Instagram is so much more than just a platform for sharing selfies and snaps of your smashed avocado toast - it's a brilliant marketing tool that every business should be utilising.
Unlike its social media contemporaries, Instagram is almost exclusively mobile app based, meaning you can easily use it on-the-go and produce content from the palm of your hand.
Here's how you can start using Instagram to boost your business. Click here to learn the exact steps you'll need to take.
Sign up using your work email address
This might seem extremely elementary, but signing up with your work email address can drastically boost your Instagram connections.
Whenever an email contact uses the Find Friends feature, your account will automatically show up in the suggested listings. Linking your work email as opposed to your personal address will help you connect with those who already have an interest in your business and create a wider professional environment.
During the sign up process you'll also be asked to choose a unique username. It goes without saying that you'll want to pick an account title that is as close to your actual business name as possible - otherwise it will be hard for people to find you or know who you are and what you do!
Similarly, your profile picture should be a business logo or something related directly to your business. A picture of yourself is no use unless you're advertising your own individual services.
Switch your account to a business profile
There are some key differences between a regular Instagram account and a business account. While a normal account shows only the user's name and biography, a business account also lists your occupation or business industry and displays a contact button that allows a direct line of communication.
To set up your account as a business profile, you'll need an existing Facebook page to link it with.
Post regular and relevant content
Now that you're registered correctly, it's time to start producing content to drive traffic to your page. Posting things like photos and videos of team activities, community events, exclusive offers and competitions are all great ways to give an insight into your day-to-day operations and create dialogue between you and your followers.
While regular posting is essential, it's important not to oversaturate your followers with content. You can use Instagram analytics to see when your posts are most popular and create a posting schedule around that.
It's not only your photos or videos that are important on Instagram - captions can be what captures people's attention. Crafting punchy captions that describe the visual content and open a window of discussion is a fantastic skill to have. Adding general humour or something relatable in your caption is a great way to go.
Remember to add a hashtag at the end of your captions. They'll open your post up to a wider community of users that don't follow you.
Post on your story
In addition to posting photos and videos in your feed, posting Instagram stories is another angle to command attention. Stories appear in a bubble at the top of the Instagram newsfeed and usually contain short videos or pictures. Posting everyday things like your morning coffee, your work tasks or a special offer (say 10% off a certain product) are great for stories.
The best part about stories is the Swipe Up feature. This gives you the ability to embed a website or link within the post that can be reached if a user swipes up. For example, if you're offering a 10% discount on a certain product in a story, you can direct users to swipe up to go straight to the shopping page on your website and obtain the offer.
Use Instagram ads
While there's a myriad of strategies to increase your natural reach, paid advertising will go a whole lot further and wider. Ads will be placed in a user's newsfeed regardless of whether they follow you or not, based on your selected demographic and geographic location, and will display a sponsored icon.
There are three main types of Instagram ads for you to choose from. The first is a photo, the second is a video (up to a maximum of 60 seconds), and the third is a carousel that features multiple photos or videos in a sequence and feature a call-to-arms button.
What business does Instagram suit?
Instagram is especially beneficial for businesses that have visual product; for example, fashion retailers, cafes and restaurants are perfect for Instagram as they can simply upload content of what they sell with little to no effort.
However, the great thing is that with the right approach, Instagram can help businesses from all walks of life - the key is finding a strategy that makes your content appealing to users and convinces them to engage with you. Approaches like sharing blog links, showing the positive effects your services can have and enlisting the help of the social promoters can all help.
Need a hand with your social media marketing?
Infodec Communications can help. We realise that some people, constantly managing every aspect of your social media marketing can be exhausting or just not realistic. Our market-leading expertise in social media engagement and planning will guarantee you results.