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Instagram for Business

Instagram has become one of the most successful social media platforms in recent years.  Besides being visually appealing and easy to access on the go, it’s also relatively simple to learn how to use Instagram. Instagram has over 700 million monthly active users, less competition and a more engaged audience than other social media giants like Facebook or Twitter!!!  This presents businesses with an opportunity to market their products to a more targeted and interested audience without spending an enormous amount of money on paid advertising. Its a win win for business owners!

The days of adding a few random hashtags to a post are well and truly over, it’s becoming much more of a science. So you have to have a Instagram strategy. Here are my main tips to build that strategy to increase your profile!

Your Business Page

There are millions of businesses now on Instagram. If you are not one of them, then you need to change that fast!! For a social network that thrives on visual content, it offers a great opportunity for businesses to show off their logos, product lines, current event snapshots, storefront locations and whatever else that can generate likes and comments from followers. Focus on the solution you provide, not the products you sell. On Instagram, it’s essential to add value to your customers and never underestimate the fact that your most important asset on Instagram is visual content.  If your business is service oriented, focus on showcasing the process behind providing the service. Show your company culture, share your mission with the world, or simply share some tips by making a short video.

Instagram Bio

Businesses often obsess over their photos and captions so much that they forget about one of the most important pieces of their Instagram profile, their Bio.  Your Instagram bio represents your business in a limited number of words! Make sure your bio includes branded hashtags to encourage tagging and sharing, your slogan or brief description that speaks to your brand voice, your website link and a really good profile picture.

Hashtags

Using hashtags is a great way to increase your reach on Instagram, encourage more engagement and even attract new followers. Unfortunately, some people take it way too far. Their captions are often bloated with hashtags – many of which aren’t even relevant to the topic of their photo. If you do decide to use hashtags, make sure to keep it to a minimum, and only use keywords that are relevant.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are now more popular than Snapchat, with over 200 million people using the feature every day.  Stories are prominently displayed at the top of follower timelines just under the Instagram logo and can be used to capture behind-the-scenes content that doesn’t have to be as high in quality as regular posts.

All photos and videos you add will play in the sequence they were added and you can add as many as you like. You can use them to target new audiences and are especially useful for promotions. Due to the instant nature of Instagram Stories, they’re a great way to share company announcements such as new products, new staff members and general news! These moments are a great opportunity to post behind-the-scenes footage of the company that wouldn’t necessarily earn a spot on the main profile. Your followers will feel like they’re privy to the latest info, as well as getting to know you and the business. These personal insights could be anything from packaging a new product, to playing a prank on a colleague. They will help convey the human side of your company, and consequently boost brand awareness and engagement!

Mentions

Instagram is one of the strongest social media channels for highlighting collaborators and sharing customer success stories. Even if you don’t officially partner with a non-profit organisation, you can give to charity or do a fundraiser a couple of times a year. It’s all good as long as the cause aligns with your brand values and mission. Take into account that not everyone is monitoring hashtags on social media, so tagging an account is usually a better choice if you want to get noticed.

Beyond comments, anything you can do to show off the human side of your brand through your Instagram content is a major plus. There’s a reason why more and more businesses are focusing on storytelling and people centered posts, rather than just blasting products and promos

Engagement

If you want to keep followers engaged, you need to post new content on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean you need to be posting 10 photos a day. In fact, posting once a day or at least once every other day should be frequent enough to keep your current followers interested. If you go long periods of time without posting, don’t be surprised if you lose a few followers.

Never ignore your most loyal followers who regularly like and comment on your photos! That’s a definite way to eventually lose followers. Instead, you want to make your followers feel valued. Reply to their comments or even go check out their account and like a few of their photos.

Make sure you engage your followers by asking questions, encourage sharing via hashtags and regrams, publish “tag-a-friend” posts that encourage conversations between users and always point people to your bio link.

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Another article you might want to read Goal Setting for Business Success

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