Instagram currently has over 400 million users. So it’s not surprising that it has become a way for businesses to connect with people. While majority of those who use this social platform are teens and college students, there are also people from all age groups who are using it. There is definitely a big opportunity for businesses to use it to engage with their target market.
Using Instagram for Your Business
You can promote your brand effectively on Instagram to launch a new product/service, offer a promotion, or simply for brand awareness. The main currency of Instagram are visuals and you can share fascinating content that people won’t likely be able to find elsewhere.
You can share photos of the following and upload them to your Instagram account:
1. Your Office/Store
You can take photos of your office or store which may be interesting to people who are thinking of buying from you. You can snap photos of the retail floor, manufacturing floor, or basically any place where you spend most of your time in at work.
2. Your Team
What you do day in and day out may seem ordinary to you but for your target audience, they might find these things intriguing. By showing your fans photos of your employees, you’re putting a face to your brand and making yourselves more “relatable.”
3. Community Events
Encourage your employees to take pictures when attending community events and upload them on your business page on Instagram.
If you have images of news and celebrations relevant to your industry or business, you can also upload them on your page.
You may have seen hashtags (examples: #tbt, #ootd, and #selfie) being used on Twitter and Facebook but it’s more prevalent on Instagram. You can use hashtags to find and attract new followers.
With hashtags, you can search topics related to your industry and find people who have the same interests. You can also piggyback on popular hashtags (like #tbt). Your objective for using hashtags is to find potential followers who may be interested in what you have to offer.
Organizing Contests on Instagram
Contests can be very effective in helping you get more followers and engaging with your audience on Instagram. But there are rules you need to follow so you can avoid getting suspended (or banned).
- First of all, you need to state clearly that the contest is not sponsored by Instagram. You need to also state that Instagram does not help businesses and brands in administering contests.
- Next, set your goal for your contest and then define your metrics.
- You then need to pick your hashtags so you can track participants/users. Instagram explicitly states that you should not encourage users to inaccurately tag content, nor should you inaccurately tag content yourself.
- Determine your method for choosing your winners.
- Set the rules and guidelines of your contest and see to it that your followers follow them precisely.
- Launch your contest.
- Promote it as much as you can.
- Then notify the winners and update your contest participants accordingly.
Do’s and Don’ts on Instagram
If you really want to become adept at using Instagram for your business, here are the most basic do’s and don’ts you need to know:
Do use compelling, high quality photos. You want to entice people to take the time to know your story.
Do be consistent with your style. You can edit your photos to suit your preferences but make sure you use the same filters so that your page looks professional.
Do use hashtags correctly. Hashtags are great for categorizing your content and at the same time, keeping track of content your followers use.
Do follow others. Follow those who are in the same niche as you and make sure to interact with them. Find thought leaders and influencers, and follow them.
Don’t flood your wall with posts. Posting 1-2 Instagram photos a day should be enough and space out your posts. The last thing you want to do is to annoy your followers.
Don’t forget to caption every Instagram post you make. Hashtags are ok but they should not be the only things they see alongside your photo. Put some thought into your posts and get people to respond (such as by asking questions).
Don’t miss out on opportunities for your followers to stay loyal to you. Remember, you’re a brand – you should reward your fans for following you! You can launch a promo or a contest – anything that will show your fans you appreciate them.
Don’t forget to monitor your results. Track each post’s performance and determine which posts got the most response/engagement so you can fine-tune your marketing techniques.
How to Create Instagram Ads
Here’s how you can create a killer Instagram ad:
Step 1: Open your Instagram page and click on Settings. Then click Instagram Ads which is found on the left hand corner. Click this tab and then connect your account to your Facebook page. You need to be logged in to your Facebook Ads Manager.
Step 2: Download Power Editor. You can find it under Ads Manager. You need Power Editor so you can create your Instagram ad.
Step 3: Create your campaign. Click the Manage Ads tab and then click Create Campaign.
Step 4: You’ll need to create new campaign, then create new ad set and create new ad. Choose an objective such as Video Views, Mobile App Installs and Clicks to Website.
Step 5: Edit your options. You can do this under Ad Sets where you can schedule when to show the ad, set your budget, and your ad placement.
Step 6: Sync both your Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Step 7: Enter your website URL and ad copy to go with the image. The copy is limited only to 300 characters.
Step 8: Upload. After clicking Upload Changes on Power Editor, your ad will be sent to the review team. If you followed all the guidelines, your ad will go live in no time.
Using Instagram to market your brand on social media is one of the most effective channels right now. Make sure you do things right so you can achieve your goal.