We’re all well aware of the power that social media holds for businesses, with Facebook and Twitter acting as primary online platforms these days. But when Instagram was launched seven years ago, it seemed hard to envisage the huge impact the photo-sharing platform would achieve.
Today, more than one billion users worldwide are on the platform – more than 8 million of those are businesses – to upload their snaps and interact with others. So, if you’re yet to be on Instagram, then it’s time to start taking this one seriously.
Having rivalled the likes of Snapchat since launching ‘stories’, they’re now taking on YouTube by launching ‘IGTV’ – their own video streaming section – and they continue to grow and adapt the platform regularly.
This ever-changing app can benefit your company, so that’s why we’ve compiled our top five Instagram business tips, so you can get the most out of the platform.
Keep it unique
Users that post organic, un-staged photos tend to achieve the best engagement. We’ve all heard the clichés that Instagram is full of pictures of people’s food and holidays, so don’t follow the crowd! Post interesting, well composed and creative photos to make sure you stand out and you’ll see the likes and follows adding up. Try taking photos of your latest project or installation, your business meetings or some happy customers. For your everyday snaps you can just use your smartphone or tablet, but for installation photographs to use across all marketing, it’s worth considering a professional photographer.
It’s important to think about your tone on Instagram. By engaging with your followers, other businesses and the community you will come across as more approachable and people will appreciate the effort you’re making.
Like and comment exactly as you would do with Facebook and Twitter or share – known as re-gram on Instagram (using other apps) and people will be more willing to do the same for you. Your reach will be improved, and more people will be seeing your name pop up. So, make yourself known and show you’ve got time to talk. Also make sure you’re asking your followers questions or replying to comments they’ve made, it will encourage them and others to engage with you.
Let your audience in
Instagram is fundamentally a creative platform and it pays to be imaginative. Keep it fun! Perhaps upload photos to show your audience what your team get up to in the office or a great event you attended recently. Let them see behind the branding and show them you’re human with a real passion for what you do.
Make the most of your caption space and think through what you’re going to say. A captivating caption can be the difference between a really successful post and a bad one. Use anecdotes, trending and relevant hashtags, tag in any people or places mentioned or related to the subject and ask your audience questions to prompt comments and discussions. The more interesting and engaging your post the better!
Instagram is so much more than just the standard feed posts nowadays. Stories allow your audience to get a snapshot into your day-to-day life or running of the business. So if you’re heading to an event soon, let your followers be a part of it. Don’t forget to use hashtags, locations and mentions just as you would on normal feed posts too. Have a play around with the different type faces, filters, boomerangs and video to boost your engagement further. Making use of the ‘Polls’ and ‘Ask a Question’ feature has proven to be a great tool for engagement and getting feedback. Try asking your followers which colour or design they like best or schedule certain times that followers can send in all the questions they’d like answering as a ‘Q&A’ session.
Accounts that are lucky enough to have 10,000 followers or more will be able to take advantage of Instagram’s ‘swipe up’ feature which allows followers to swipe the screen to take them to a particular webpage. For example, ‘Swipe up to see our Instagram business tips!’.
Before you reach these follower figures, you can make use of the website section in your profile to add in website links to drive traffic to instead.
We can help
As Instagram’s success and social media continues to grow, we are sure to see even more changes and new algorithms in the future for us to get our head rounds, so keeping up to date and trying out all the features will help you to understand what works best for your business.
Found our Instagram business tips helpful? Our blog is full of news and tips on social media, so make sure you take a look at our other posts too.