What is Instagram?
To put it simply, Instagram is a platform for visual storytelling. With over 600 million active monthly users, it’s where the world tells their stories.
How can I use it for my business?
Instagram is a must for any business; it’s where your customers are. Set yourself up with a business profile and a contact button appears in your profile; Instagram users can click that button and email/call you directly. You will also get a selection of insights, such as impressions, views and engagement rates.
There are lots of different images that you can share:
People love pictures but make sure you are creative with the images you share. Some image ideas for sharing on Instagram could include:
- Adverts that have been created for your brand
- Behind-the-scenes action from your store, warehouse or office
- Simple and clean product shots
- Share customer images (with permission, and a credit!)
You decide what sort of message you want to portray. Keep images clean, inviting and professional; you’re looking for quality content, that is “on-brand”; make sure that your followers want to continue to follow you. Keep the lighting and colour palette similar throughout; your images can all capture something different, but you still want them to flow nicely.
The caption space is just as important. Use the caption space on each photo to tell a story. Share your expertise on a relevant subject, or provide a behind-the-scenes anecdote.
Why not host a giveaway or run a competition?
You can host giveaways on Instagram; this is a great way of getting your followers engaged and encouraging new followers, and can give your business a boost. Facebook has lots of rules when it comes to hosting competitions, but Instagram doesn’t (you just need to state that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Instagram).
Advertise in Instagram!
Advertising on Instagram is good option too. You can run photo ads or video ads (up to 60 seconds). Depending on your overall objective – engagement, driving website clicks, brand awareness etc – they have different options. You can also tie together Instagram Ads with your Facebook campaigns to increase cross platform measurements; this can effectively increase engagement, website traffic and conversion opportunities.
Instagram top 5 tips!
Here are our top 5 tips to get the most out of Instagram:
Make sure that you post regularly; there’s nothing worse than a stagnant profile with old images and an out-of-date message. For people who are discovering you for the first time, they will be looking at your entire feed (your most recent 9 photos, at least) so you want to make sure that your images are consistent with the message that you want to get across.
Ask questions to get people engaged; reply to questions too! If you’re tagged into a post (positive/negative), make sure that you respond. Like some of your followers photos, and leave relevant, personable comments too. Spend a little time each day doing this.
Make it easier for non-followers to find you by incorporating hashtags. You can use up to 30 per post, but try and use at least 12. It’ll take a little research to find the best hashtags for your niche, but it’ll be worth it when you are using popular hashtags and getting noticed. You can also use Instagram’s “Explore” feature to identify Trending hashtags that may be useful and relevant for your brand.
As Instagram is viewed on mobile, keep your profile picture simple; just your logo. Your profile needs to have keywords so that if people are looking for your sort of business, they can actually find you.
Take good photos
It’s that simple. Try the “Rule of Thirds”; place your subject toward the outer thirds or bottom thirds of a photo to add depth and provide a different look. Use bright, natural lighting where possible. Alternate between close up shots, and open spaces.