How Your Business Should Be Using Instagram

Ah, Instagram, the “visual storytelling” platform, unique in the way that it is solely mobile imagery. Think about social media platforms as the components of a marketing agency, in which Instagram is the Creative Director, in charge of focusing and connecting with their “clients” through the creativity of content such as photographs and videos. That being said, Instagram is more for the creative side of your business.

According to Instagram, this fun-filled social media platform has more than 300 million daily active users and 500 million monthly users. With so much activity and engagement happening every single day, it’s no surprise your business, big or small, can benefit from it. Not convinced yet? Well allow me to do so…

So, why is it important?

Although Facebook is still the most popular social media platform out there, Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for time spent on it. Instagram users are more likely to engage and share content which means that your business has a better chance of getting in front of your audience, and who wouldn’t want that?

Instagram also has a way of creating a deeper, more personal connection than Facebook. M. Gemi, a company who first launched on Instagram, says this about their Instagram engagement, “There is no other platform that allows us to form that type of genuine connection. Instagram allows us to communicate with, listen to and respond to the needs of our clients through imagery.”  Now with over 70.5k followers, they aim to keep that same feel throughout their images for years to come. Instagram allows your customers/followers to see who you are as a business simply by the use of trendy graphics and 10-minute videos.

How your business should be using Instagram:

Show Your Business’s Brand

 People follow businesses on Instagram to see their products quickly, but more so to see the business from the inside. Instagram allows you to get creative with bringing your customers to a side of your brand that they may never experience. Post pictures of your product, but also, post pictures that show you. Even if you are sitting in an office all day, there is still a ton of content you can create; just be creative.

Remember, do not over post. On this platform especially, “blowing up” someone’s feed, will annoy your followers and will quickly lead to losing your audience.

People that You Follow

The amount of people you follow will vary, depending on your business. There is no perfect ratio, however, following 10,000 people with only 500 followers does not look good. Keep it balanced. Follow enough people to get your name out there, we suggest to start out with at least 100. Remember, You do not need to follow everyone who follows you. This can lead to you following spam accounts, and will get you no growth. Verify the accounts you follow, read their bio, review their photos. Look at your competitors, and see how many and who they’re following. The people you follow should also be interested in you and your product.

Make sure the people you follow have the same standard of business that you do. Do not follow people who are irrelevant to your product or business standard. We do not recommend that you follow celebrity accounts, unless they’re associated with a reputable business that relates to yours.

Uploading Awesome Photos

Try and keep your branding as consistent as possible, by using images that have your company’s color, text and style throughout. Take a look at your competitor’s feeds. How are they conveying their brand? When you look at your competitor’s feeds, notice how they keep the images similar enough to where you can see their branding all throughout. If your website uses images, feel free to recycle them on Instagram!

Double Tapping

By double tapping on a picture, you can like photos and posts, and you can do it frequently. Liking photos is much more freely done on Instagram than on Facebook, but don’t overdue it. Like and share photos of things that are relevant to your company or customers who are engaging with your business/product. The more you interact with your audience, the more engagement you will get in return.

Comment frequently and get your name out there! A big misconception is that comments always have include something about your brand/company. Wrong. A simple comment, such as “great advice”, can suffice and make a presence.

Story Time!

Instagram stories is new to the Instagram platform and basically involves disappearing pieces of content, including photos and video. These capabilities include Instagram Stories, posts that disappear after 24 hours. At the top of your home page is a horizontal bar featuring photos of people you follow and one for yourself that has your profile photo with a plus sign. When you select the photo of yourself, it opens another screen, with the option of live video, an option called Normal (which takes a photo), Boomerang (which creates a GIF) and Hands-Free, which records a video without requiring you to hold down the record button.

Your business can give customers a live look behind the scenes of interesting aspects of your business (or answer live questions through the comments). Unlike Facebook, once the video has ended, it is no longer available anywhere, unless of course, you post it on your Instagram feed. This is a great real-time tool for any business who is looking to have short engagement for an event for example, such as a giveaway!

Connect. Connect. Connect.

You can connect your Facebook account to your Instagram account (and pretty much all other social media sites), that way post will be present on both, saving time and energy. This is great because if you have pre-scheduled post for Facebook, they will also be posted to Instagram without any extra effort on your part. Yay!

And just like Facebook posts, Facebook Ads can also crossover. If you have Ad on Facebook, that ad crosses over to Instagram giving you the ability to promote on both social media platforms. The perfect win-win situation!

Okay, So Now What?

Didn’t I tell you Instagram was so great?! When used properly, Instagram gives you an easy way to enhance your reach and expose your business to new people. It is also an awesome tool to bring people closer to your business by expressing your personality and creativity!

 Don’t have an Instagram account yet? No Worries! You can set up an account in seconds by simply downloading the app onto your smartphone (and I know you have a smartphone). The best part is, you don’t need an overly complicated strategy to be successful. By simply snapping pictures and being authentic to your business’s brand, you’ll surely be on your way to engaging with your audience all while driving your business to success!