Instagram is used every day by over 400 million people worldwide. And of those users, a staggering 60% report that they learn about new products and services through their feed. And the best part? People like, share, and link to these types of posts. In other words, they engage with them. So how do you take advantage of this social platform for your business? Here’s what you can do to start building a successful Instagram account today:
First and foremost, make sure that you are set up to use a business profile with a link to your website in your business description. If you have already created a personal account for your business, here’s an instructional video to change the settings to a business profile. This will give you access to metrics and data that will allow you to determine which demographics are responding to your posts and which posts perform the best. You might even discover something about your business that you didn’t know before!
Second, come up with a concrete plan for your account. Set a goal for consistent posting, somewhere between one and four posts a week. Even if you set aside an hour a week and take images of new products or your staff, be sure to spread out the posts so that you are showing up consistently in your audience’s feed. You also want to make sure your account is checked frequently to respond to comments or messages.
It is also a good idea to look at other businesses and users in your community to see which hashtags are used frequently in your area. This will help you reach new people and engage with your customers. It might also be a good idea for you to use a specific hashtag for posts from your business so that people can easily see and share your photos.
Instagram photos, even advertisements, have a different look from traditional promotional ads. You will have more success with your posts if the photos have a more artistic or personal style. This doesn’t mean hiring a professional photographer or buying an expensive camera, in fact Instagram is meant for sharing smart phone photos. Use images of staff celebrations or places you travel for business, even a simple shot of a donut spread before a meeting will look great in someone’s Instagram feed. You might try using the same filter (if you don’t know how to choose a filter, ask any millennial to show you how) so that all of your posts have a similar look that your followers will associate with your business.
Once you get started with an Instagram account, you’ll have a wealth of images that you can use elsewhere in your digital advertising. It’s simple to share your Instagram photos on Facebook and you can even set-up a page on your website to showcase an album of the photos. Email is another great way to share Instagram photos and get new followers. In digital advertising, images (especially ones that don’t look like generic, traditional advertising) help cut through the noise and get users’ attention. Not only is a picture worth a thousand words, it’s worth cash money!