With over 700 million monthly active users, Instagram remains one of the most popular social networks. Its users are typically more engaged with the content too, which means better results for business that are taking advantage of the opportunities that proper optimization, social planning and relevant content can give you.
Maybe you’re familiar with the way Instagram works, but you’re not familiar with the ways you can best leverage it. Or maybe you’re more familiar with other platforms and are looking to branch out.
Whatever it is that made you search this topic and click on this link, we’re here to help you get your business off the ground on Instagram.
So what do you say we get started?
Optimizing Your Instagram Business Profile
Being on the platform, (if it makes sense for your business, practice, brand, etc) is a great first start. However, not optimizing your Instagram profile properly is a tragedy when it comes to marketing your business properly on social media.
Of course, the first step, (if you don’t already have one) is to make a business profile on Instagram.
Your business profile needs to be separate from your personal profile. This means selfies, the pictures of the food you ate last night and cute images of your kids have no place here.
The next step is making sure you’re including the link to your website, online store or landing page in your bio.
Your bio is the only place where you can put a clickable link on Instagram, so take advantage of the opportunity and make sure the link is working.
Staying consistent across platforms is vital to the success of your strategy.
This means you need to make sure your username/brand name, name and profile image are consistent with your brand across various social platforms, as well as in general.
Constantly changing logos and brand names will confuse your audience and won’t lead to positive brand recognition.
Your bio needs to inform and engage.
If you can make people stop dead in their tracks to read it, get intrigued and click your link, you’re winning the bio game.
This should be your ultimate goal when writing your bio, so make it something relevant and interesting. Something that people can’t help but be drawn to when they visit your profile.
Helpful Hint: Keywords and hashtags in your bio really don’t make a difference because they aren’t searchable.
Just make sure when you’re deciding on the perfect words and tone that you don’t come across as sales-y or pushy, because this won’t do you any good.
There are a couple exceptions to not adding a hashtag to your bio.
If you run a hashtag campaign and want to be known for a specific hashtag, you will want to include that for the sake of recognition.
On Instagram, your images are everything.
Does this mean that your copy doesn’t matter? Absolutely not. However, your images are going to make or break your campaign. And that’s because on Instagram, your posts are all about the image.
The perfect image will be aesthetically pleasing, relevant, informative, lighthearted and fun. Of course, there are exceptions, but this is what you should (generally) be aiming for when it comes to Instagram content.
The goal here isn’t to make your feed a specific color or follow a trend, the goal is to make posts that your audience will WANT to see. Show off what you do and how you do it. Give your audience a glimpse of your work culture and promote specials and offers through engaging and creative content.
Whatever you do though, always avoid hard selling through your Instagram content.
You’ll either make your audience mad, disappoint them, lose followers or all of the above. Nobody wants to follow the Instagram version of a telemarketer. Instead, appeal to the emotional and logical sides of your audience’s thought processes and give them what they want to see. Which is aesthetically pleasing images they can relate to on a personal level.
A few quick pointers for higher-quality images and happier customers:
- Do whatever you can to avoid awkward crops
If this means scratching a photo you’d planned to post, do it. It’s better to ditch a pitch than post a photo you’re not proud of taking.
- Take advantage of the in-app photo editing tools and filters
While it may not look studio quality even with a filter, it can still add a little enhancement that will boost engagement. My personal recommendation? Mayfair, Lark or Gingham.
- Keep the colors and style relevant to your brand
This doesn’t mean you can only include photos with a few colors, but rather the overall color scheme of your images needs to be similar. You’ll want to keep this in mind when you’re choosing filters and making edits as well.
Make sure you make it a point to share images about your company culture and environment, as well as posts for relevant holidays.
Unleash the Power of the Instagram Story
Instagram stories are an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to marketing through social media.
Because stories don’t have to be as high quality as the content you’re posting on the main feed, you have a little more freedom in being able to post content like behind the scenes snapshots, videos and boomerangs of company events and culture, and collaborations with other businesses and individuals through Influencer marketing.
In addition, Instagram stories are front and center as opposed to the possibility of being lost in a pile of images on your audiences feed.
Collaboration is Key
Collaborating with other businesses and mentioning others is a great way to grow your audience. In addition, giving to fundraisers and helping nonprofits and highlighting it through tagging on social is a great way to get the word out and get featured on other profiles.
Just remember that tagging works better than hashtags. Just because you use a company’s hashtag doesn’t mean they’ll see it, so when it doubt, tag the photo.
Reward Customer Loyalty
If your followers are liking, sharing and otherwise engaging, reward them with exclusive content and deals that will not only keep them engaged, but get them excited and grow your following in the meantime. Plus, it helps build long term customer loyalty.
Whether its an exclusive deal or offer, or even a quick tour via Instagram stories of your store or facility, your audience is going to love being a part of the action.
Leveraging your Instagram for your business isn’t difficult. In fact, with time and practice, you’ll be posting like a pro! Check out our guide to giving your business a unique voice on social HERE.
Have any insight about the best ways to leverage your social media when it comes to your brand and business? We want to hear your feedback!