So your company wants to branch out and use Instagram for business, but you’re not sure how to get started. We’ve gathered some tips together to help you start marketing on Instagram today!
Tips for starting your Business Marketing on Instagram
1. Setting up your account.
When you sign up for an Instagram account, choose a username that will be easily identified as your brand. For example, if Coca-Cola’s username was ColaLvr1892, Coca-Cola’s customers would not be able to recognize that Instagram account and associate it with the brand. However, Coca-Cola’s actual username, @cocacola, is easily associated with the international brand and can attract followers who are already loyal to the brand right away.
You also want to be sure to add a profile photo, a short business biography, and a link to your website on your profile. The profile photo should be a logo or branding image that your company uses across other platforms to, once again, help your current audience easily find and recognize you on a new social channel. Providing your website link gives followers who enjoy your content another outlet to connect with your business or buy your products.
Once you start posting and building your image gallery, you should also link your Instagram account to your Facebook Business Page, your company website or blog, and other important sites, as well as announce your arrival to Instagram on other social networks, such as Twitter. Doing this will help you notify followers from other social media sites that they can now find you on Instagram. After all, the more interaction and sharing between your business and its followers, the more your company name will circulate around the web and the more your followers will be encouraged to refer your content to others.
Click here for more help in setting up your Instagram account.
2. Build your image gallery with relatable and visually-interesting content.
Post pictures that are relevant to your brand or your target audiences in some way. Your business’ Instagram account doesn’t only have to feature images related to your products and services, but those images will also have to be thrown into the mix if you’re hoping to convert your Instagram efforts into sales. Use your Instagram gallery to tell your brand’s visual story, to relate to your target audiences on their social platform, and to stimulate a connection between your business and your Instagram audience.
Great Instagram business accounts for inspiration:
Chobani’s Instagram account (@chobani) inspires followers to explore all the possibilities for their yogurt. A bunch of pictures of yogurt containers to purchase would make for boring content, but Chobani’s posts help followers see the product in action. Showcase your product in a way that is exciting and helps Instagram users visualize its use in their own lives.
If you think there aren’t exciting opportunities to tell your company’s story on Instagram, put on your creative hats and think again! General Electric (@generalelectric) decided to focus on their company’s mission to “build, move, power and cure the world.” That mission and story probably wouldn’t be told well through pictures of appliances, but these larger-than-life images of trains, windmills, and jets work to brand General Electric with a story on a wider scale that helps audiences connect with and invest in the brand.
Click here to see more inspiration on the Instagram Business Blog.
3. Notice what’s trending and cater to those trends among your target audience.
Don’t try to force your own agenda on Instagram. Instead, see what’s popular and brainstorm ways your company can contribute. Catering to the needs and desires of your target audiences on Instagram will help you stay in the loop on current trends, which will help Instagram followers see your brand as up-to-date, relatable, and innovative.
4. Be searchable.
Hashtagging isn’t just for Twitter. Hashtags are an effective way for your Instagram pictures to be found by users who are not currently your followers. This objective makes hashtags extremely important when it comes to getting more exposure and gaining more followers. Search and explore Instagram for hashtags that are relevant to your business and its target audiences. Save these hashtags in a document and categorize them according to their content and target markets.
For example, one of your hashtag lists may be geared toward art, another toward photographers, and another toward design. As you post pictures, add relevant hashtags to the descriptions and the comments sections.
After you post an image, click on hashtags that you used to see other photos with the same hashtags. Like, comment, and start conversations across pictures with these hashtags, and follow other users who seem interested in the content you generate. Being generous on social media encourages users to reciprocate the generosity by liking, commenting, or following your posts. This point brings us to the next tip.
5. Interact with other users and use @mentions.
Instagram is not all about just putting your content out there. Like any other business venture, you have to work to serve others with your product or service. Social media is all about being social, so great marketing on Instagram involves reaching out to other users. Besides liking, commenting, and following, you can also use @mentions with the “@“ symbol before an Instagram username. Using the @mention will connect you with that Instagram user to start a conversation, ask questions, or connect your images to specific users. @Mentions can be a great way to increase your presence on Instagram and connect with clients and key users in your target audience; however, you must be careful to use good etiquette and not spam or bother other users with random and irrelevant @mentions or high volumes of @mentions in a short amount of time.
Overall, these Instagram tips won’t do much for your business marketing if you can’t put in the time and the effort into regularly posting quality content. If your company wants to use a new social platform, make sure it has the time and the workforce to post good images each week and interact with other users. If your company can’t handle loads of volume right away, start by posting a few times a week: just be sure to plan your posts well and to post intentionally. Choose quality over quantity, and do what you can to build your Instagram gallery and presence.