Instagram for Business: 13 Tips and Tricks for Small and Medium Businesses
Do you know how to use Instagram for business?
This article will learn you how to use Instagram to increase your traffic, business awareness and measure your efforts.
Previously, it was thought the brain takes approximately 100 milliseconds in processing images and visuals. But alas!
Recent studies from MIT now provide amazing evidence of the brain power!
13 milliseconds is now the new number!
In 13 milliseconds, your brain has already identified and placed an image; that’s essentially the blink of an eye, suggests the reort. And yet, you wonder why they compare an image to 1000 words.
The ability of the average human medulla to easily understand an image makes them so effective in marketing, more effective than using a combination of long words.
Facebook has for so long been in people’s mouths that few witnessed Instagram slowly overtaking its bigger sister. It’s a waste of time elaborating what Instagram is, the assumption being you are already in the light.
In order to shorten a long explanation, Instagram is the in thing for a majority of youngsters. If you’re looking to be seen, if you’re there to see, if you’re just there to pass time, or peruse markets for different products, or if you just want to be entertained – look no further!
So why is your business not on Instagram?
You think it’s hard?
Allow us to walk you through its simplicity offering you such easy tips that next time you join us – it will be all gratitude in the comment box!
1. You Need to Be a Member
First things first, you need to sign up for an Instagram account for your business.
Easy and what’s more, it’s totally free!
- Download the app on App Store or Play Store according to the device in your possession.
- Sign up with your email address or log in with Facebook.
- Scroll down and switch to business account option
- Add your business info as it relates to your operations.
2. Username, Profile Picture, and Bio
Why have we listed this as a major point on its own – simple, it’s what defines you!
The username should as much as possible equalize other usernames on your different platforms.
You don’t want to mix up your clientele and make it hard for them to find you. Remember, in as much as you are on Instagram, seek to boost your influence on other platforms like Twitter and Facebook too.
Let it also feature your business, either your business name or some product you offer. Just don’t let it be out of context.
The profile picture should captivate and create interest. If possible, let it be as original and real as your business is. It might even be your own logo.
Instagram profile pictures are a maximum of 110 pixels, but you can choose larger and clearer snaps that appear larger on the web.
Last and best, your bio section is what ultimately attracts or pushes away your audience.
It should be particular and define what you do in short, simple words.
Remember that in this section, you are only awarded a maximum of 150 characters. You definitely want to maximize this.
If possible, include hashtags that lead to your business or related products and associates.
3. Drive Traffic to Your Site
An Instagram account, especially a business one, is made for people. Don’t personalize it and relax.
You need to be constantly leading people to your site – this is your potential market.
Create messages on different platforms featuring your Instagram handle. You elevate your pitch if you have iconic figures in your page.
Popular artists and well-known people could act as the boost your business needs, seek them.
You can do this with a set of pre-set goals. Your goals could be anything like
- Generate traffic
- Brand awareness
- Increased sales
- Customer satisfaction
- Attract quality talent
The list is endless; so what are your goals so far?
4. Brandish Your Content Strategy
Now, we need to create amazing content. Take note as this will determine whether you keep your following or they walk away from you like a plague.
- The number one no-no for Instagram: don’t overburden your followers! You ought to keep them posted, but once you keep them too posted, you lose taste. Too much of something is poison, after all (posts included). Keep it at a minimum of once or twice a day.
- Differ in your content themes.
You give the same story in the same format, day in day out, you’ll be left with less than 20 friends following you, your extended family included. Keep it juicy!
- Have a guideline for the style you opt for.
If your audience allows the use of emojis, play around with them only in relation to the content uploaded. For your photos and images, you want your clientele to recognize your formatting. Therefore, it is crucial to have a specific styling that defines you, distinct and consistent in every post.
- DO NOT automate your engagement with your audience as this greatly depersonalizes your profile.
You need to connect with your audience on a personal level, and in a manner that they feel drawn closer to your cause.
As Lucas Cappel, editor of edubirdies.org put it, “The best thing you can do is hire a personnel manager or a content editor to handle the comments and any questions arising from your posts!”
5. HASHTAGS! HASHTAGS! HASHTAGS!
Be creative in coming up with hashtags that identify with your brand.
This increases your discoverability on social media sites and search engines. Be original! If you mimic others’ strategies, you stand to lose a number of followers out of lack of authenticity.
Whether you’re in the business with China made products or local made original stuff, you need to be original with your content and hashtags alike.
If you need inspiration for your hashtags, try a social media monitoring tool with a context feature.
Check the rankings of the most popular words in your project to give you an indication of what to use.
