Instagram may have initially had a very strong teenage following, but it has grown into so much more than that. Businesses are now using Instagram as a way to get the word out about what they are doing. It is a very visual platform that can have a tremendous impact.

When you initially think about social media, Twitter and Facebook most likely come to mind. But, a study looking at user interactions with brand posts found that Instagram delivered the best results. It significantly outperformed both Facebook and Twitter; for example, per follower, Instagram had 58 times more engagement than Facebook.

A number of business owners have Instagram accounts. However, a significant portion of those do not use the social media platform the way it should be used.

If you want to gain more followers and encourage them to interact with your account, these six tips can help you.

1. Get More Followers

Spend some time on Instagram locating profiles that “speak” to you. You can tell a lot about an account by the hashtags they include, as well as the pictures they put up. Find people that you think would like what you are doing. The first step is to follow them. However, you don’t just want to leave it at that. Start to engage with their account. When they post a picture that you find interesting, make sure you “like” it. Leave periodic comments when you have something to say. Make sure that you don’t post anything generic, though. Craft a well thought out message, keep it short and to the point, and publish it.

If you are having trouble figuring out good hashtags to use for your own pictures, head over to ritetag.com or hashtagify.me and see if they can help you.

2. Complete Your Bio

You want your Instagram account to inspire people to check out your website and then hopefully buy something from you. Therefore, when you are completing your Instagram bio, make sure you put your website address in the description. Anyone that takes a look at the bio should be able to click on it and head over to your website.

Also, keep in mind that you can’t put a clickable link in the descriptions of your pictures. Therefore, you can always direct people to take a look at your bio and click on your website link instead. It’s as easy as saying, “I have a great sale going for the next few days; follow the link in my bio to find out more!”

3. Your Profile Picture Should Represent Your Business

Does your business have a logo? Use that for your profile picture. If you don’t have a logo, consider using a headshot of yourself. Don’t put up random images, like a tree or a butterfly. You want to have a photo up there that relates to your business in some way. This will help others figure out what you are all about.

4. Put Up Videos

Videos are very popular on Instagram! You can post a video, but it must be short (15 seconds total). Even though that does not seem like a very long time, there are a lot of ways you can utilize videos to get engagement. For example, PicPlayPost lets you mix video with pictures. Get creative and see what happens!

5. Don’t Be Afraid Of Text

Obviously, pictures are at the heart of Instagram. However, text overlays can help you let others know what your picture is all about and why you posted it. Both the PicLab and Moldiv apps allow you to use text overlay fairly easily.

6. Get Verified

Want to get trust from the people viewing your account so they know you are exactly who you are, well then get verified on social media. You can do it yourself but it’s hard, or use a service to gain the tick.  If you decide to Instagram verify your account this makes your account officially yours and means there are no imitators allowed.

7. Let Your Followers Win Something

If you want to get more followers or get more interaction, run a contest. For example, everyone that uses a certain hashtag (one that links to your brand) gets an entry. They get an extra entry if they tag a friend. For a good prize, people are willing to do just about anything!

Instagram is only getting more popular as time goes on. If you own a business, you need to take advantage of everything this social media platform has to offer. Use the tips included here to help yourself move forward.