A Happy PR
& Content Manager
he popularity of Instagram is incredible. When Instagram was launched in October 2010, it was originally an app for applying stylish “filters” to your photos and sharing them with friends. Acquired by Facebook in 2012 in a $1bn acquisition, it now has 800m active users (as of March 2018) and a host of advanced features.
The days of adding in random hashtags are over, it’s all about the science and strategy, so if you’re new to Instagram you might want to take some time to familiarise yourself with these top tips on how to get the most of Instagram for business.
Get it right the first time! When you're setting up your Instagram account for your business make sure that you choose the Instagram for business account option on registering. Use an image that represents your brand and be sure to write a good bio that conveys your values and key messages. Lastly, don’t forget to add your website url.
Instagram is all about the image, so how do you make yourself stand out from the masses? Well, find your own distinctive look that represents your brand and stick to it. This could be using a certain filter, or style of photography.
It’s important though to remember your brand values, and identity as this ensures that what you’re posting echoes your brand, from colours, to fonts to image style this will help your brand stay consistent from one channel to another.
Most businesses use social media to highlight a particular product or service, using Instagram posts to encourage followers to do something, whether that is to read your latest blog post, discover your new eBook, enter a competition or sign up to your email newsletter.
Whatever it is that you are doing always direct them to a landing page on your website. If you find that your web link is too long and you need it to be short and punchy you can use tools such as bitly.com to shorten or customise your url.
Stay in tune with your competitors, follow and like their posts so that you can keep up to date with the market. A good tip is to check out who is commenting on their posts. They are probably your target market too, so, it makes sense to engage with and follow them. By doing so you’ll help to grow your target audience on Instagram that will be interested in what your business has to offer.
Hashtags help to get exposure to the audience you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise, using them correctly can help to boost your post and overall engagement – helping you to get noticed!
Use five to ten relevant hashtags, avoiding the most common or anything too niche. For example, #dress Too generic. #partydress Great choice! #wearingdress No one is searching for this!
You can check out popular hashtags using tools such as Hashtagify.
Try to keep your hashtags towards the end of your post as too many hashtags can look messy. Or better still, keep your post clean and post them immediately into the first comment instead.
It’s always good to plan ahead with social content in business. Social media management is key, so consider setting up a rolling content plan. You can either do this monthly or quarterly, that way you’ll ensure that you have a steady stream of content. Spend time planning each post, sourcing the right imagery, captions and hashtags. This way you’ll be ahead of the game, allowing you to create consistency and gain momentum.
You might have noticed those bubble-shaped friends’ profile photos at the top of your feed, including one for “your story”. You might be familiar with stories from Facebook or Snapchat? The stories feature is where you can post regular photos and videos that can be more raw and unedited, safe in the knowledge that they’ll only be seen for 24 hours. So it might be that you’re out attending a networking event for your business, take a snap of the event and add to your story so that your audience can see a snippet from your daily life.
Like every social network, Instagram has its share of intruders and trolls, so be sure to get on top of its privacy features.
Tapping the gear (settings) icon on your profile offers access to a suite of privacy tools from the most basic, choosing whether to make your account private or not to choosing to hide comments that include words or phrases often reported as offensive.
Two-factor authentication is a must, you can turn this on from the settings menu, to add an extra layer of security against hackers.
If you have a Google Analytics account (we’re hoping that you have) this will help you track your traffic and conversions that you’re getting from Instagram to your website. This way you’ll be able to see what’s popular and what’s not, allowing you to alter and introduce new content that works for your business.
With an Instagram for Business account, you’ll also be able to access insights. This will provide instant data showing which posts received the most engagement – a great tool for really determining your audience.
So that’s it, you should now be clued up on using Instagram for business. As ever, social media trends are constantly changing so be sure to keep up to date with what’s happening to make sure that your business is always at the forefront. If you find that you need help or support there are organisations that offer year around social media management, freeing you up to focus on driving your business forward.
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