Social networking marketing has a brand new king--Instagram. With over 400 million consumers and a speed of engagement trumping that of both Facebook and Twitter, it is not in any way hard to understand why. If you've seen your FB newsfeed recently, it is likely that you're bombarded with so much sound that you forgot why you started Facebook in the first place. However, as a result of Instagram's easy-to-use, single goal stage, users can get what they're looking for with just a couple of taps. There's also less competition among marketers on Instagram compared to Facebook. And, users are willing to pay more. Shopify puts the average order value of an Instagram follower at $65, compared to Facebook's $55.

So, there's an opportunity for your brand on Instagram, but how can you start building a next?

We've got seven tips on ways to start building your new presence and receive more Instagram followers.

1. Invite Friends and Family

You need people to know that you're currently on Instagram, so get the word out! When you first sign up, you'll be given the option to follow and discuss your recently created account with your phone contacts and Facebook friends. You also need to be boosting your Instagram accounts on your other social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter. Insert the Instagram Follow Button into Your Site. And let your newsletter subscribers know with a fast email blast.

Don't forget, though; it's not only about telling folks that you are now on Instagram, it's all about giving them a reason to want to follow you around Instagram (more on that with suggestion 2).

2. Define Your Objective

After creating your account, you must define your goal for your followers. You should specify who you are and what you do. Think through who you are targeting with your societal media strategy on Instagram when generating your brand page. It's ok to be playful and creative in your description, especially if it makes sense for the audience. GoPro's Instagram shows off a creative, yet informative bio. "We create the World's Most Versatile Camera. Wear it. Mount it. Enjoy it." In addition to your bio, you can also include one link. This is an important piece of property, so think through where you want your audience to go.

Consider what unique images or short videos your brand can offer to entice Instagram followers. Maybe you need to feature your merchandise as Warby Parker does. Maybe you want to provide a "behind the scenes" experience, such as American Express. Or feature videos and images that highlight the principles your brand stands for, like Lululemon.

Whatever you select, if you're able to articulate what your account is all about, the better chance you'll have of getting more Instagram followers.

3. Be Social

Much like Twitter, Instagram utilizes hashtags for search and organization purposes. Contrary to Twitter, you can use around 30 different hashtags. Look for trending hashtags by using sites like Top-Hashtags and join in conversations happening on Instagram. This will allow you to acquire new eyes on your own Instagram account.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that social media is not a soapbox. You should be certain that you interact with your audience by liking and commenting on other people's movies and pictures. Did someone post a picture of your merchandise? Reach out--just like or comment on that post. Also, don't neglect to track and like brand mentions. And keep in mind, the human link must always be at the heart of any social media strategy.

4. Collaborate with Influencers

Collaborating with other Instagram influencers on your business can be a compelling way to promote your brand. For instance, Cathay Airlines teamed up with traveling blogger Jessica Stein for a campaign called #lifewelltraveled. You don't always have to pair up with somebody in your business. Bonobos sought out advertising from a comedic personality to gain more Instagram followers for their brand.

When you reach out to an Instagram influencer, you'll want to consider what you can provide them. Some ideas include offline vulnerability, a product sample or free merchandise. Until you ask them to do anything to you. As for finding influencers, you will want to search for popular users on Instagram.

5. Encourage Engagement

Entice users to trace your brand on Instagram by hosting a task that promotes engagement, like a photograph contest. Lancome's #bareselfie campaign is a fantastic example. They created a particular hashtag and image criteria for the contest: post a picture of yourself wearing no makeup. The contest was a hit with a ton of involvement during the campaign.

CLIF Bar is another firm that used a photo sharing campaign to boost engagement among its neighborhood.

6. Test Your Articles

Not all pictures or videos will garner engagement. Sometimes it has to do with the time of day or even the day of the week you are posting. Other times, it has to do with the real content of the posts, the hashtags, place tags, and description text. You should consistently be analyzing which articles work best for the audience and what times and days will post garner the maximum involvement with your Instagram followers.

According to Kissmetrics, pictures get more involvement than videos. Buffer urges posting at least once every day. However, accounts which are growing are posting many times every day. And Hootsuite recommends consistency along with your posting. If you set a posting schedule, stick to it.

Test out different days and times to determine if this impacts your participation rate. You could realize that tagging another location will get you exposure to a different audience. Whatever you do, do not be scared of trying out a post over once, experimenting with a particular factor--especially if it flops the first time.

To measure and keep track of your participation rate (the number of likes and opinions divided by your followers) on each of your articles try an analytics tool such as Iconosquare.

7. Pay to Market Your Articles

As with all social websites, there is always a paid advertising route you can take to gain exposure for your brand--and Instagram (particularly post-Facebook acquisition) is no different. By running sponsored ads, you are guaranteeing that individuals will see your posts--and if they enjoy what they see, odds are they'll follow you. Furthermore, a huge benefit to boosting your posts on Instagram is the ability to go after your brand's perfect target market.

You'll need to make sure you put some thought into defining the ideal audience to aim to ensure that it's money well spent.

Instagram is an increasingly common platform with enormous potential for brands. It's visual, single-purpose use enables your brand to convey a personality. Furthermore, it allows you to attract new clients and to connect with brand fans due to the high levels of engagement. Like with launching a brand new profile on any other social media channel, it is hard work to get it up and running. However, if performed successfully, it will be worth your time.

Published by Umar Bajwa