7 ways to win on Instagram for your business
In the world of social media, it's hard to navigate each platform to attract and communicate with the users on there. These various platforms (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) are all different, so it's important to understand each one and how to use it in the best way. Today it's time to look at your "Insta" account. Are you using it in the best way possible? Here are a few tips and best practices you should be using as a business on Instagram.
Whether you’re selling a product or service, there are many ways to showcase your business in a way that compels customers, while also fitting into the mold and style of the platform you’re communicating through, in this case, Instagram.
Look at popular users and influencers on Instagram, see what’s trending in terms of style, and try to put a creative spin on your photos and captions.
Complete your profile
Instagram provides extra features for businesses in the profile. Be sure to add your phone number, address etc. to give customers the opportunity to quickly get in touch with you.
Additionally, your profile gives you some key areas to showcase your business. It’s important to find a balance between explaining your business to new customers and building community with returning customers.
Your description should explain who you are, and possibly some brand hashtags, slogans, or current events/deals.
The link in your bio can be used for your company website, but frequently accounts will use it as a reference from a certain new post. Since you can't put links in traditional post captions, users will frequently make an announcement in a caption and write “click the link in our bio to…” and the link (maybe to a blog post, Facebook event, etc.) will be seen in the profile bio.
Tip: be sure to change the link back to your main website once the temporary link is no longer relevant.
Peel back the curtain
Bloopers, deleted scenes, and behind-the-scenes footage give us special insights into a TV show or movie, and you can apply that same tactic to your business. Giving users a peek behind the curtain can earn trust, build a following and even help with things like hiring.
Show employees working, pictures of your process, etc. to show not only who you are, but how you do what you do.
Instagram Stories are a great way to reach your audience daily. Stories are a slideshow-like feature that lives at the top of Instagram, outside the traditional feed. These photos or videos expire after 24 hours and are beneficial for a few reasons:
- Since they live at the top of the Instagram feed, users are very likely to see this content
- They normally don't have to be as high of quality as your regular posts.
- Gives you the opportunity to use different types of content, such as short videos, Boomerangs (GIF-like images)
- Tagging other users and locations can insert your content places you weren't able to before
- Fun features like filters, markers, text etc. help you create something new on-the-go.
Live videos, leveraged well, can be hugely beneficial in creating a community of returning users, which normally turn into loyal customers. With Instagram live, you can broadcast video live and interact with your viewers in real time. Plus, Instagram usually sends out a push notification when you go live, prompting all your followers the view your live video. That kind of instant reach is unprecedented.
Hashtags are a good way to extend your reach and can be done in a few ways.
Branded hashtags are something you create yourself, like a slogan or tagline. The goal of a branded hashtag is for your followers to start using that hashtag on their own photos, creating a brand identity and sense of community within your user base.
Other hashtags include ones with popular general use. These are tags that just get popular on the platform itself and in-turn, see many views. It’s important to be strategic with these. First, you don't want to flood your picture with tons of non-relevant hashtags. Second, with over 700 million active users on Instagram, you probably won't get outstanding impressions with “#fun”. Be smart. Relevant content gets more mileage.
One more thing before we turn you loose to take over the world. Insights—these numbers give you helpful information about what’s going on on your Instagram. Let’s go through them.
Impressions - The total number of times all of your posts have been seen.
Reach - The number of unique accounts that have seen any of your posts
Profile Views - The number of times your profile has been viewed.
Website Clicks - The number of taps on the website link in your profile.
Followers - Average times your followers are on Instagram on a typical day
And that’s it. Odds are you know and use some or all of these tactics, but maybe it’s time to try something new. Instagram is a platform all about attention and the better content you can give your followers, the more attention you’ll gain from them.