries to get the perfect shot, but it’s all digital and doesn’t cost anything extra to take extra photos.

A few extra tidbits

If you are wondering how to do any of the unique formatting for your bio, message, or responses, do it in Word and then copy and paste it. Though IG used to be only accessible through your smartphone, you can do it all on computer now too at Instagram.com.

Finally, don’t forget this is still a social media platform, that means it’s not just about advertising your product or service, it’s also about building an interactive group. Follow your followers back, comment on their posts, heart their posts, and respond if they make a comment on your posts. Not just verbally either. If they make a suggestion, treat it seriously and consider how you could add it to a future post – and when you do, show appreciation by including their account in your comments.