If you’re reading this post, you must have already realized one very important truth: Instagram is a critically important social network and when used right, can enhance the brand and market share of any business.
This photo-sharing app is not only important for retailers, restaurants, travel companies or celebrities but as it has grown to become one of the most effective brand-building tools available today, Instagram is increasingly important for every kind of business; hence the importance of knowing how to maximize Instagram for business can not be overemphasized.
Instagram is now a hub where regular people find (and judge) the visual identity of a business, thus without a strong Instagram presence, businesses risk being ignored or forgotten, especially among the new generation costumers. When taken seriously, Instagram can open up a world of opportunities and possibilities for your business. It can be a highly-targeted, visual advertising channel for your brand.
Instagram has been named the “king of social engagement,” as in a recent study it was discovered that Instagram provides brands with 25% more engagement over other social platforms, and so to build and position your brand, the knowledge of how you can maximize Instagram for business cannot be overemphasized.
Instagram like every other social network has the right ways to use it, wrong ways to use it, and clever ways to use it. In this post, I will teach you some of Instagram’s best practices, i.e. the tips, trends and skills you can put to use when managing your Instagram account, so as to increase engagements, leads, sales and following. Enjoy!
1) Optimize Your Profile: Too many people take the value of their bio for granted. Your Bio, Profile Picture, and Cover photo is a very important part of your success on social media. The first step for you to maximize Instagram for business is to ensure that the keywords that best describe your brand and what you can do for customers are explicitly written out. Use a good and catchy image for your profile (preferably, your brand logo), include your contact info and please ensure you put the link to your website. On Instagram, your bio is the only place you can put a link, so maximize that feature.
Side note: Let your branding be consistent on all your social networking channels. Same Name, Image, Bio etc.
2) Put Out Quality Content: Content is the bedrock marketing. You need to put out quality, original and creative content that entertain, inform and give value to your followers.
→ Use Images and Videos of Great Virtual and Audio Quality.
→ Be creative about your posts; Post behind the scene pictures (Customers want to relate with your brand and the ‘raw process); Showcase your employees; Post pictures of happy clients using your products; Give Tips about your niche; Do contests (Instagram is a great place to have contests) etc.
→ Use the popular trends for content ideas. #MotivationMonday #MancrushMonday #ThrowbackThrusday #SelfieSunday etc are trends you can use in creating catchy and exciting content for your page.
→ Harness the power in a caption. Tell stories with your caption. Use CTA-driven captions; this gets your followers to interact.
3) Make good use of Hashtags: Hashtags, when used right, are power tools of interaction and engagement on Instagram. When using hashtags, its not enough to use the right amount (not too much, like 20 hashtags in our post and not too few, like less than 3), you also have to use the most relevant hashtags. Yes! #selfie #love #mcm are some of the most used tags but a brand constantly using these for unrelated content can make them lose credibility and look unserious/unprofessional in the eyes of their followers. It is very important that you research on relevant keywords and tags relating to your industry and your post content. Your can use hashtags relating to your location, product type/brand niche or your brand name/identity.
→ Also good use of Filters help a lot. Research has shown that filters like Mayfair, Rise, Valencia, Hefe, and Nashville get more engagements than others. Do some research in this area and act accordingly. No! Don’t abuse the use of Filters. Use them appropriately.
4) Post at the right time: Generally on social media, It is important that you know how much to post in a day and at what time is best to post. Posting too much would cause your followers to feel spammed and post too little can make them forget you. Knowing how often and when to post depends largely on your followers. Tools like iconosquare can provide you with analytics and insight to enable you to make the right decisions.
5) Track Your Competitors: It is important that you find out key players in your industry, study their accounts and replicates what you can in your own account. Competitors are great for post ideas. Also, following and interacting with their followers and fans is a great and easy way to engage with people who you are such is interested in your industry and your product.
→ Don’t be amongst the people crazed about having more followers than followings. A great way to build loyalty and credibility isn’t only in having good follower ratings but also good following rating. It tells your customers you care about them and would like to know them better, it builds trust. Marketing is about maximizing relationships (Don’t forget that). So follow as many people as you can. Like their photos, comment on their photos and watch as about 25-40% of them back follow you back.
It is very important for you to interact with your followers. Answer their questions. Thank them for commenting on your post. Like their pictures.
6) Advertise: Just like Facebook and Twitter, Ads can now be placed on Instagram too. So, go ahead and maximize this feature, invest in your business, place some ads on Instagram and watch your reach increase.
→ Also, it helps to connect with popular people and brands and get them to advertise your product on their page. Look out for brands with good numbers and email addresses on their bio. They may be open for business.
7) Lastly, reward your customers. Businesses that are afraid to make investments usually crash. Do giveaway contests and reward some loyal customers and followers. Thank them for their interaction and Patronage. Happy Followers; Happy Clients means More sales.
By: Peace Itimi