With over one billion users, Instagram is one of the most powerful social media tools around today. It offers the opportunity to engage and interact with people through visual content, and with over 90% of users following a business account, it is a great way to showcase your brand in a creative way. Here, we discuss our top tips when using Instagram for business, in order to create maximum impact.
On the whole, it’s the content that you post on your business Instagram account that will have the biggest impact on how successful the social media tool is for you. Before your first post, it is a good idea to think about the following:
- What do you want to achieve from your Instagram account? Unless they have already heard of you, Instagram users are more likely to find you through hashtags and other users. Therefore, you need to clearly define the goals of your account, and keep them in mind with every post. It is also important to establish a consistent look and feel with your posts, both so that your brand is recognisable at a glance and because everyone appreciates an aesthetic feed!
- When using Instagram for business, you really need to keep in mind your target audience; their gender; age group; what they’re interested/not interested in, and post accordingly.
- Rather than focusing solely on showcasing your products or services, using Instagram for your business can be an exciting way to show a ‘behind the scenes view of your company – be it showing the production process of a product, or simply showing what you get up to in the office as a team. It can also help to demonstrate your brand and brand values in a practical sense.
- Utilising Instagram’s many different post types is important. Instagram has introduced multiple different types of video content so think about using these different features to your advantage. For example, a short behind the scenes video would work well on reels, a longer IGTV video could be used for a tutorial to help and engage your followers, and an Instagram live would be good for a Q&A to allow your customers to get to know you.
- If you are selling a product, the shop feature leads prospective buyers straight to your website; a great tool to utilise when using Instagram for business. Furthermore, Instagram has come up with a gift card feature, which has encouraged people to support their favourite businesses throughout the pandemic. You can add the gift card feature to your profile, or use it as a sticker on your story, again allowing customers to purchase your product in just a few clicks.
Engagement and who to follow
- Creating a community around your brand is key when using Instagram for business. Loyal followers who regularly interact with your posts will in turn see your content on their feed more frequently. If your post has lots of likes and comments, it has a higher chance of staying at the top of your follower’s feeds, giving you more visibility. You could even pin an interesting comment that is likely to spark more conversation under your post.
- If you’re on Instagram as a small business, it’s a great idea to follow and interact with other local businesses in your area. This increases the likelihood of their customers, potential customers and followers seeing your page and engaging with you, and generally being more aware of your products and services. A smart way to do this is by posting other people’s content onto your own story. This creates a positive interaction making them likely to re-post this on their account, which in turn, gets your name out to their followers.
- When it comes to engaging with others, we would recommend not liking pictures with over 1000 likes already but would suggest you make a comment instead, as the owner of that account is much more likely to see and notice your comment rather than alike. Using interactive stickers such as polls in your stories is another way to encourage engagement and gather information about your customers at the same time.
Hashtags and Captions
- Instagram allows for up to 2,200 characters with every post meaning you have the opportunity to convey a much longer message to your followers than on platforms such as twitter. However, keep in mind that people use Instagram to scroll through visuals and do not want an information overload in the caption. With longer captions, ensure the most important, gripping information is in the top two lines of text so that they show under the posts without users having to click ‘see more’.
- Hashtags are one of the best tools on Instagram for businesses, in order to get your content seen and increase your reach. While in theory you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, quality is better than quantity. We recommend around 10 relevant hashtags aimed specifically at your target audience. If hashtags don’t reach these people or only reach the wrong demographic you will not see the results you want. As well as limiting your number of hashtags, our advice to avoid appearing ‘spammy’ is to post your hashtags in the comment section under your post. This way, they are more hidden making the post look a bit more attractive!
- In terms of what hashtags work, industry related hashtags will help increase your reach to a more specific audience. A trick to work out which industry hashtags to use is to check out similar accounts to your own to get a feel for what hashtags are popular. Using more niche industry related hashtags means you are more likely to end up on the ‘top’ page of the hashtag. This is where the most popular posts under that hashtag are displayed and are not chronological like the ‘recent’ page. This allows people to see your post first when they look at the hashtag and means your post doesn’t get swallowed up by all of the more recent posts.
- There are a number of commonly-used weekly hashtags, which can be relevant to almost anyone. For example, #MotivationalMonday and #ThrowbackThursday. These are almost guaranteed to attract interaction, whether it be a simple like, a comment, or ultimately a follow. Using hashtags relating to current events is another thing you can do to increase interaction and should factor into your decision of what to post and when. For example, a #Christmas hashtag will allow a wide range of people who are enjoying the festivities to see your post.
- One tip to consider is creating a unique hashtag specifically for your brand. While this could take some time to become popular, you could use this tag as a way for people to participate in competitions and show off your brand on their page. By asking users to use your personal hashtag in their posts, you could end up with some great user generated content and a buzz around your business.
Review what has worked
One of the key benefits of using Instagram for business is the analytics that comes with a business account. The feature gathers data from your Instagram and allows you to work out what hashtags have brought the most traffic to a post and displays some useful statistics about what kind of people are interacting with you. Googling what times to post is important and can vary for a number of factors, however, Instagram’s insights will be able to tell you when your followers are most active and thus, the best time to post.
So there you have it – WagadaHQ’s top tips when using Instagram for business that will help you get the most out of your snaps.