8 Essential Tips For Using Instagram For Business
With Instagram reaching 600 million users last month, out of which 100 million joined in the past 6 months, it is currently the second largest and fastest growing social network in the world. With that said, many businesses are starting to join Instagram.
If you’re a brand willing to expand to Instagram, you should keep in mind that Instagram is entirely based on providing a good visual experience to it’s users. So if you have good image or video content, Instagram is just the place for you.
Instagram has more than 300 million active users, and everyday, more than 95 million posts are made. It’s safe to say, your audience is present and active on Instagram.
According to Forrester, Instagram has 120 times more engagement than Twitter, and 58 times more engagement than Facebook. This means more people are likely to view, like, comment and share your content on Instagram than any other social network.
93% of marketers are already on Facebook, whereas only 36% use Instagram. This means new marketers will achieve greater success on Instagram, providing content to a relatively untapped audience, while Facebook is bombarded with marketing noise.
Before creating an Instagram account, you need to set your marketing strategy, and whether it’s conducive with Instagram’s infrastructure. Some common marketing strategies are:
- Showcasing your products
- Creating brand awareness
- Presenting brand culture and other light moments.
- Presenting employee’s achievements
- Presenting enticing visual content, for the purpose of expressing creativity.
- Presenting ideas in a visually appealing manner.
As of 2014 in the US, 53% of 18-29 year olds with internet access used Instagram, compared with only 25% of people between the ages 30-49. The number decreases further up the age spectrum. So Instagram is the ideal place for targeting a young audience.
Many are of the opinion that Instagram is an “ego feed”, where people post selfies of themselves, and that’s the end of it. This is true to some extent, but that makes up only a very small number of people who’re actually on Instagram.
Most people don’t just join Instagram to showcase themselves. In fact, here are some of the other reasons people use instagram:
- Express their creative sides.
- Stay current with the latest trends.
- Follow celebrities and brands.
- Follow and keep contact with family and friends.
Creating an Instagram account is easy. Download the app on your mobile device or tablet. Create your account, set a profile picture, a short bio and start posting!
As a brand, your profile picture should be your brand logo or mascot, so others can find you easily, and recognize you instantly. Your bio should be short and contain the link to your website. Keep in mind you cannot post links anywhere else on Instagram but your bio.
Instagram also has a blog dedicated to helping businesses start and make the most out of Instagram.
Instagram is all about sharing enticing visual content, including images and videos. You can start by showcasing your products, and with good photography, present yourself and the world, in a way as to be relevant and appealing to your audience.
It has a large audience of young people, unlike Twitter or Linkedin, so you should show a bit of your human side once in awhile too.
For example. If you’re a car retailer, you’d want to share high res photos of your best rides, and occasionally videos of happy customers on the road, or fun moments behind the scenes.
If you’re a photographer, you’ll share the awesome photographs you’ve taken, and put a bio similar to “The world is my canvas.”
You can also take Nat Geo’s approach, by weaving and sharing stories with amazing photographs shared. If the story is good enough, it will create emotional attachment, which translates to engagement on your posts.
Use PosterMyWall to perfect your posts. We offer Instagram size which is a big plus point when sharing content on Instagram. Improve images in PosterMyWall by adding text, filters and much more!
Video has become a crucial part of any successful Instagram profile. Video on Instagram can only be a maximum of 15 seconds long, but you can use filters while uploading to make it even look better. The 15 seconds time is perfect for sharing special moments, or for unveiling a new product, or perhaps giving a teaser.
Honda recently uploaded a video on Safe Swarm Technology that got them more than 21,000 views. Uber recently shared a video that got them more than 50,000 views, and whole lot of tagging in the comment section. Video is a handy tool for revealing new features, or showcasing a product.
Hashtags are a crucial part of Instagram. It allows users to search for a specific topic with ease. The general tip for a hashtag is to keep it at a minimum character count, and to be relevant to your post.
One way to make effective use of hashtags is to piggyback on some of the popular ones. Some of them are: #instagood, #tbt, #follow, #photooftheday
Another even more important tip is to make a hashtag, which is unique to your brand, and use it consistently on Instagram, and your other social networks. This makes searching and connecting with your brand a lot easier for everyone. WeWork used #dogsofwework to highlight all the adorable dogs owned by employees and patrons. People going to their venue can take photos of their dogs and tag them easily.
One of the big appeals of uploading your visual content on Instagram over Facebook is the big list of filters you can experiment with. The key is to look for that one filter that compliments perfectly with your photo.
Iconosquare did a list of the 10 most popular Instagram filters, of which, "no filter" is the most popular choice. No wonder #nofilter is so big.
Interact with Others
It’s social media, so socializing is a crucial part in advancing online. Get contacts on Instagram by following people, and also following back people who follow you. Most multinational companies and larger brands don’t adopt this method, but that doesn’t you mean you shouldn’t.
Reply where needed, comment and like things that interest you, or are relevant to your business.
Show your Personal Side
It cannot be stressed enough, that unlike other social networks, Instagram is the one where you can post stuff deemed otherwise too unprofessional on other social networks. Pictures of your dog, your employee’s pool party and even memes can be posted.
Too much of a professional side on Instagram bores users and you’ll start noticing a fall in engagement.
So here were a bunch of tips we discussed to make your Instagram marketing successful. Mix and match to check what works for you. Experimentation is key, as one cannot say for sure what your audience want from you exactly, unless you try everything out.
5 points to take away from this post are:
- Know your audience, and set goals accordingly.
- Use high res and vivid visuals.
- Be personal, and show your brand’s fun side.
- Effectively use hashtags to your advantage.