What’s the one social media platform you cannot afford to ignore? Instagram. It might be a lesser-known network compared to its competitors but this photo-based social network boasts over 700 million monthly active users and continues to grow at an impressive rate.
In fact, brands like Vogue, Nike, and Burberry are among the top users of Instagram which is why it’s vital that businesses pay attention to it as a marketing opportunity.
If you have been putting off creating an Instagram account for your brand or business, now is the time to stop procrastinating. There are numerous reasons why you should start using Instagram right now and begin exploring how your business could take advantage of this platform.
Whether you’re just dipping your toes into the waters of social media for the first time or simply looking for ways to improve on what you have already implemented before, here are some insider secrets about how to best utilise this platform for your business.
Get An Instagram Business Account
If you want to improve the perceived authority of your account and provide seamless customer experience, it’s best to get a business account.
Business accounts differ from personal accounts in that they provide more clarity around who is behind the account, what message they are trying to get across, and what they are trying to achieve.
Business accounts allow brands to connect with other businesses and customers, manage multiple Instagram profiles, and view insights on their posts. Business accounts are also able to schedule posts in advance, access analytics, and focus on growing their followers.
If you have a personal account, you can convert it to a business account by logging into your Instagram profile and clicking on ‘Settings’ in the top right corner. From there, you will select the ‘Account’ option and choose ‘Upgrade to Business’ from the drop-down menu.
Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are a relatively new addition to the Instagram platform, but they have quickly become a fan favourite; with over 400 million people using the feature every single day.
What makes Stories so appealing is that they are completely ephemeral, meaning that after 24-hours, they are automatically deleted.
This aspect of Stories is what makes it the perfect platform for businesses to engage their customers in a more informal way. If you are looking to engage customers in a more informal way, the best way to do this is by using the Instagram Stories feature.
Instagram’s latest acquisition is also another great way for businesses to engage with their customers. With IGTV, businesses can post long-form videos that are more in-line with the typical television format.
This is good for brands who want to give more information about their products or services; but don’t want to interrupt the flow of their feed with long videos.
Engage With Your Audience
As we’ve already established, Instagram is a visual platform. What this means is that the most effective way to engage with your followers is by posting high-quality, visual content.
Whether you are sharing photos or videos, it’s important that they be high-quality and authentic; as this is how you will connect with your audience on a much more personal level.
The best way to do this is by leveraging the Instagram feed. Take some time to explore the various types of visuals that are being shared by people in your industry.
Then try to build your feed around similar types of posts. This will help you to create a feed that feels more natural, and helps your Instagram profile to stand out from the crowd.
Add Value With Your Content
If you want to see real results from your Instagram efforts, then you need to remember that social media is all about adding value to your audience.
Whether you are sharing photos of your latest product, or answering questions about the industry you work in, you need to remember that all of your content needs to have a purpose.
When it comes to sharing photos, you don’t want to simply share snapshots of what your daily life looks like. Instead, try to curate a feed that is full of inspirational or aspirational images. Highlight your brand’s mission or core values, and then regularly share posts that inspire or educate your audience.
Pay Attention To Captions
If you are only paying attention to the visuals that you are posting on Instagram and not the captions, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
The caption is one of the most overlooked aspects of Instagram, but they are also one of the most important. The caption is the first thing that your followers read when they come across your post, so it needs to be engaging and interesting enough to encourage them to click on your post.
You can use the caption to provide more information about the image you are posting, ask questions, or even give a shout-out to your current followers.
The best way to approach captions is to think of them as an extended version of the headline you would use if you were creating a blog post.
Build An Ad Campaign
If you are looking to boost your Instagram engagement and increase your followers, then you can do so by creating an ad campaign.
While the Instagram ad platform is relatively new, it has quickly become one of the best ways for businesses to generate leads and sales without having to do much.
Ads can be a bit tricky to get right at first, but once you’ve got the hang of them, they are a great way to drive more traffic to your account and increase your follower counts quickly.
When it comes to creating ads on Instagram, it’s important to remember that you are dealing with a visual platform. This means that the most effective ads are visually appealing with the Instagram community.
Host A Giveaway
If you want to increase your engagement levels even further, then the best way to do so is by hosting a giveaway. This is a great way to get attention on your Instagram account.
And can be an excellent way to get new followers excited about your brand or product. When hosting a giveaway, it’s important to keep these three things in mind:
- The Prize
- The Rules
- The Participation Requirements
There are many different ways to host a giveaway, but the best way to do so on Instagram is by creating a photo or video that invites people to enter the contest.
Measure Success And Make Adjustments
As you start to implement some of these strategies, it’s important to remember that you won’t see instant results. In fact, it might take several months before you see any real impact from the work you are doing.
This is why it’s important to keep an eye on the analytics for your Instagram account. Instagram offers several different insights for businesses, including post insights and audience insights.
Post insights give you information about your most recent posts, including impressions, reach, likes, comments, and click-through-rates.
Audience insights give you information about your current followers, including information about their location, gender, age, language, and relationship with your brand.
Instagram is a visual platform, so it’s important to curate a feed filled with high-quality, aspirational images that resonate with your audience.
You can do this by creating a consistent theme for your feed, and by staying away from posting too many photos in a single day. If you want to boost your engagement levels even further, then it’s a good idea to host a giveaway, and create an ad campaign.
Remember, though, that Instagram is a long-term game, so you can’t expect to see instant results. With the right strategy in place it’s possible to generate more engagement, followers, and sales with Instagram.