Should modern businesses use Instagram as a promotional tool? Well, considering there are over 200 million brands on the platform already, that question sort of answers itself. More than 90% of regular IG users follow at least one brand, and on average, they are likely to click on multiple different business profiles daily. In other words, the engagement on this social media service is through the roof, and it would be crazy NOT to use it to grow and expand a brand.
Naturally, a lot of people aren’t exactly sure how to go about using IG for business. That’s what this article is here for. We will provide you with 15 surefire tips on how to start up and maintain a brand on one of the biggest social media platforms on the planet. So, let’s get started!
You can’t build a five-story house with a massive balcony if your foundation is shaky. With that in mind, you’ll want to learn as much as possible about Instagram as a whole. And that includes the proper way to set up a business profile.
If you’re entirely new to the platform, you might want to look into how to create an Instagram account. However, most people that want to open businesses on IG already have a basic account set up, so all they’ll have to do is switch to a business account. You can do that by tapping the Switch to Professional Account prompt in the Account section of your profile’s Settings. The pathway is generally the same for all platforms, though some Android and iOS devices will have Switch to Professional Account available immediately under Settings when you tap it. It’s also a good idea to check for new features periodically since all versions of IG accounts (including Business) get regular updates with extra tools or tweaks.
Instagram bios offer a spot for a single link to be placed. Usually, that’s where you’d want to direct viewers to your brand’s official website. After all, it’s the hub where you collect both old, relevant content and recent updates.
But what if you have more than one link? Well, that’s where reference landing pages that host multiple links come in. With one simple click, your followers can find all of the websites, blogs, and social media platforms where you post regularly. A reference landing page gives them a nice, streamlined overview that you can update at your leisure.
Back in 2017, Instagram introduced a tool that helps users archive and reuse certain stories. With the appropriate name Instagram Highlights, this feature enables you to, quite literally, highlight some of your favorite stories and keep them up on your profile.
But as a business, you can’t just have a strewn-about list of highlights. What you should do is categorize them in a professional manner, as this particular law firm did, for instance. One method of doing so would include these categories:
- About Us (brief info on your business)
- Locations (a list of locations where clients can find you)
- Products/Services Offered
- Customer Reviews and Recommendations
By systematizing your highlights, you’re helping your potential clients navigate the page more easily. In turn, it will help them decide if they want to engage with you on a professional level or not.
Do you find a particular post helpful? If so, make sure you save it. Post saving may not be useful for your profile in a public sense, i.e., it won’t make your page stand out or rank higher. However, it will definitely help you in building your brand on IG.
Of course, you can save a post for a wide variety of reasons. Some of them may just have an attractive layout that you want to emulate. Others can have a caption that reads well or a hashtag that helps your business model in some way. In fact, you can even save posts with comments that are critical of your own page. Learning from constructive criticism is an excellent way to grow, and an archive of such posts can serve as a guide for the future growth and development of your profile and even your brand in general.
For the uninitiated, geotagging refers to adding a location name to a business via your Instagram profile. When you do that, posts that are tagged with that location get compiled in a neat little list. Therefore, whenever someone clicks on the tag, they will see all of the posts that other people uploaded related to that specific location, i.e., to that specific business. In other words, you get the best form of promotion possible.
The Instagram Live feature may only work on smart devices, and even then, it won’t function on every Android or iPhone out there. But it’s nonetheless a tool that any business will want to utilize. With it, you can live stream anything that can help you grow your business. For example, you can take your phone and showcase some of the products you offer directly to your consumers. You can even demonstrate how they work, letting the viewers know that you provide quality goods and that you stand behind them 100%.
Alternatively, a live Q&A session can help you connect with your user base and listen to their feedback on the spot. A lot of businesses also conduct interviews with industry veterans or run behind-the-scenes streams showing off what their brand does to improve.
What makes a good post stand out? Why, a decent caption does, of course. And in order to write up a good caption, you’ll need a bit of SEO magic.
For example, look at this Dualsense Edge wireless controller post from PlayStation. The very first line in the caption, “A world of customization options at your fingertips,” says it all. It describes the product perfectly using important keywords such as “customization.” But it’s also a stylized, brief sentence that’s easy to memorize and has a powerful aesthetic impact. That’s the kind of caption you should be aiming for. It should be short, to the point, and use language that anyone can understand.
