Instagram isn’t just for personal use. When used well it can be a powerful platform for businesses. Especially useful if what you do is visual – however, Instagram has a place for most companies. If you’re worried about using it, we’ve put together the most important tips for ensuring that your business benefits from Instagram.
Be creative in showing what you do
By not focusing on the product too much and giving more emphasis to the solution that you provide you won’t leave your followers feeling bombarded by posts that are too specific. The posts you publish need to be visually attractive, that’s what Instagram is all about. Your visual content is valuable where your Instagram posts are concerned so spend time editing your photos. To keep your feed looking smooth and uniform, it’s a good idea to use the same filter for each post. Use your feed as a way of showing your company’s culture and mission. Vary your posts so that you can show off the personality of your brand.
Use Instagram stories to your advantage
Instagram stories give you the opportunity to show snippets of information to your followers. They don’t need to be as high quality as published posts as they only last for 24 hours. However, they are particularly useful for content such as behind the scenes photos/videos and sneak previews of products or new stores. You can tag other accounts in your stories, use hashtags and show your location – all of which make you more discoverable. Stickers, text and drawing tools make it possible to personalise your stories to show your followers that you are not just a company and that real people are behind your content. Stories now can be used to target audiences and are a great tool for doing so. If you are selling something such as handmade clothing, you could show snippets of the production of them. This shows your followers that you are authentic and honest about the production of your products. If you’re attending events that your followers will be interested in you can show them via stories – pictures, videos and live videos are tools which will show your followers what you’re up to.
Keep your bio relevant
Your bio is often the first thing people look at on your Instagram profile. Keep it up-to-date and change it regularly. The link shouldn’t just be used as a link to your website homepage – it’s easy for people to find that. Use it to send visitors to your promotions, products, event subscriptions, newsletters, blog posts etc. Whatever you want your followers to do, use that link space to send them there. Use the bio space to clearly, creatively and concisely tell visitors what your company does, how you do it and where you do it. You can use emojis in this space to make it look more appealing too.
Make sure you are a business page
By being set up as a business page you are able to use Instagram insights and list your address, website etc for potential customers to find. It also makes you look more established and like you know what you’re doing with your Instagram!
Make full use of hashtags
Expand your reach with hashtags. Explore Instagram and find industry specific ones and Instagram favourites too. Use a mixture of both in your posts to achieve maximum reach. Introduce a company hashtag and stick to it. You can use hashtags at the end of a caption or integrate them into it. Once you decide on a hash tagging style stick to it to keep your feed consistent.
The key to social media is pretty obvious, be social. On Instagram you can collaborate, comment on pictures and mention accounts. These could be other companies, they could be customers or they could be charities you work with. By doing this you are prompting them to do the same for you which increases your discoverability on Instagram and in turn increases your followers. You also show your followers the kind of brands you like to work with and the values that you share.
Reward loyalty and keep your followers interested
Share things with your Instagram followers that not everybody gets to see. This keeps them interested and lets them know that you value them. You could show sneak previews of new products, stores or offices through teaser photos or videos. A lot of companies give their Instagram followers exclusive offers and discount codes to use.
Analyze your content
Analyse your content – look at what does well and what doesn’t. You need to give your followers the content that they want to see. If not it’s very easy for them to unfollow your account. Look at the time you’re posting. Using Instagram stories you can even do a poll and ask your followers what sort of content they’d like to see more of. You can truly make Instagram what you want it to be. Used effectively it is a powerful tool for businesses.