What’s your favorite social media platform? Many users—Millennials in particular—will answer, “Instagram, of course!” Since its creation in 2010, (or maybe even Facebook’s purchase of it in 2012), Instagram has continued to grow in popularity. Brands and businesses are increasing their opportunities to become successful online, and a lot of that strategy starts with Instagram. Check out our ultimate guide to everyone’s favorite photo-posting platform when it’s time to build your business Instagram profile.
According to this graph, the demographic is pretty clear: young adults rule Instagram usage. Why should you care about this? Well, if this is your customer base, this is how you reach them or see what they’re interested in as consumers. People aren’t bringing books to a casino. You don’t want to market your product just anywhere. You want to put it where it’ll be seen. You put it where people are more likely to respond to it.
When considering the “Instafamous” and the brands that rock the Instagram world, there is a slew of variables to consider:
Now, this just names a few, but we want to particularly highlight budget. Sure, it’s the least sexy item on the list, but it’s the most prevalent to our topic. As you think about the answer to, “Should I use Instagram or Twitter to market my business?” consider whether you have the resources and budget to pursue Instagram for business marketing. Many brands are using a paid strategy (in addition to the organic stuff) to grow their brand awareness on Instagram.
Before you start to think about Instagram for your business, stop and look at your website, the foundation of your web presence. If your website has no strategy, it doesn’t matter how awesome your Instagram is if your followers aren’t converting.
Let’s say you did have an awesome website and even more developed content marketing strategy, then can you use Instagram? When it comes to brand awareness on Instagram, top beauty brand, MAC takes the cake.
Why is MAC successful in their Instagram marketing and brand awareness? Their pics and vids are colorful, engaging, and relevant. And they have the budget for it.
Consider these important questions about Instagram for business:
If you sell cement, it’d be difficult to obtain the attention of the younger generation. Your audience is B2B. This target audience is probably older, too busy, or not tech-savvy enough to use Instagram.
Of course, Instagram has tons of importance in today’s web marketing mayhem. But, all businesses should evaluate their potential success on the platform before diving in:
Alright, so now that you’ve decided to use Instagram for business, you need to decide what kind of photos and videos you’ll share with your followers. The idea with Instagram is that you’re creating a collection of media—not just sharing random things willy-nilly. As with the other aspects of digital marketing, you’ll need a strategy. Here are some ideas to boost your business Instagram profile.
When your take shots for your business’s Instagram profile, be consistent. This means using consistent lighting, colors, hues, and filters in your images. Think of your business Instagram account like a collage—a collection of media that represents your brand.
Instead of sticking with the in-app filters, try using a third-partyediting app to add some flare to your photos. You’ll have more control to make sure your images come out looking similar and branded. Adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, and more to create a more consistent look to your photos. Consider adding a logo to your images, too.
When people visit your profile, they’ll see all your images at once. You want these images to match. They should all look like they’re coming from the same profile, the same photographer, and possibly taken in the same places.
In addition to consistent editing, your profile needs relevant images. Consider these questions when you brainstorm a strategy for your profile:
Some companies could benefit from including team members on their Instagram profile. Faces can add a personal element to an Instagram profile. And if you want people out there in the Interwebs to know you have human beings working for you, that might be a good choice to make.
Think deeply about your captions before posting. Do you want to be witty and clever? Sarcastic and funny? Serious and educational? Or do you want a minimalist caption? Or perhaps just emojis?
Do some research on popular hashtags people are using. These can be the standard weekly hashtags, like #MondayMotivation, or they could be more specific to your industry. Trending hashtags have a wide reach, allowing you to join an Instagram-wide conversation.
Okay, hear me out. Posing is so 1997. These highly-structured photos seem stiff and impersonal. Instead, post action shots and candid shots of your team that show you guys actually work. Be genuine and real. Take pictures during meetings or company outings. You’ll find you may get more engagement of the photos that show the day-to-day side of your company.
Stories are a great way to showcase the behind-the-scenes stuff going on with your business, or maybe even a rant about the latest news in your industry. Get creative. This can be a useful engagement tool to hear back from your followers and start a conversation.
We all know hashtags help facilitate conversation on a wider scale. But, hashtags on Instagram are a lot different than Twitter and Facebook. You can use a lot more hashtags here, but we’ve got a Pro Tip for you: Instead of adding a heap of hashtags in the caption, (as this could be annoying to your followers), add them inside a comment. Your post will still reach the people using those hashtags.
And, of course, add your location to your posts every now and then, and tag relevant people and businesses to increase your reach.
This year, Instagram has announced tons of new features that will benefit not only the users who frequent the app daily, but businesses and brands that market themselves there. Check out some of our favorites:
Influencer marketing is growing as a top method for businesses to increase brand awareness online, and Instagram knows it. They’ve created a new profile type, specifically for Influencers. Like the Business profile, this Creator profile provides exclusive features and analytics for users to track. Creators can check out engagement statistics, demographics of their followers, where their audience is online, and follow/ unfollow data. This all gives great insight to where they may have gone wrong or been successful in creating content.
The profile also has great filter features for DMs, so Creators can better manage and prioritize the messages they see in their inbox. All these features give Influencers new tools to be successful online, and it can help you out if you decide to work with these creatives in the future.
In the past, Influencers did not have a way to directly sell products. You could just click a link in their bio or swipe up from a Story to check out the brand they’re marketing. Now, however, they can tag the products they’re wearing or using right inside the post. Users who like what they see can click right from the post to find and purchase the product. Another great tool that benefits an Influencer’s business and a brand’s success.
Want to drive more engagement on Instagram in a fun, innovative way? Use Interactive stickers in your Stories to encourage feedback and communication from your audience. Here are some of the few stickers people love:
People can now raise funds for non-profits directly in the app. Post a Story and select the Donation sticker. Then, you can choose a charity from a list and customize your fundraiser before posting to Stories. Instagram states that 100% of the money donated will go directly to the organization. After you post, you can swipe up on your Story to view the total amount raised.
You can now share content from a Feed Post into your Stories. This is a great tool when consumers buy and share your products with their feed. It’s a great source of user-generated content you can use to your advantage.
Say a person buys your lipstick, loves it, and posts a picture of themselves wearing it on their Instagram profile and tags you. Now, your brand can share their post to your Stories to feature a happy customer! Simply click the paper airplane under the post, select “Add post to your Story.” Edit the Story by adding text or changing the background color. Then, your audience can check out the real-life person enjoying your product!
Want to learn more about the ways Instagram can benefit your business? Talk to us here at Post Launch. Our social media marketing agency will analyze your business’s presence online and help you develop a great strategy on the platform that’s best to engage your target audience.