Whether Instagram is important for business-to-consumer industries is a moot point. With over a billion monthly active users, the real question is, how do you promote your business on Instagram? But, first, let us recap why businesses should be active on Instagram.
Here are 6 reasons why your business needs to be on Instagram:
- Instagram took off insanely well since its inception with users growing steadily year on year. You want your business to be seen here.
- Instagram is a direct line to your audience and consumers (this applies to all social media platforms)
- Instagram is a space where you can experiment and innovate (Your brand can be bold, be new, and make an impact)
- Instagram helps foster new relationships and opportunities (because on social media your brand becomes a person).
- Instagram can take your business global (please note that “global” and “viral” are not synonyms).
- Instagram has an extremely engaged user community.
A good Instagram post however is not as simple as snapping a pic, throwing on a random hashtag, a filter, and posting it to the world.
While this may work for your personal profile, or for some popular companies in the fashion and beauty industries, the rest of us need to put some thought into crafting great Instagram posts that will promote our companies and drive sales.
Here’s how to create Instagram posts that promote your business
Craft Your Images for Your Specific Audience: Don’t Just Take Photographs
Look at what your audience is sharing and share similar content to get them engaged with your page. You may not be able to show images of the services you provide, but you can share images of social outings and other projects in a fun way to show that your business has a human element.
While photos of your beauty products might not get noticed, photos of people using your products will perform better (if it’s what they’re sharing, it’s probably what they want to see).
Use Text Overlays
If your product or service isn’t particularly visual, you will need to come up with something to share other than photos of your team having a beer on a Friday afternoon. By using text overlays over relevant generic images, you can share quotes, and valuable information, or start a conversation – whatever you decide on, you need to ensure you are giving users something that is of value to them.
Let Your Caption Tell A Story
Write a message, tell a story with pictures and captions to bond with your audience. For the rest, you can refer to the link in your bio to get your followers onto your website.
Don’t Make Up Your Own Hashtags
#Ilovesoup #eatingsoupinmyPJs #lookhowprettyIam #brrritscold #GOT #watchingGOT #winter #thisisnothowhastagswork
People miss the boat when it comes to hashtags. Choose a select few relevant ones, and make them good. Don’t tell a story with your hashtags; that is what your caption is for.
A better way to “caption” a photo of you eating soup in your PJs would be:
“After a long day of hard work there is nothing more satisfying than cuddling up with a bowl of soup on the couch, under a big fluffy blanket, and catching up on some Game of Thrones. #GOT”
Use trending, relevant hashtags to make your voice heard – this should be something people are talking about and searching.
Repost User Content
Your followers are your best brand ambassadors. If they post pics of themselves with your product or at your restaurant, share it!
Say, “We absolutely love how Jane Doe has used our products to create this magnificent hairstyle! Thanks for sharing Jane!”
Not only are you getting free content, but you make your followers feel important, and encourage other users to share their images too.
Interact with Your Followers
Check Instagram regularly to ensure that you don’t miss out on engagement. Your followers and other Instagram users are looking for instant answers and you need to be there to give it to them.
Instagram is not only about brand building; it can be used to drive traffic to your website and generate leads. Remember to think about who you are trying to reach with each post and plan each post strategically.
Learn more about our social media marketing services and how we can help you succeed on Instagram.