It allows you to check what other words or hashtags are most commonly used in connection with your hashtags.
It could mean, they’re related to your content.
6. Stories, Photos, Captions, and Video Albums
Every business has its risks.
Incorporating live broadcasting features and disappearing content in your marketing is one such risk. If you take this route, have new and exciting stories to tell your audience, day in day out.
These can either come in form of words, videos or really captivating photos with descriptions, just like WhatsApp.
Do not reject the power of a captivating caption under an enticing image.
It just acts as the perfect steroid to complement your strategy. Make your captions short and let them be the eye opener to explain whatever’s behind the scenes. Remember one’s understanding of a certain image may differ highly from another.
Hence, a short explanation of why the image was used makes sense.
7. Monitor your efforts
You should monitor your efforts! It’s simpler with a Business Account.
Haven’t got a Business Account yet? No worries!
Just connect your Instagram profile with your Facebook fan page.
You can also use social media monitoring to track every mention and comment that is related to your account on Instagram.
Unamo Social Media Monitoring allows you to track your profile activities with a unique feature inside the tool.
You will never miss a comment again!
8. Instagram Ads
A business account allows you to promote your business with ads too.
Learn how to create visual and text ads for your business page. Instagram ads are diversified and might come in the form of:
- Photo ads – Usually a photo with a description and call to action.
- Video ads – Since 80% of the time on the internet is spent watching videos year in year out, they make for a pretty good marketing and promotion option for businesses.
- Carousel ads – Allow users to swipe through a variety of photos or videos with an appealing CTA leading back to your website.
- Story ads – Discussed previously, these disappear after 24hrs and would be most effective to a business offering time-limited offers and promotions. As if that’s not enough, face filters and video effects can be incorporated to enliven the ads as the stories are told. Combine a swipe up option where a CTA is linked.
Canvas story ads – With canvas templates easily accessible on Facebook, it’s much easier and faster to custom make them for Instagram use.
In creating ads, some processes need to be followed.
This starts by identifying your objectives and goals which will generally help you plan. Then you mark your target audience by identifying what they directly associate with.
You can then select and edit your ad placements and choose your schedule and budget.
9. Don’t Be Too Obvious
It is important to recognize your market.
If you are on Instagram, your biggest market is probably the younger generation who like it – spicy and fun. To that effect, you need to eliminate direct promotion strategies and pick up tactics that play around with your customers’ minds.
Don’t show it too openly; they know that you are a business and probably even know your product. Have diverse ways of staying relevant and afloat with the competition.
10. Host Contests
Another means of staying relevant is having frequent contests with different prizes.
Human nature is said to be highly competitive, and as such, you are only sure to have your word spread out, especially if you are faithful in your awarding system and publicize it.
11. Peak Hours
You don’t just wake up one day and decide to post.
Recognize the hours that you generate the most traffic and optimize on this. Reports show that a majority of US citizens are logging into their Instagram accounts around 1-2am in the morning and 5-7pm in the evening; essentially, when going to bed and when returning from work respectively.
Work with these hours for a better experience. However, it doesn’t mean that you should only post at these hours.
12. Track Your Progress
You need a daily reference on your daily progress.
A number of apps have been introduced to do this. A pretty exclusive analytical tool to keep check on the likes and comments you’ve received so far is Iconosquare (formerly Statigram).
Essentially, you get to easily track your performance with time and know what to change and what to retain. Join platforms such as Ink361, an Instagram tool to stay engaged with the audience, find new followers and impact further on your photo-sharing.
13. Stupendous Clips and Snaps
This probably falls as the most important factor to consider without necessary lessening the validity of the rest. If you want to keep your people stunned, don’t just use images and clips, make them as amazing as you possibly could.
The quality of an image goes a long way to either attract or shove off. Thus, you need to focus on your photography skills: the angle, the camera used, the lighting and finally, the editing and filters. Be unique with your quality too. In reference to edits and filters, make use of the ones provided already by Instagram.
If not sufficient, other apps and sites that could come in handy include inkwell, PicMonkey, Color Splash, Lumie, and Meme Generator for the entertainers.
A 2014-emarketer research indicated a dominance of 16.1% of Instagram users on the internet.
The same report pegged the US smartphone Facebook users at a rough 123.7 million that very year. Twitter hippies, on the other hand, dominated 17.6% of total internet users.
Currently, Instagram has proudly overtaken both Twitter and Facebook, and by far. In that light, we don’t need to put more emphasis on the power of this social-business platform, get to be your own judge.
What tips do you have that are not mentioned in our list of 13?
Join us in the comment box.