From YouTube to Facebook and Instagram, there are a few major social media platforms. Although all of these sites have incredible value, Instagram is one of the largest. Instagram is more than just a social media site, it is a place of business. With over 800 million monthly users, there is a massive opportunity to market to youth and adults around the world. However, there are some tips and tricks you’ll need to know before diving into Instagram. This guide will walk you through the essentials of using Instagram for business.
There are over 25 million businesses already on Instagram, and it is a good idea to join their ranks. The best way to set your company apart from the typical user it by creating a business account. This type of account comes with analytic capabilities to help you monitor your account.The data that is presented includes the number of interactions, profile visits, and website clicks.
Business accounts also come with the option to “boost” content. This is an inexpensive, paid promotion program that ensures you are seen by a larger audience. If you already have a basic Instagram account, you can easily switch it to a business account.
Instagram allows a profile to post a single link in their bio and nowhere else. You cannot post a link in a post or anywhere else on your account. Since you are only allowed one link, might as well make it count and use a tracking link.
A tracking link is a link that redirects to the page of your choosing, usually your company site. Tracking links collect data such as website pages, blog posts, links on social media, links on ads, and emails. These links can be used anywhere around the Internet, especially in Instagram bios. Do keep in mind that most of Instagram is accessed on mobile devices so make your link mobile friendly. Nothing will make a viewer hit the back button than a poorly optimized mobile site.
The base of every Instagram account, normal or business, is pictures. Everyone wants to see beautiful well shot pictures and that is especially true for business accounts. People expect businesses to have more resources than the average Instagram user. This means your business pictures need to be professionally done. Do not skimp on pictures, if your picture is poor no one will read your captions or click on your link. Take advantage of natural light, don’t overexpose your photos, and don’t be afraid to get creative.
Hashtags are a powerful and necessary tool. Using them correctly can net you a larger audience and more engagement. However, using them too much can lead to negative consequences. When you use too many tags, you can become shadowbanned. Your posts will still be viewable and people can still interact with them, but they will be much less prominent. This is because Instagram doesn’t want people to game the hashtag system by filling their captions with tags.
This isn’t to say using a handful of tags is bad, just keep it to tags that absolutely must be there and leave the extras behind. You can use branded tags that directly relate to your business to connect your content back to your brand. Community tags are more general words or phrases that connect users who search for themes. Try searching for tags to help find content that follows your company’s theme.
Live streaming is a good way to connect with customers face-to-face and in real-time. You can show behind the scenes projects, preview new products, or answer questions from customers. It is a good idea to have the host of the livestream be a face of the company so customers can associate that person with your brand. Furthermore, these streams can be found in your stories for 24 hours after they end.
Stories are a great way to do quick and temporary content. The pictures or videos you post on stories disappear after 24 hours, creating an area of Instagram that rewards loyal followers by showing them limited time content. You can advertise limited time sales or promotions on your story, as well as behind the scenes content that shows another side to your company.
Instagram is a powerful tool for business. Your company can reach millions of potential customers when you use the system correctly. Furthermore, be sure to use a business account to gain access to tracking features that are sure to make your life easier. By following the tips in this guide, you can upgrade your company’s Instagram profile and following!
Nick Rojas wears many hats — business consultant, serial entrepreneur, business and technology journalist. For the past 20 years, this self-taught marketing strategy has worked with small to medium sized businesses offering his personal brand of expertise. His latest adventure includes working with Brilliance.