How to make a great Instagram for your business
businesses are taking to instagraM to revolutionise the way they build their name.
With over 500 million active users monthly, Instagram is a stand out tool for businesses to not only market their products and services, but build their client base, scope and distribution channels. As research shows 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram and 75% of those take action after being inspired by a post, we provide the tips and tricks necessary to launch, design and build your brand on Instagram.
Plan Your Strategy
By researching the platform and knowing how to use Instagram, you’ll figure out the easiest ways to find your audience and build your brand. Draw up mind maps with tools like Creatly, MindMup and Bubbl.us to track how other brands in your industry operate and what your target audience enjoys.
Build Your Strategy
Once you’ve got your building blocks, you can create your strategy. Consider your business’s goals, image and ethos and jot down your business aims. Your social media strategy should reflect this and could include goals like:
• Increase sales
• Increase traction to your website
• Promote brand awareness
• Build client engagement
Build Your (Content) Strategy
Your content strategy focuses solely on how logistically you’ll achieve your social media goals. Setting clear guidelines on how often you’ll post, what time of day and what kind of theme you’ll follow are crucial for a great Instagram. Tools like ScheduGram, Later, Crowdfire and Viraltag are perfect for organising and arranging your content strategy.
A regular schedule of posts will mean regular interaction and traction for your site but don’t overload your followers with content. Studies show that customers are conditioned to expect brands they follow to post 1-2 times a day for prime engagement.
Design Your Instagram
Getting started on Instagram is simple, and by signing up with a free business account, you can begin posting content for your followers to view. However what separates a good gram from a great one is a lot more than just a good photo. Depending on your business, your Instagram will reflect the purpose of your company.
For example, a lot of food businesses feature “Flat Lays” of their meals as an attractive and popular image, while fashion and lifestyle platforms often colour code their posts to appeal to buyers for the season and collection.
With a community obsessed with beautiful imagery, an eye-catching aesthetic, and everyone becoming a professional photographer at the click of an iOS button, the Instagram community responds to certain photo filters more favorably than others. Using preferred filters can have a major impact on your Gram’s engagement.
If Instagram’s filters don’t suit your aesthetic, editing platforms like Snapseed, VSCO Cam and A Color Story offer incredible tools while apps like Boomerang, Layout and Whitagram add a variety of content creating tools that can diversify the image of your brand.
Vary Your Content
Think of the types of posts you’re creating. Even if you’re the best bakery in the bay, posting photos of delicious food won’t keep everyone’s attention for long (okay, maybe it will). Try sharing diverse posts, including products you’ve released, sneak peeks, your office location, staff, loyal customers, events you’ve hosted and attended, and even features on your business from other media entities.
Little additions to your Instagram can grow your following immensely. Things like connecting your other social media channels will drive traffic to your page.
As one of the most important features on Instagram, using relevant hashtags will also help your posts appear on the feeds of your target audience. For example, if you’re a local business, hashtagging your city will inform people who are close enough to purchase your products and services know of your location. For businesses with a larger geographical scope, it’s important to hashtag your niche, (e.g. #fishinglines or #catportraits) so buyers searching for a particular product can stumble across your business. Hashtagging your industry can also let everyone know your business is the #best in #marketing #knitting #lawnmowing #etc. To see the most popular hashtags, check Webstagram.
You can monitor your instagram analytics with tools such as Curalate to track your following growth and user engagement.
The Social Network
Networking is the crux of business growth, so try these tricks of the trade to get your business name out there on the Instasphere:
Getting friends or family members to tag you in their personal posts will take their audiences to your site so convince them to “@yourpage” from time to time.
Offering giveaways to followers is a great way to get your business name out there. Things like “a hamper worth $200 will be rewarded to our favourite Instagram post” means followers will not only engage for the chance to win a prize, but promote your business by sharing relevant images and tagging your company in their posts.
Shouts can be paid or unpaid and require Instagrams with a large following to post images that actively promote your business. You can search for desired influencers yourself, or use apps like TRIBE or The Right Fit as a directory of potential partners. Have a clear budget in mind and campaign style to ensure the image of your business is maintained. Typically if an Instagram is getting between 2 - 3 % of their followers ‘liking’ their content, they’re worth an investment.
Make Your Posts Visible
There’s nothing worse than a wonderful, wasted post on Instagram. Social media revolves around positive engagement so make sure you’re publishing content when your followers are likely to respond. This can get tricky in international markets, but even on a local scale requires planning. Using apps like Iconosquare finds out when your followers are online, analysing their activities and reporting back with the optimal times to schedule posts. For a quick look at the best times to post, click here.
Instagram offers the opportunity for grammers to sponsor their content, with paid campaigns that can increase engagement by up to 32%. As an inexpensive and effective way to promote your business, sponsored posts typically range from around $20 - $50 per image.
Launch your business’s Instagram today! For more advice on how to run a great account, read our interview with PR Queen and Social Media Influencer Roxy Jacenko here.