If there was a marketing method that put your business in front of 1 billion potential customers, would you dismiss it? No - (we didn’t think so).
This is how many active Instagram users are online per month in 2019. Instagram has now become an essential tool for businesses; it allows you to share your product or service in a creative way.
And, if your target audience is between 18 and 34, you really need to be utilising this free marketing: with Instagram users in this age bracket accounting for 64% of total users, it just cannot be ignored.
You don’t have to have 5 million followers to be successful on Instagram. What matters is creating great content with your target audience in mind. People use Instagram to find inspiration, and to connect with what they care about, so how are you going to do this?
We’ve put together our 5 top Instagram tips for businesses - why? Because we want you to reap the benefits!
Firstly, switch to an Instagram business account
The switch is easy to make, and opens up a whole new world for businesses. You can see analytics and insights that will allow you to make your Instagram strategy better by understanding what is working, and what isn’t.
You can also make Instagram ads to promote posts, and make it easy for customers to contact you; adding an email address, website, and location.
Simply go to your account settings, and you will see the “Switch to business profile”.
So, what can you see?
-A snapshot of the most liked images
-Where your audience is from, and their age and gender
Go on - make the switch!
Hashtags are your friend
Some people love the hashtag, and some people hate them. The truth is, for businesses, they are a must-have on any post.
Using just one hashtag will get you 12.6% more engagement. On any Instagram post, you are allowed to use the maximum limit of 30 (imagine the increase in engagement then).
Top tip - the part that some people consider annoying is when they are in the caption. To stop this, you can just add your set of hashtags in a comment, and comment underneath your post!
You can experiment, and test which hashtags are most effective for your business or industry. As well as this, you can get an idea of the best hashtags to use by using the search bar and going to the tags section.
For example if your business is a coffee shop, type coffee and a list of hashtags show up:
Look for a few local hashtags to get you noticed in your area too!
Use free apps to make your page look amazing
There are new apps being created every day that make it easier to make a professional-looking Instagram account. Take a look at your favourite brand Instagram account - what do you like about it?
Do they have a colour theme? Do they have similar elements in every picture? Do they use the same edit on each image? You will see how these aspects have become increasingly important: they build your online brand identity.
Content is the key differentiator in allowing you to stand out against your competitors, so you need to invest time in making your page look good! By creating highly visual, and creative content you will draw in new customers whilst keeping existing customers interested - win-win.
The good news is, to do this you don’t need to invest in a top of the range camera or pay a designer to create these posts for you.
Our favourite apps:
-To edit - VSCO and afterlight - you can choose one filter you like, and apply it to all of your images to create consistency
-To create graphics - Canva (this app is too good!). It allows you to easily create graphics for all social channels, use shutterstock images, and it has preset layouts that you can edit at the click of a button to suit your brand
-Upfold - To create Instagram stories that stand out
-Preview app - This app allows you to see how your Instagram page will look: upload the content, and move them into a theme before posting!
Consistency is king
When building a following on Instagram, it’s important to remember that one post a week just won’t cut out! You don’t want to lose customers to your competitors who are posting daily, right?
So, to stay ahead of the game, you should decide on the amount of times you will post on social media, and stick to it. Being consistent will keep your brand in your potential customers minds.
Utilising Instagram stories
The Instagram stories feature is quickly becoming a tool that brands recognise as important to their social media strategy: 39% of people say they became more interested in a product or service after seeing it on an Instagram story.
Using this feature give your followers behind the scenes footage of your day-to-day office life, or give them sneak previews of your new products - it can create a ‘VIP’ feel; your followers receive new information before anyone else.
New features on Instagram stories allow you to use it to create conversations by asking questions, and creating polls so people have a say in your businesses.
E.g. If you have a bakery, you could ask:
What would you like to see us bake tomorrow? A) Red Velvet B) Pistachio and rose … the most popular answer is chosen.
Using this feature can really act as a differentiator against competitors. It not only helps you create content that is engaging, it can take the decision making stress away from you by allowing your customers to choose!
So, if you’ve never posted an Instagram story, give it a go today.
With Instagram just announcing it will test a feature that allows users to purchase from their favourite influencers, we are excited to see how Instagram is going to develop in 2019!
Do you want to discuss one of these points in more detail? At Adventure Digital, we welcome your questions. We are also more than happy to meet with you personally.
To do this, all you need to do is get in touch, and we will arrange a meeting that suits you - the coffee is on us!
So, as I’m sure you are all aware by now, Instagram is testing a new version of the platform whereby ‘likes’ will no longer be shown. Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram says the change aims to make the platform a “less pressurised environment” in order to make Instagram feel less “like a competition”.
It’s been two months since I began working for Adventure Digital, and what a two months it’s been! It was always my goal to work in a digital role and to finally be in a position I love is a great feeling.