Wondering how to use Instagram to promote your business?
You’ve come to the right place.
With more than 500 million daily users on Instagram and a billion users overall, this isn’t a channel your company can afford to miss out on. Unfortunately, posting a couple of pictures snapped on your smartphone once a month isn’t enough to get you an organic IG following.
If you want to promote your company through IG, then you need to learn how to use Instagram to your advantage. That means figuring out everything from who your target audience is, to what kind of content you should publish to get the best engagement.
The good news?
The following steps will help you to discover a more effective strategy for Instagram content.
Let’s get started.
How to Use Instagram for Business: Set up a Business Account
If you don’t already have a business account for Instagram, that’s where you’ll need to get started.
Business accounts are a great upgrade for IG users because they allow you to track your followers, and learn more about who you’re speaking to. Download the Instagram app from the Google Play or App Store, then sign up with your business email address.
Once you have your company account set up, refine it with the following features:
- An Instagram Bio: The bio is a crucial part of your IG profile. It captures the attention of your target audience, explains what your business does, and even directs traffic to your website. Use this space to introduce people to your company.
- A profile photo: Use either a photograph of you (if you’re an entrepreneur) or a picture of your logo as your profile image. This makes your brand more identifiable.
- An account name & Username: Maintain the same name on your IG account as you do on other social media channels. Try not to add any awkward spellings, dashes, or numbers.
- A link to your website: Help people find their way back to your site from your profile with a link to your product or landing page.
Although you don’t have room for your entire company story on your Instagram profile, you can still convey the nature of your brand. For instance, Lush’s brief bio demonstrates their playful personality and links viewers directly to their product showcase:
If you can get yourself verified, that helps too. The blue tick on Instagram indicates that you’re a credible brand.
How to Use Instagram for Business: Find Your Tribe
Any social media strategy, including those launched on Instagram, rely on companies understanding their target audience, and how they need to connect with those customers. According to Instagram, users share around 95 million posts a day. That means that if you want to make real, valuable connections, you need to appeal to a specific group of people.
The truth is that learning how to use Instagram for promotion isn’t all about getting millions of followers to connect with your brand. Instead of worrying all about the numbers, your focus should be on developing real, engaging relationships with the people who do follow you.
Start small and decide what kind of customers you want to connect with. A set of user personas will help you to visualize your ideal customer in a way that will help you target your IG efforts. Ask yourself:
- What kind of topics and trending #hashtags will your target audience be looking for? Check out your competitors’ Instagram page if you’re not sure.
- How can you engage with your audience? Can you like their comments, repost their images with their permission? Ask them to take part in a poll or competition that encourages them to share a branded hashtag with their friends?
What kind of content will your tribe be interested in? Aside from pictures of your products and services, what kind of relevant photos and videos can you share to boost engagement? For instance, Hubspot shows photos of staff pets on their profile.
How to Use Instagram for Business: Get Creative with Content
Once you’ve set up your profile and you know your target audience, it’s time to create a content strategy.
Focus on highlighting the benefits of the solutions that you provide, not showing of the products you sell. Your customers want to get to know the people behind your business on Instagram. They don’t just want a stream of promotional content. If your business is service-oriented, focus on showing off the process behind the service. If you’ve got a product to sell, demonstrate happy customers using that item. A few quick tips to follow with Instagram content:
- Try Instagram Stories and IGTV: Go beyond the average Instagram snapshot and play with different types of content on your profile. Instagram stories is a fantastic way to engage your audience with attention-grabbing photos and videos. On the other hand, Instagram TV gives your business an exciting way to connect with people using videos that are up to an hour long.
- Use photo and video albums: You can add as many as 10 videos and photos to a single Instagram post, giving users the opportunity to enjoy a deeper insight into your business. Instagram albums can be a great way to show off a brand event or introduce people to your team.
- Put your personality into your content: Have a little fun with the photos and videos you create. Your followers expect to see your unique tone of voice in your Instagram content. For instance, check out one of the playful posts by Instagram below.
How to Use Instagram for Business: Make Your Activity Count
Learning how to use Instagram effectively can seem like an exhausting and time-consuming process at first. However, there are ways you can make the most out of the time you spend on your profile. Since success on Instagram relies on frequent engagement, connecting with customers, and continually posting fresh content, it’s a good idea to look for ways that you can streamline your time.
- Know when to post on Instagram: Different companies will have their own unique “best time of day” for IG engagement. However, studies show that the best time for most companies on IG is Wednesday at 3 pm. Alternatively, Sunday is the day with the least engagement.
- Use tools to your advantage: Consider investing in a social media scheduling and automation tool that you can use to roll your messages out at the right time every week. That way, you maintain a consistent presence for your brand.
- Get some help: Reach out to the experts at Upleap and get your very own Instagram engagement expert to monitor and enhance your online presence on your behalf.
How to Use Instagram for Business: Work on Your Brand Narrative
Instagram users love telling tales – and not just through the “Stories” feature either.
One of the things that makes Instagram such a compelling social media channel is the fact that businesses can use it to speak to their customers through captivating images and videos. As customers around the world continue to crave emotional stories from their favorite brands, IG opens the door for a new narrative. You don’t even have to be a fantastic author to reap the rewards, just let your pictures speak for themselves. To strengthen your brand narrative:
- Be Consistent: Consistency on Instagram is the key to creating a familiar image for your brand. One report found that 60% of the most popular brands use the same filter on every post. It might sound boring, but a consistent visual style is a great way to make your brand more recognizable for your audience.
- Create style guidelines: Decide what kind of image you want to portray in advance. Tell your team whether it’s okay to use emojis in your captions, or whether “text speak” is allowed. This will make sure your company has the same tone of voice, no matter who’s operating your IG account.
- Create a branded hashtag: Create your hashtag that you can use whenever you post a piece of content related to your company. This will start to build a portfolio of content on Instagram that users will see when they search for you.
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Using Instagram to Boost Your Business
With an active and growing user base of dedicated followers, Instagram has proven itself to be a powerful channel for brands, individuals, and influencers alike. If you’re a company searching for a way to expand their social reach, or you just want a new way of connecting with your audience, learning how to use Instagram could be an incredible next step for your organization.
Just remember that it takes time and practice to excel at any social media strategy, including those built on Instagram. If you want to skip the adjustment period, you could always reach out to Upleap for help building engagement fast.