Following on from last weeks post on why you should use the mobile photo-sharing app, it’s now time to discuss how you can use Instagram for Business. On a platform where 60 million photos are uploaded daily, it’s important to know how to best maintain your account and make your brand stand out from the crowd!
Tip 1: Create Engaging content
It might be an obvious tip, nevertheless it is essential to remember that this platform is foremost a visual medium. With an abundant of daily posts, it’s important that your Business can shine on Instagram. Have a purpose and create a story with your photos; don’t just simply upload a promotional shot. Share something fun and insightful not just a roll of constant marketing material. No two companies are identical and using Instagram for business enables you to share your company’s unique story and personality.
Tip 2: Implement an Instagram Hashtag strategy for your Business
Hashtagging allows users to search for particular trends, meaning you can effectively connect with consumers on Instagram who have a shared interest in your Business and its products.
Develop a specific Brand Hashtag strategy for your Business and include them with every post on Instagram. A cupcake store using Instagram for business could develop very clever and directed hashtags to tap into their community that love to eat baked goods.
Tip 3: Follow relevant Instagram users to build an audience for your Business
A smart way to build an audience at the early stages is to follow Instagram users that have also followed your Business. Searching through hashtags, you can locate relevant users that would have an interest in your Instagram account. Following these relevant users will notify them and potentially lead to a return follow. (Some people may unfollow the users that haven’t followed them back, but of course we advise this under your own discretion.)
Tip 4: Build your Business following and engagement with Instagram competitions and giveaways
Competitions and giveaways are a great way to use Instagram for business. They are a clever tool to help build a greater Instagram following and enable quality user interaction. By promoting users to post photos using a predetermined hashtag and mentioning your account, you can easily facilitate an online competition.
This allows strong engagement with your Instagram account but also enables users to become brand advocates, helping to garner a wider reach in the Instagram community.
Tip 5: Community Management
Instagram is not just about posting photos but it is also community engagement. It is inevitable that users will comment and ask questions on particularly interesting posts. An obvious relevant question is asking when or where a particular product is available; answering these questions could inevitably result in a sale and boost business. Replying to these relevant questions helps to personally connect with your Instagram community and brings a friendly face to your brand.
Tip 6: Post consistently
Using Instagram for business is all about posting consistently. No matter how little or large your Instagram following is, make sure you update regularly. You don’t want your audience to completely forget that your Business exists but instead it is vital to keep your Instagram followers engaged and involved. Just like any other social media platform, using Instagram for business involves planning; try keeping a schedule of what days and times to post your engaging content.
Game of Thrones Case Study:
The phenomenally big HBO series Game of Thrones has over 240 thousand followers. Renowned for it’s dark and sometimes gory content, their Instagram account is instead filled with cutesy dolls portraying famous scenes from the series. This juxtaposition of dark vs. cute; targets the younger audience of the series who use Instagram. Their use of brand hashtags #GameOfThrones; #GoT and #HBO means they can easily connect with their audience. Of course it comes to no surprise that the dolls are also for sale, but the Instagram account barely references this.
Top Shop Case Study:
Worldwide British retail chain Top Shop has over 2 million followers on Instagram. Often sharing users photos and facilitating competitions, they also had a giveaway when they reached the 2 million milestone. They gave away a free lipstick to any online customer who bought something via their website, all the customer had to do was enter the code word at the checkout. Giving back to their Instagram followers helps to create a sense and belonging and exclusivity.
Is Instagram for Business for you?
It’s never too late to jump on the Instagram bandwagon and with little expense it could be the perfect answer for your Business.
There are however plenty more ideas out there, so please comment and share your own tips on how to use Instagram for business!