Instagram has quickly become everyone’s favorite social media platform. There’s just something about photos and videos that can really tell a story. Not only are people using Instagram for their personal use, but businesses are relying on Instagram now more than ever to engage with their audiences. So, picture this, you are assigned with the important task of managing your company’s Instagram account. Where do you begin?
Start by setting up a business account instead of a personal account. Instagram Business gives you access to special features including a contact button, Instagram ads, the option to promote posts and Instagram Insights. Instagram Insights allows you to analyze the data of your page. You gain valuable information on the demographic of followers, when they are online and more. To set up an Instagram Business account from a personal account, all you have to do is go to your account settings and choose the option to switch to a business account. After you have your business account ready to go, type up a solid bio; and keep it short and sweet, because let’s be honest, no one has the time to read a long bio. Provide a link to your company website and make sure your contact button has all the correct information. Wrap things up in a nice little bow, and finish it up with setting your logo as your profile picture so you are easy to find.
Once you’ve got your account looking exactly the way you want it, you can finally start to think about content. While every audience is different, it’s important to know what your followers want to see. Define who you want to target and customize your posts to that specific audience. Content on Instagram can vary from short videos, still images, or even stop-motion videos. About 78% of businesses share mostly original content on social media, or content produced by their company. Keep them interested with fresh posts, and don’t forget to switch up your content every now and then so that your audience doesn’t get bored. Your page says a lot about your brand’s core values, make sure your posts reflect that, too.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”Seth Godin
This is where having an aesthetic/theme comes into play. An easy way to establish this is to posts items that make your page look cohesive and relevant. Simple ways to achieve this are by consistent photo editing and establishing a color scheme.
Along with photos and videos comes captions and hashtags. Hashtags are your best friend and have proven to be a valuable marketing tool. A typical photo should have somewhere between 5–10 hashtags. Create a brand hashtag that you can use on your photos. On average, Instagram posts with at least one hashtag see 12.6 percent more engagement than those without. A brand hashtag can be beneficial in setting you apart from other brands. Get your audience involved and encourage them to use the hashtag on their images as well. You can also utilize industry-related hashtags to stay relevant in your field. Have a bank of hashtags on hand that you can cycle through. That way you aren’t using the same ones over and over again. Explore what hashtags are being used in your industry and adapt them to your posts.
Instagram stories and highlights are some of the app’s newest features designed to keep your followers engaged. Go live and interact with your audience in real time. You can host Q&A’s with your followers, broadcast an event for those who couldn’t attend or even announce important messages. Post stories to get your followers involved in your content. You can post polls, and your followers can vote on them. Who knows, you might even get some useful information from it. Be creative and show your brand’s personality.
One of the most popular features on Instagram stories are “Swipe Up” links. Pages with 10K followers or more are given the privilege to provide their audience with a direct link to purchase a product. All your followers have to do is literally swipe up. They often serve as ads and are useful when trying to sell or promote products. Many brands will use the help of social influencers to promote their products on their personal pages and stories.
Instagram stories didn’t always last forever, but with the addition of highlights, now they do. Add your stories to the highlights on your page, so your follows can look back at what you have posted. Organize your highlights with different categories, that way when users visit your page, they can easily find what they are looking for. If you really want to get fancy, you can even create highlight covers to match the theme of your page.
Last but not least, consistency is key. Don’t go weeks without posting content. Keep your brand fresh in the minds of your audience. A good way to keep up with posting content is to establish how many times you want to post a week. You can even create content in advance, line them up and schedule them to post. Use an app that allows you to plan out your feed. On average, about 44 percent of businesses use social media management software. There are millions of programs to choose from, you just have to find one that works best for your brand. Next, find the best time to post. Based on your audience, the time of day could vary. Last but not least, have the photos edited with prewritten captions, and you are good to go.
Instagram has proven to be a very valuable marketing tool in today’s business world, and these items are just the beginning of all the useful resources that the app provides. Dive into the features and learn how you can maximize your business’ Instagram presence. Take the time to post organic content and engage with your audience. Make yourself known in the Instagram world, you never know how it could positively impact your business.
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