Instagram has become a powerful social media tool to use in marketing today. With over 1 billion users, it’s easier than ever to get your brand, yourself, and your business out there for all to see.
Since Facebook’s and Instagram's recent merge, Instagram now offers business profiles for users. With a business profile, it is easier to get potential clients viewing your products. The best feature of a business profile on Instagram is the “call to action” buttons you select for your profile. These can be to call, email, book an appointment, buy tickets, and so much more. Once your followers see your profile, they can easily tap the call to action button to begin communication with your business!
Make sure your profile has a recognizable profile picture, such as yourself or your business logo. Make your Instagram bio, eye-catching and easy to read. Your bio will allow your followers to understand who and what you are, as well as a way to see where you are and how to contact you. Some businesses will get creative and use emojis to establish an interesting bio. Always post your website link in your bio for users to find more about your business easily. Since Instagram does not support clickable links inside posts, feel free to post a link in your bio for something in a recent post, such as a link to a new product, or promo code.
When it comes to posting content, always choose quality over quantity. Over posting can cause followers to feel ambushed or overwhelmed. However, not posting enough will have your business hiding in the shadows. Make sure you take note of how often you should be posting to your followers. Some niches/businesses will have products or events that require to post more often, but at first, try sticking with posting at least twice a day. This gives your followers a chance to view your content multiple times without feeling pushed. Once you have your audience figured out, you will be able to tell how often you should post.
Always post images that are captivating, creative, or just plain interesting. Instagram is dedicated to the social media world of images, so if your image doesn’t stand out, you won’t be noticed. If you need inspiration, try following accounts that are similar to your business.
Stay away from posting multiple images onto one post. This was introduced to Instagram in the early part of 2017, allowing users to post up to 10 photos onto a single post. However, by making your followers swipe through multiple images, you are preventing them from completing the action of “liking” your post, commenting, or visiting your page by adding an additional step of swiping through multiple pictures. Rather than give your users more work, give them the impulse of liking the photo or visiting your profile, not swiping through 10 photos on your post.
Don’t shy away from videos. Just because Instagram was made for photo sharing, does not mean you can’t upload videos for your business! Instagram allows videos in 60 second increments when making a post for followers. However, if you decide to post a video in your Instagram story, you are allowed 15 second intervals. Videos will make you stand out on Instagram. Always post sound with your videos so your followers don’t miss a thing! Just like photos, don’t over post and only post quality content for your viewers to enjoy. When making a video on Instagram, feel free to give the Boomerang feature a try. This is an added feature that allows your video to “boomerang” back and forth.
Instagram Stories are a great addition to daily posting. Instagram stories are meant to capture the everyday of your business, as well as spark the attention of your followers who are currently viewing other Instagram Stories. Use the stories feature to post numerous client reviews, show your employees having fun at your business, or live events that your business holds. The possibilities are endless.
Instagram added a new feature for businesses selling products in 2018. When posting a photo, a business can have special links that “tag” an item in a photo. These are called “shop buttons”. Shop buttons allow a follower to click on a product in your photo and be taken directly to your website to purchase this product. While a great advertising technique for quick impulse buying, this also saves the headache for followers not able to find a certain product on your website. Definitely take advantage of this feature if your business wants to highlight a new release product. You are sure to sell out in minutes.
After gaining some spotlight on your business, you may be thinking, “I have followers, so now what?” Your “followers” or your target audience are your potential clients or customers. It’s important to make them feel welcomed and that their opinion is valued. When a follower or visitor to your post comments or likes, feel free to reach out to them and comment back! This shows your willingness to interact with all possible consumers to answer questions and take feedback, as well as show the “human side” to your business. Don’t be afraid to ask a question either when posting. This will prompt your audience to comment on your post and establish engagement with your business.
You can also interact with your followers by creating contests. Contests allow your followers not only to interact with your business, but have a chance to win a free product of yours, or whatever you decide to give away. Contests bring hype and attention to your business and builds your brand awareness. When making a contest on Instagram, it’s best to have each follower tag friends in the comments (to gain more attention and potential clients to your business) as well as have the friends that are tagged in the comments follow your Instagram page. The more followers you get, the more your audience will grow. You can also have followers use a custom hashtag that you made for your business to help build your contest post’s strength in advertising.
So what are Hashtags? Hashtags are the new generation of re-targeting. When visitors are using the “Explore” feature in Instagram, trending hashtags will appear, as well as Instagram posts that populate, based on users’ interests. The first thing to establish when conquering the idea of hashtags is to make your own custom #hashtag that refers back to your business, motto, tagline, product, etc. Not only will this hashtag be established for your business, your followers will be able to distinguish your posts from your hashtag while visiting over Instagram posts, or other social media platforms. Use your custom hashtag as your personal ID badge while creating your Instagram identity. Have your followers use your hashtag to have their friends and family be able to find you faster. Hashtags have become the main way of identifying products, movements, events, and so much more, so go out there and use it!
When using all of these techniques correctly, your business will be able to harness the marketing power that Instagram has to offer!