How to Use Instagram for Your Business
Social media platforms are great tools for businesses to engage with their customers. Maintaining an engaged audience on social media helps to foster a sense of brand loyalty among your best customers and encourages them to share positive stories about your business or brand.
One of the fastest growing platforms is Instagram. The platform has just reached 1 billion users worldwide, which provides an amazing opportunity to get your content directly in front of your target consumers.
Using Instagram professionally will also help your business generate:
Awareness: Posting regularly will increase your followers’ awareness of products or services provided
Loyalty: Engaging and conversing with users on the platform will create a sense of loyalty
Conversions: Driving consumers to view content on other platforms (ie. promoting a new blog post) will keep consumers connected with your brand or business
Using Instagram for business does differ from running your personal account! Making sure that consumers not only visit your profile, but also decide to follow and ultimately engage with your content is essential to running a successful business Instagram.
Here are a few tips to get consumers to engage with your brand as soon as they view your profile:
Make your bio informative and interactive: In 150 characters or less, make sure that your audience knows exactly who you are and what you do. Keep it short and fun, so that your audience is intrigued and wants to continue engaging with you. Your bio is also a great space to continually update with promotions or seasonal events!
Make sure your profile image is on brand: Use your logo or a branded company image to make sure your branding stays consistent with your other digital properties
Make sure your profile link is relevant: Businesses can include one link in their bio. Choose a link to either your homepage or a different page on your website that will your Instagram posts will drive traffic to.
Follow accounts that are relevant to you: Follow clients, partners, influencers within your field, inspiring brands, and competitors. This allows you to keep up with others in your industry and note what works. This is also an opportunity to see how often others in the industry are posting and how to effectively engage with consumers in the area.
Come up with a list of goals for your Instagram: Your goal could be to increase your follower count, increase brand awareness, generate engagement, or drive traffic to your website. Make sure your goals are measurable and attainable, so that you can set benchmarks for your business to reach and compare against.
Create a content strategy for your business: Decide exactly what you want to post on the platform. This will differ depending on what kind of business you are running. Post types could be inspirational (quotes, goals, key influencers), company culture (office stories, employee spotlights, behind the scenes posts), product posts, event posts and promotion, and trend posts (national holidays, incorporating trends into your business). Your business can choose more than one type of post, but make sure that your branding and language in the posts are consistent with your overall brand image.
Build your visual style: Your brand usually has its own style, whether its personal, professional, or a mix of both. One way to ensure your branding is consistent on your feed is to choose one specific filter or color that would be featured in all of your posts. This display can be obvious or subtle, depending on what your brand culture is like. Using apps like VSCO, ProCamera, and Canva can keep your brand image consistent and aesthetically pleasing.
Make your captions engaging: Use your captions as a way to engage users on a more personal level. Captions can be relevant quotes, descriptions of the pictures, or emojis to get your users involved. You can also tag influencers in your captions or posts to get a larger reach. Do not overdo it with hashtags or emojis, however. Use 1-2 hashtags and 0-3 emojis on your posts, depending on the type and vibe of the post.
Post at the right time: The best times to post business content are 8am or 5pm, when people are getting ready for work or leaving work. Avoid posting between 3 and 4 pm, as people are winding down their work days. Posting content during off-work hours ensures the largest reach. However, keep in mind that with the recent algorithm update, Instagram favors post with high levels of engagement. Asking your followers to answer a question in the comments is an easy way to encourage your followers to engage with your post.
Need help starting your Instagram strategy? Contact us today to get started!