Did you know that there are over 300 million Instagram users, and over 75 million are using Instagram daily? That amounts to over 20% of the internet population, or about 1/3 of the US population. Looking at these figures, the business-minded individual would see a huge social media marketing opportunity. After all, Instagram is the new golden child of social media. With so many people using Instagram from all different demographics, it would be crazy not to be taking advantage of this huge and diverse platform to promote your brand. Are you using Instagram for business purposes? Instagram for business is a great channel for many industries. Here, the social media marketing team shares 10 tips for business Instagram accounts that gives the advice on Instagram for businesses of any kind and all stages of Instagram use!
Instagram for business tip #1: Put yourself in the customer’s shoes
The first of our tips for Instagram accounts is to think like the customer. Look at your fans and followers on Instagram, who are typically also your target audience, and browse their profiles to see how they typically style their profiles. Mimic this style from some of your own posts, and take note of what their interests are to make them more receptive and interested in what you post. Business Instagram accounts may wish to use similar photography style, language for captions, or even objects of interest. This will relate your company to your fan base and make them want to keep following you, keeping them eager to see your next post.
Instagram for business tip #2: Use Hashtags
The best part of using Instagram for business is the ability to be creative with using hashtags. A cool photo will make your brand and a boring or low quality photo can break it. Pair that cool photo with 5-10 hashtags and you can begin to grow your following. Start your own hashtag and use other hashtags that your target audience might use to find you.
Did you know that you can hashtag with emoji? For donut day brands and fans used the donut emoji in place of the “o” in “donut”. Pretty clever right!?
Instagram for business tip #3: Visual consistency for consistent branding
In our top tips for business Instagram accounts, visual consistency is key. When someone looks at your brand’s profile, you want to make sure that it looks appealing and cohesive. Choose a set of filters and rotate through them as you upload photos, rather than going through all kinds of filters every time you post a photo. This will keep your theme consistent. And, remember the rule of thirds, even when in a square frame like on Instagram. A picture should either be centered or have the focus of the photo on the left or right third of the photo. Luckily, Instagram provides a handy grid for laying out your photo perfectly. Business Instagram accounts should show the best version of their company when posting photos.
Instagram for business tip #4: Don’t over post on business Instagram accounts
Once you understand how to use Instagram for business, you need to make sure you know when to use it. Being active on Instagram is the goal, but don’t over post or you will not only seem overbearing to your fan base, but your profile will lose the essential message and impression it is trying to get across. Stick to one message and post things that relate to it. For instance, if you are having an event, focus on that. The day of the event, you should not post anything that isn’t related to the event. You can easily share 3- 5 posts related to that event as it is, and will have no trouble continuing to post after the event. Even before the event, you want to focus on posts related to the upcoming event for some time; the size and industry of your company along with the timing of the event will determine just how long you want to focus exclusively on the specific event.
Instagram for business tip #5: Swap out the link in your profile
It is not possible to include links in an Instagram post. So, if you would like to link to a specific webpage, it must be done through your profile. Edit the link on your profile page in the description section and swap your main link out for the page-specific one. This is the perfect trick for business Instagram accounts that have a new program, event, or other special something that you would like to promote. Just change your usual website link for the program or event page. However, since homepage links are one of the best ways for how to use Instagram for business, use the special links sparingly and only for important new pages that you wish to promote.
For instance, for Christmas our team created a 12 Days of SEO and Social Media Holiday infographic. Then we told people that they could download the infographic easily by clicking the link in our profile.
Instagram for business tip #6: Take advantage of Instagram tools
The best help business Instagram accounts can get is by using what is already available to them. Instagram offers tools to help business make the most of Instagram. For example, Latergram is a time-management system for Instagram that allows users to schedule their posts, so that they don’t have to worry about getting it out at the right time. The Repost app for Iphone and Repost app for Android allow you to repost a photo and caption from another user, giving them credit and facilitating your company’s sociability.
Instagram for business tip #7: Utilize the video function
This app is about more than pictures- it is for sharing videos as well! One of the top tips for business Instagram accounts is to diversify what you share. Mix it up with videos- these can offer more than photos in advertising terms because it keeps the audience’s attention focused on you for a longer period of time. Instagram videos can be between 3 to 15 seconds long. In this time, you have the chance to provide not only visual but also audio messages, and it gives you the potential to get a certain message across more easily.
Instagram for business tip #8: Stay tuned for Instagram ads
Instagram for business accounts is only getting better. Instagram is releasing an ads function that allows companies to inject photo and video ads into other users’ feeds. Currently, Instagram has only rolled this feature out as beta testing, and has invited big brands to join in the experiment. Look out and expect this feature soon- it is predicted to be a very profitable form of advertising.
Instagram for business tip #9: Give shouts to sponsors and partners
Another of our tips for business Instagram accounts is to always include your partners. If you have a sponsor or partner that is relevant in a certain post, make sure to tag their profile in the description. This will keep them happy and uphold your commitment to work with them. Best of all, it will encourage them to do the same in their posts, allowing more Instagrammers to find your business thanks to the increased exposure!
Instagram for business tip #10: Embed your Instagram on your website
The last of our tips for business Instagram accounts is to integrate your Instagram directly on your website. So often, businesses looking to improve their Instagram accounts focus on what they can do inside of Instagram. What they don’t realize is that they can make a huge difference on their website by simply embedding Instagram. Gain followers and get more views of your social media activity by placing the links for this directly in your site so that website visitors can continue to discover your company through social media. This is a chance for exposure and to get your potential customers to learn more about you. In WordPress, you can go beyond embedding by adding an Instagram feed plugin, present in many plugins. This is a sure way to drive engagement through your website, not to mention it makes building your online presence a lot more fun.
Final Tips for Business Instagram Accounts
As you explore these tips for business Instagram accounts, you will discover that Instagram can do a lot more for your business than simply providing you with a space to share pictures. Take advantage of the social power Instagram holds and start building up your account sooner rather than later on this ever-growing social media app. Don’t be afraid to test Instagram out! You can’t just DO social, you have to BE social. Sometimes Instagram can be used to show the lighter side of your team. We celebrated Take Your Dog To Work Day where employees were welcome to bring their dogs to work. Decide what your goal for your Instagram account is and do things that align with that goal.
To learn more about using Instagram and other social media, view our presentations on slide share: http://www.slideshare.net/designandpromote