Wondering how to use Instagram for business?
You may know Instagram for being able to share an array of creative and beautiful pictures but increasingly Instagram is the most successful of all major social platforms with its high reach that other media just cannot match or catch up with.
The important word in our previous sentence is reach – if you want to get a message out there then Instagram is definitely the way forward because of the number of users it reaches with its unique brand that catches the eye of more users than the likes of Facebook or Twitter.
Visual media is fast becoming the way forward for social media and we know why. It’s prettier, it’s unique and it speaks to audiences’ volumes louder than boring text.
Here are our three tips on using Instagram brilliantly for your business:
Appealing Instagram images
In 2017, a large percentage of businesses – 74 per cent – use visual assets in their social media marketing, up from 71 per cent in 2015. Close behind were blogging 68 per cent and video 60 per cent.
The above statistics are merely to point out why visual content is so important and so popular and why you just can’t ignore getting on board with it. The rest is up to you but here are a few Onefoursix tips on keeping your images appealing:
- Use tools such as Snapseed to create a standard filter which will generate consistency on your news feed which will allow you to develop a recognisable feed which will remind your audience who you are before they even look at the name of the person who has posted the picture. Some people also use banners but these need to be used very carefully as they can often look out of place.
- A quick, free and simple tool is on a smart phone you can change your images to ‘square’ photographs. This tool is perfect for Instagram as all the pictures you post end up being square. Doing this on your smart phone prior to adding it on to Instagram means you will have more flexibility of how you want to crop your picture – keeping the important parts of your picture visible, consistent and clean cut.
- Don’t use words. This is simply to let the pictures speak for themselves. You don’t need an array of messages if your picture can speak louder than words. Save the words for your bio, your story and for captions underneath your pictures.
Make your images move with Instagram stories
Not only can you post engaging videos on your Instagram feed but a recent change in the last 12 months has introduced a very popular Instagram feature called ‘My Story’. This appears in the top left-hand corner on your profile and allows you to post on the go…it is very similar to the Facebook story and in fact, you can link these two stories together across platforms.
Useful tools to create maximum engagement include:
- Boomerang – Show your fun side with the Boomerang Boomerang was designed and created by the makers of Instagram as a fun addition to its features. The aim is to make every day moments fun an unexpected with mini videos. The way to use this application is to capture movement, Boomerang then shoots a burst of ten photographs and turns this into a small video which can be shared across multi social platforms but is brilliant for Instagram. It creates fun stories for your story and allows you to create a personality for your brand in a friendly, fun and endearing way.
- Hyperlapse – This app creates amazing time lapse videos and is also from the creators of Instagram. This application shoots seamless time lapse videos that may be impossible with bulky tri-pods, let alone free. This is great to show your audience what you get up to during the day, if you are having a renovation or even setting up/ attending an event.
Be active and create Instagram hashtags
Okay, this point is kind of a two in one but by being active on Instagram you keep your audience reach growing and growing. The sky really is the limit which is one of the reasons we love Instagram so much.
Being active sounds easy but you need to make sure that your content is exclusive to you and engages directly with your audience. Take time to consider what content you want to use to grow your audience. Here are three ways to keep active without bombarding your audience too heavily.
- The use of influencers has become increasingly popular especially on Instagram. Check out some of the people who follow you, are they using your products or mentioning your services? If so, use them – do they get good engagement from their peers? If so, this is a good sign that they will likely promote your brand the way influencers should.
- Be unique and make sure you publicise your name using the ‘@’ feature along with any hashtags which might be relevant to your brand. This is a great way for you to find your target audiences as you can track who is connecting with you from your mentions.
- Like and share other user’s content. If a customer comments or makes a good review – share what they have said, comment on your follower’s posts – even if it’s not about you. Engage with them so that they know you are listening and care about what they care about. Ask them questions on their posts to strike up a conversation and ask questions in your picture captions to drive a relevant conversation about your brand, your services and your products.
Instagram is an extremely useful tool for business marketeers and one that should definitely not be ignored. Put in a little hard work with Instagram and we are sure you will reap the rewards.
If you want to know more about Instagram get in touch with us here today. Our social media management team love creating and sharing content; if you do not, click the link and get in touch with the team.
Author: Dave Williams
Dave Williams is the founder and director of onefoursix; a digital marketing agency based in Northampton. After setting up onefoursix in 2011, Dave has gone on to grow it to one of Northampton’s finest agencies. His expertise include social media, user experience and SEO.
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