How To Use Instagram For Business
Instagram Continues To Be #1 For Visual Content
Instagram has quickly become one of the top digital marketing platforms being used right now. There are over 8 million business profiles on Instagram and it’s steadily growing. Users are turning to Instagram to discover businesses, products, services and of course, to enjoy beautiful photographs.
Like most social media networks these days, Instagram is no longer just a place for people to connect with other people. Over 80% of Instagram users are following a business.
Why do you think this is?
Instagram is visual, it’s simplistic and it’s community driven.
Businesses can easily thrive on Instagram if you understand how to reach your Instagrammers.
Below are some tips on how your business can thrive on Instagram.
1. Be visual – Since Instagram is very much a visual platform, your brand needs to be compellingly visual in one way or another.
Here are some ideas:
a. Statistics – Showcase statistics with a beautiful graph, chart or other expressive way to get the users attention.
b. Helpful tips – Users love to be informed! Give them a helpful tip right there embedded in the image. You can be as simple or as simplistic as you want, but just make sure that the tip is truly going to be helpful for your audience. Many times a user might refer to your profile to reference that tip.
c. Beautiful imagery to showcase your products or services – Just like with any other social media platform you need to showcase your products and services in a unique way that is going to catch the users attention; Instagram is no different. Except with Instagram, people get in the habit of scrolling without engaging and you want your image to stop them in their tracks to engage with your photo in some way. Show your product or service in use and be creative about it.
2. Use hashtags – As Gary V. likes to say, hashtags are gold. Hashtags are used to get your brand noticed. Whenever you use a hashtag on a photo, it’s placed in a list of other similar photos. People browse that hashtag, they come across your photo and if they like it, they’ll engage. Until your brand gets noticed, you need to take advantage of the 30-hashtag limit that Instagram offers. Be sure to place them after your caption, within the description, not in the comments, as images seem to get seen better this way.
Let’s say you run a company selling outdoor equipment. You showcase one of your products in a beautiful outdoor setting, you paint a beautiful picture in the description and then you’ll use shift a couple times to get some space between your beautiful description and the hashtags just to make it seem less jumbled. In this instance, as an outdoor equipment company, you could use any of these types of hashtags: #outdoors #outdoorlife #outdoorlover #getoutside #getoutdoors#hiking #camping #backpacking
As you start typing hashtags, Instagram will populate other similar hashtags so you’ll start to discover the really popular hashtags over time and you’ll even come up with some of your own. It’s okay to come up with your own, too, but you want to throw in as many popular hashtags as possible to help get you noticed. If you want to try to make your business name or motto a hashtag, that’s fine, just don’t let it be the only hashtag because chances are, nobody will be searching for your specific
company name or slogan hashtag. They’ll be searching for more popular hashtags, like #outdoors which is a very broad and very popular hashtag.
You’ll get the hang of using hashtags just make sure to use them every time you post a photo. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, take advantage of all 30 if you can! Even when you start to get noticed more, hashtags still help. But maybe after a while you’ll cut it back to just a few main hashtags. You’ll get the feel for it.
3. Engage with your community –
It’s no secret that in order to succeed in social media you need to be social! It’s the very same with Instagram. Let’s continue with the outdoor equipment brand example, if a user tags your company in their photo, give them some love! Like their photo, thank them for the tag and go above and beyond by sharing their photo. Instagram themselves don’t have a ‘share’ option (though they really should), but you can download third party apps that will help you share others content.
Sharing is caring. If someone tags you in their photo it’s because they want you to recognize them and that’s a good thing. Recognizing your customers is what brings in more customers. Imagine the customer who sees their photo shared on your page; they’re going to be giddy! They’re going to show all their friends, they maybe even rave about it on their other social media channels; it happens!
People want to be recognized, so recognize them!
In addition to that, search out other people and brands that are similar to your interest and follow them, engage with their photos by liking and leaving valuable comments. Just make sure not to expect a follow back, it’s poor practice to follow and then unfollow when they don’t follow back. Follow people and brands that you truly want to engage with and then make sure to spend some time each day to scroll your feed and truly engage with them.
In closing, Instagram is a powerful platform that might seem intimidating at first, but if you stick with it, be consistent, be visually compelling and be active in the community, your business will thrive.
Do you have any tips on how a business can thrive? Share them in the comments below!