Instagram is an ideal platform for visual products and services. Instagram is highly business focused, and users know that. Users on the app are much more likely to follow a brand on Instagram than on any other social media platform. It is incredibly powerful among Millennial and Generation Z and if they are your target market you need to be there. Keep reading to learn more about how you can maximize your business efforts on Instagram.
More than 72% of users have purchased something they’ve seen on Instagram. Instagram’s visual appeal allows brands to showcase products and services without it looking like a sales pitch. This breeds a sense of authenticity for users, making them more likely to buy. 80% of users follow a brand on Instagram that's a large number of people you could be missing out on if you’re not there. Implementing the right strategy for your profile you can successfully boost your brand and increase sales.
CREATING YOUR BUSINESS ACCOUNT
There are two types of Instagram profiles: a business account and personal account. Make sure you are selecting the business profile option. Business profiles have access to insights and analytics that allow you to better analyze your strategy and account for success.
Once you have created the account you will need to add a profile picture, bio, location, link to website, and business hours. The more information that customers can find about your business, the better. Be sure to keep your profile consistent with any other social media platforms you may have.
INSTAGRAM TERMINOLOGY BREAKDOWN
- Hashtag: When you click on a hashtag it will show you other posts with the word or phrase that was used in the hashtag.
- Link in bio: Commonly used in captions on their post which references a page with more information.
- IG: An abbreviation for Instagram.
- Mention: You can include other accounts in your post by tagging them two different ways. The first is to include the ‘@’ in the caption, and the second way is to tap the photo while editing and start typing in the name of who you want to tag.
- Filters: Instagram has a variety of free filters to enhance the photo.
- Highlights: These are found on your profile and are saved stories that you can make into individual categories.
- Stories: One of the most popular features on the platform is Instagram stories. These are pictures and videos that last only 24 hours.
CONTENT YOU SHOULD BE POSTING
You want to be consistent with the content you are creating. The photos on your page should reflect who you are as a brand. Maybe you want your tone to be a little more serious? Try taking nice professional photos. Maybe your tone is a little more playful? Try creating your own memes and have fun with it! Try to post photos that stand out and are true to you - not generic stock photos.
Along with your photos, you want to have clever captions that are in line with your tone and voice as a brand. At the end of your post, try adding a few hashtags that pertain to your business and industry. A maximum of 11 hashtags is recommended, although Instagram allows up to 30. Hashtags are an effective tool that helps you get noticed - start out with more general ones and once you get the hang of it you can create your own branded hashtag.
Another great tool on Instagram is live videos. Instagram users can record live videos on their stories that disappears unless saved. You can interact with followers while going live with them being able to comment. It is a great way to show behind the scene moments, show products, and answer any questions.
IGTV is Instagram's native video platform that launched in June of 2018 and quickly became one of the biggest features on the app. Each video can last up to an hour long and shows vertical videos, similar to regular TV. It can be used as a stand-alone app, or can be used within Instagram. This is a great way to talk more in depth about a product or launch.
Lastly, the “shop” feature is one of the coolest features that Instagram has to offer. People are able to click on a photo, see the items, and make a purchase in app.
You can advertise on most social channels now including Instagram. There are three different types of advertising routes you can go with on Instagram:
- Sponsored Ads: These look like any normal photos, but are labeled sponsored on top of the photo. They also have a 'learn more' link under the photo in the right corner.
- Video Ads: Similar to sponsored photo ads, these look like normal videos but are labeled sponsored.
- Carousel Ads: Identical to photo advertising, but have multiple pictures you can scroll through.
All of these different types of advertisements aim to support video views, click-throughs, mobile app downloading, and larger audience awareness.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE
Instagram garners one of the closest brand-customer relationships, and it's proven itself to provide a major return on investment. It's a great place for your business to tell your story to followers and customers, and create fans of your brand in the process.
Looking to expand your business' social portfolio? Check out the other blogs in our series on social media: How to Make Social Media Work For Your Business, How Businesses Are Successfully Using Facebook, and Twitter and Tweets: A Guide to Twitter for Business.