How to Use Instagram to Better Your Business

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When the results came out last year that Instagram surpassed twitters monthly active users, Instagram became the hottest topic around marketing agencies.  As the app made efforts to become more user friendly, they also shifted towards catering to the needs of businesses.  With Instagram’s new Business Profile account, companies can get insight about followers and posts, promote posts to business objectives, and be recognized more easily. Now you can get actionable information about which times of the day, days of the week, and even types of post are most successful.  This also means that customers can now see valuable information in your profile, such as business address or contact info.  Click here to find out how to create yours today!.

Before you start posting away, the first step you want to take is establishing your Instagram goals. These might include:

  • Increasing product sales
  • Increasing traffic to your website
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Increasing branded hashtag mentions

The goals you set for your Instagram strategy should all be achievable and measurable.  This is paramount before going any further on Instagram.  Establishing S.M.A.R.T goals is the key to a thriving, healthy business profile.  

After you have your goals are set in place, the next step involves creating your mission statement.  A mission statement acts as a guiding principle for your Instagram activities that will isolate this platform from others (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc).  In the case of Instagram, the network’s main strength is in visuals and your mission statement and goals should reflect that.

With your mission statement in place,  it’s time to move onto your content strategy.  This involves:

  • Choosing how often to post
  • Choosing what time of day to post
  • Establishing a content calendar
  • Choosing your content themes

On Instagram, maintaining a regular, consistent posting schedule is crucial when reaching your followers.  However, bombarding your followers with too many posts can backfire and actually do more harm than good.  As for the time of day to post, this depends on your audience which will take some time to test.  

Once you implemented your strategy, it’s time for some tips on mastering Instagram for your business.  One of the first actions you should take is making sure that your photos are unique and creative.  You should be making sure you focus on the solution you provide, not the products you sell.  Not only do you want to add value to your customers, you want it to look pretty too.  The most important asset on this platform is the visual content.  You really want to show your company’s culture and mission with the world.  One of the best ways to show your company’s culture through the lens of Instagram is consistency.  You really want to consider the visual style you want for your Instagram brand. Choose one filter or a set of filters that you will use for the majority, if not all of your photos. By using the same filters over and over, you establish a style that will become recognizable to your followers. Since your goal is to get Instagram users to stop scrolling once they see your image (in order to engage with it by liking or commenting), it is better to have your photos be more instantly recognizable.

Another great feature to boost your Instagram profile is Instagram Stories. This is a slideshow format that is live for 24-hours that can benefit your company with impressions.  The main benefit that Instagram Stories give a company is that it’s prominently displayed at the top of followers timelines.  This feature can also be used to capture behind-the-scenes content that doesn’t have to be as high in quality as a regular post. This great feature solves the problem of having your Instagram post keep going down on your feed instead staying right in front of your users.

Lastly, to kick off your business’ Instagram presence, you will want to follow a bunch of users. Find influencers in your industry, clients, and engaging users and follow them. Search relevant industry hashtags and make your presence known by commenting on photos and following people who participate in these discussions. You’d be surprised how quickly this can expand your following on Instagram. Lastly, add your Instagram handle to your web properties and other social media profiles for cross-promotion. You can also send out a message or two asking your existing following on those networks to also follow you on Instagram.


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On July 11, 2017

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