6 Tips on Using Instagram For Business

With an active monthly buzz of over 700 million users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. Since it has a higher engagement rate than any other social media platform; Instagram serves as a great place for businesses to market their products toward a highly engaged and active audience.

The use of images and videos, plus the ability to interact with users makes Instagram a goldmine for marketing. Here are 6 tips to effectively take advantage of the opportunities that Instagram presents for business.

Set Up a Perfect Profile

Your Instagram profile is the first thing your potential customers see on your page. Based on what they see, they will form their first impression on your business and decide whether or not to follow you.

In order to connect with your audience, make sure you include an interesting and informative bio that will attract their attention. Also, keep a consistent name and photo so you can always be recognizable to your followers.

You can give a nice boost in traffic to your site by placing a link in your bio, but keep in mind that the link doesn’t have to lead only to your homepage. You can update and modify your link for each post and direct your audience to something more specific such as special discounts, product launches or event registrations.

Tell Your Story

Instagram is used most effectively when you use images to tell your brand’s story. For example, you can showcase your company culture by sharing images of your employees at work. This is a good way to show the people behind your brand who help make it happen every day.

Capture your audience’s attention and inspire them with high-quality, professional lifestyle photos. And when it comes to showcasing the use of your company’s products or services, be creative and demonstrate how they make life better.

Just remember that the majority of your photos shouldn’t be about your products or services. You need to make sure you have a good balance of product images and other content that your followers will find interesting.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a key part of the Instagram experience and can be beneficial if used effectively. Using the right hashtags can help your posts reach a wider audience.

Make sure you use keywords and phrases that are relevant to your brand. At all costs, avoid adding a trending hashtag that has nothing to do with your post. Otherwise you might appear spammy and insincere with your audience.

The maximum allowed number of hashtags on a post is 30, but don’t get carried away. Engagement tends to go down on posts with more than five hashtags.

Engage With Your Followers

Don’t be afraid to engage with your followers. Respond to notifications and even give shoutouts when appropriate. It’s good to keep the conversation going when it comes to your brand. You can even follow at least some of your followers back. This is a big deal to a lot of people and could solidify loyalty to your brand.

One simple yet effective method to engage with your followers is to write a caption with a simple call-to-action that opens the space for conversations about your post. Sharing your followers’ tagged photos is another option, presenting an opportunity to share images of your customers/followers enjoying your products or services providing an authentic form of creative promotion.

Organize Contests

Organizing contests is a great way to engage your followers. It gives you a chance to reward your existing customers and attract new ones.

Before you start, you will need to define your goals, decide on the prizes and think about the theme of the contest. You can also create a custom hashtag to go with your contest. This way, to enter the contest, you can ask your followers to post a photo with the hashtag you created for the contest. To enter the contest, you can also ask your followers to either tag a friend or like and comment on a post.

Make sure to build anticipation among your followers by promoting the contest at least a week before it starts.

Track And Measure

Marketing is only a guessing game if you don’t take a step back and analyze what worked and what didn’t. You can read all the articles in the world about optimizing your posts through best practices and publishing times, but the truth is that you will only find out what works for your clients through actually testing and checking what the results show.

You can use analytics tools such as Curalate and BlitzMetrics to get detailed insights. Regularly check your follower count, engagement, and clicks, all as part of the method to refine and improve your strategy. Analyze data to get a more clear idea of what type of content most resonates with your audience. Use this insight going forward to share more effective posts.

Final Thoughts

As the social media network with the highest engagement, Instagram presents a perfect opportunity for businesses. To get the full advantage it offers, you have to recognize the opportunities and effectively use the platform. This means engaging your audience and keeping the conversation going about your brand. The steps to execute on this include setting up the ultimate profile, using images to tell your brand’s story, and taking the time to research your audience and analyze the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

About the Author

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.

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