In September of 2015, Instagram passed the 400 million user mark.

Each day, over 80 million photos are shared, and 3.5 billion “likes” are given. If you have a product, service, or company that you’re trying to market and you aren’t already using Instagram, you’re missing out on a massive market that is glued to their screens for hours a day, and one that shows no signs of stopping as it continues to rise as one of the most popular social media outlets on the web.

Breaking into any new social media market is intimidating. You’ve got to learn the ins-and-outs of the app, gain followers, and build your company’s presence. But Instagram is simple. Posts consists of just a photo and a description that you’ll want to tack a few hashtags onto. You “follow” other users, and hope that they’ll “follow” you back. You can like other’s photos and gain likes yourself.

Many of us are already using the app from a personal account, so launching an account for your company may seem like a breeze. But there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind when jumping from a personal to a professional account. These five tips are even more important for those new to Instagram. Either way, learning how to successfully market though this fun and popular app can lead to big gains and lots of screen time for companies of all shapes and sizes.

1. Know Your Audience

It’s important to note that a stunning 90% of all Instagram users are younger than 35. Keep this in mind when choosing your photos and writing your descriptions. Even if your company has a lot of customers over the age of 35, you’ll likely be wasting your time if you try to reach them via Instagram. Instead, focus on a younger target audience, and use other social media apps or marketing tactics to target older users.

2. Pay Attention to What’s Popular

Posting photos of this and that might gain you a couple likes, but it isn’t going to lead to a bunch of attention or followers. You need to pay attention to what’s trending, and particularly, to what hashtags are getting a lot of use in the moment.

A simple Google search for popular Instagram hashtags will help to lead you in the right direction. Pick a few, and try to find ways to relate them back to your company. Sometimes this will take a little creativity. If you run a travel company, but “#healthy” or “#fitness” is trending, try choosing a photo of a resort that you recommend to guests that offers fitness classes or healthy dining options. If you sell clothing, but find that #summer is big at the moment, post some photos of throwback summer looks from previous years or give your followers a sneak peek of upcoming outfits.

3. Never Forget Your Hashtags

A photo posted without a hashtag is only ever going to reach people that are already following your account. Since it’s important to constantly think about gaining followers and getting your company out there, forgetting a hashtag means that your post isn’t reaching its full potential.

4. Perfect Your Photos

Instagram is an almost completely visual experience. While descriptions and hashtags help to guide viewers towards your company and describe to them what they are seeing, your photos will be doing most of the talking for you. Which means that your photos need to be great. When you start snapping pics, try playing with different lighting, or rearrange the items you’re photographing in new and interesting ways. Once that photo is snapped, scroll through all of the filters to find the one that best compliments your photo. Great photos will not only keep your followers interested, but they’ll also help you to gain new followers too.

5. Consider Integrating Instagram Content with Your Website

You’ve likely seen a website that has Instagram pictures posted by happy customers using the product or enjoying the service. Integrating this strategy into your own website will allow visitors to your site to see how happy other customers are. Plus, you aren’t the one adding the photos, so the work is being done for you once you integrate this feature.

If you wish to learn more about Instagram marketing or ways to enhance your marketing? Contact me at Lyndsi@eLuminateMarketing.com.