Be it for places of interest, products you’d like to promote, or posts you deem useful, it’s always a good idea to try and create some Instagram Guides for your followers. Take a gander at this Zara guide, for instance, and you’ll instantly understand why a business should try to utilize this tool.
By combining some of your best posts with relevant text, you’re providing your followers with a new kind of experience on IG. To put it simply, they can view a compilation of products, locations, or concepts all in one spot. It’s like an IG Reel but a bit more creative. However, keep in mind that you will only be able to create guides using the Instagram app on your Android and/or Apple smart device.
Sometimes, growing your business will require a bit of financial and material investment. In other words, you’ll need to butter up those consumers with something tangible, an object they can use or a service they can employ. That’s where giveaways and contests play a vital role.
Lots of businesses host different types of giveaways on Instagram. By following a page and liking a few posts, you get a chance to win a branded knick-knack, such as a hat, a set of towels, or a USB drive. Alternatively, you may gain a discount on certain items, a digital pass to an event, or an invitation to an exclusive live stream. Anything can be an award, and if the business owner plays their cards right, IG contests and giveaways can net them hundreds, even thousands, of new followers quickly.
So, giveaways and contests are fun for attaining new followers. But in order to keep your audience satisfied, you’ll need to employ a bit of exclusivity. To put it differently, you’ll want to run a sale or a promotion that only includes your current followers.
This strategy works on many levels. Firstly, it encourages people who follow you to interact with your account more actively, thus helping the algorithm push you forward. Next, it shows them that you care for their presence and the time (and money) they’ve invested in you. In other words, you’ll want to give a little something in return to the community. Finally, when you host successful follower-only promotions, other users will want to get in on the action in the future. Word of mouth can let others know about your generosity, and they’ll follow just for a chance to participate in your promotion.
An IG takeover is the term used for a specific form of influencer marketing. A brand would get an influencer to essentially “take over” the page for a day or two in order to promote a product or a service. While they have “control” over your account, the influencers can upload content directly related to your brand. One such example is this post by Goop, where Dr. Shauna Shapiro is sharing a “pendulate” meditation with the viewers.
The biggest benefit of takeovers is that they are brief yet effective. Plus, when you accumulate many different takeovers with celebrities, influencers, and prominent promoters, your brand image will expand. Not only will you get more followers migrating from those influencers’ accounts, but people will see you as a brand with ties to many important individuals on the platform. And free promotion is good for growth, especially if it’s organic and done right.
Direct contact with your followers is always welcome. By replying to their DMs, you’ll get direct feedback on your products, services, and even conduct in the form of future replies and engagement. Plus, you may actually learn something new about your user base, which can help you expand your business and grow even further.
But don’t just limit yourself to DM replying. Brands that actively contact their customers and interact with their IG feeds outperform their competition. After all, if you’re willing to go out of your way to contact a consumer, you’re showing them how much you care for their input and investment.
As a business, you always need raw data to explore different ways of potential growth. Instagram Analytics is the perfect tool for that job. With it, you can check which of your posts perform the best and what the best time of day is for uploads. Furthermore, you can also decide on what type of content works with the majority of your clients and which hashtags and captions have the most engagement.
We’ve mentioned Instagram takeovers earlier, but never forget that even old-fashioned influencer marketing can do the trick. By employing a popular Instagram content creator, you can expect their posts with your products to perform wildly. In addition, you can link their posts or reels to your own Instagram feed, with their permission, of course. As is the case with takeover posts, the more of these collab images and videos you collect, the more people will flock to your page.
There comes a time when Instagram engagement will take its toll on you. After all, when you run a business of any size, you need someone who can handle the platform marketing in a way that will gain you more engagement. At that point, we recommend hiring a professional to help you out.
Individual members of your team can post on Instagram regularly, reply to DMs in a timely manner, and even set up future collaborations and giveaways. Delegating tasks that way will provide you with more space. You can expand your business efforts in other areas while your team works hard in the background. It’s worth pointing out that hiring additional staff also works for other social media platforms, such as Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. The more engagement they land you, the more your brand will expand and explode in popularity.
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