If you read our recent post 6 reasons why your business should be on Instagram, you’ll have realised how important it is as a social network and how it can be used as a powerful marketing tool for your business. If you’ve decided to step in to the world of Instagram, we’ve put together 10 tips to help you get started.
Sign up for Instagram in your personal capacity. See what goes on, find brands you like and see how they use Instagram. Follow other businesses in the same or similar industries to you, and who operate in a similar geographic area. See how they portray themselves, what works and what doesn’t – and what you like and don’t like. This will help you inform how you use Instagram in a business capacity.
As with Facebook and Twitter, a carefully crafted account name and profile is crucial for a successful Instagram strategy for your business. At the risk of stating the obvious, using your company name – or something instantly recognisable as your business – is a good option.
If you haven’t already realised that you need to create a branding that works within the confines of social media image requirements, now is the time to do so. For Instagram, your profile picture will be cropped in a circle and will appear at 150 x 150 pixels. If you already have other social media accounts for your business, consistency is best. Use images that will visually link your Instagram account to your Facebook or Twitter, or you will confuse your followers.
“The average engagement per Instagram post has grown by 416 percent over two years” Simply Measured
As with the other social media platforms, Instagram is a tool to help you market your business. To use it successfully, make sure you set clear goals that you are seeking to achieve through running your Instagram account.
Fab pictures are the backbone of Instagram, but your fab pictures need to be part of your business story. Your goals (the ones you created at step 4) should be the foundation of your Instagram strategy, which sits within your broader social media marketing plan, which in turn aligns with your overall business and digital marketing aims.
“Photos and stills generate 36 percent more likes than videos” Adweek
With your overarching Instagram strategy and goals in place, you can get down to practicalities and create a content plan. Decide how often you are going to post to Instagram, which times and days of the week, what you’ll post about when (a content calendar is good), and themes.
Establishing brand consistency within the images you post will reinforce your presence on Instagram and across other social networks, especially if you use Instagram to populate your other social channels. Decide on a photographic style, colour palette or the filters you will use to ensure that all your images always have the same ‘feel’.
“Photos that included hashtags in their descriptions on Instagram tend to get more Likes than photos that do not.” Hubspot
Instagram is undoubtedly a visual brand, but images demand captions. Instagram gives you the opportunity to communicate through the use of carefully crafted words and clever use of #hashtags. Create a hashtag that embodies your business (not just your business name), and as your following grows, encourage people to use your hashtag.
Instagram is a social network. As with Facebook and Twitter, it’s all about engaging, about following others, liking their photos, commenting and sharing. While the superbrands can, to a certain extent, sit back and watch the followers come flocking, for most businesses, it’s a matter of working hard to build a community of loyal followers and to contribute to that.
Running a successful Instagram account for your business undoubtedly takes time, thought and effort. You want to make sure it’s paying dividends by monitoring your analytics and seeing what’s working and what’s not. Use analytics tools and be ruthless. If something isn’t working, re-think. It may have been fun, but if it’s not helping you achieve your goals, it’s not worth it.
If you want to discuss using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social networks as part of your digital marketing strategy, why not get in touch with us here at Web Adept?
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