Images make the brain light up; no wonder it is strongly suggested that you include visuals with your content. Instagram, which showcases the image first and the text description second, uses that to its advantage. And with over 75 million daily users and growing, the pool for a new audience and followers is enormous for content marketers.
Your end goal should not only be to gain followers, but also to share who you are, giving the new audience something to relate to. Here are some basic tips to remember about using Instagram for business.
Instagram gives you the option to have a public or private account. If you’re private, followers must request to follow you and then be approved by you. Not only does this deter your potential new audience from clicking the “Request” button, it won’t allow them the scroll through your feed to see exactly what type of images they’ll see if they follow you. Being public also sets the standard that you are committed to your brand and you want to share all you’ve got with the world.
Make it original.
Instagram is one of the best platforms for content creators since they can take the photo and post it with its story right away. With our devices with us all the time, it’s easy to snap a photo of a new team member, donuts on Friday or your new business cards. Keeping the majority of your content original also means your followers haven’t already seen it.
Hashtags are prevalent on Instagram as a way to search for content; they essentially act as keywords so people can find your stuff. In some cases, the more hashtags you have, the broader your audience will be who is searching for that hashtag.
Share the story, but think it through.
Instagram allows you to attach text to your image, thus telling the story behind your image with a description. The most important thing to ask yourself is why—is it relevant? Does it help your brand? Will it help your followers connect with you on a level that’s more than just digital? Having intent and thinking your ideas through will help in making sure your posts hold quality content, and sometimes it’s best to let the photo drive engagement; no description needed.
Don’t post too often.
Posting breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert (literally) will turn people away from your content. We all know an over-sharer and we’ve contemplated hitting the unfollow button at one time or another. Depending on the type of business you do, very frequent posting isn’t necessary. Your content strategy will help you determine how often you should post to Instagram.
In June, Instagram announced that they will allow advertising to all companies and businesses on their network. Previously, those companies that wanted to advertise on Instagram had to go through one of the sales staff in order to create and push their ads. This was only available in some countries and required a large investment, not to mention a lot of time. Publishing ads on Instagram will be much easier than before, and available on a global scale. Here’s more from Instagram on their new advertising: business.instagram.com/advertising/.
Remembering these helpful tips when getting started with Instagram will help guide you to a new audience and, of course, new customers. With the addition of the new advertising capabilities, you have more ways than ever to use Instagram to show potential customers who you are and what you do.
Check out some more Instagram statistics and tell us about your experiences. We want to hear your thoughts on what it’s like using Instagram for your business!