These Instagram business tips are for companies that are just starting on Instagram.
Also, if your Instagram business profile and content strategy need a wee bit of reboot, this is for you as well.
Your social media specialist can quickly implement any of these Instagram tips. That is if you seriously intend to use the social media platform to increase brand awareness, engagement, web traffic, and leads.
(Warning: This Instagram business tips article is long. I suggest that you bookmark it for reference).
Also, I have asked small businesses, just like yours, to share their tips on how they use Instagram. You will see some of their Instagram business tips below.
Understanding the Instagram Environment for Your Company
It is a visual story type of platform, and people are proud of their visual content. Hence, you will not see that many random selfies on Instagram.
Instagram, as a platform, only underscores the fact about how visual we are. Our tools are now advanced compared to sticks and stones back then, but we have always been visual.
Having a handy knowledge and sound strategy on how your businesses use Instagram can be helpful.
Who is Using It
Understand that any data we see is organic. It could change but here is where we are now in terms of Instagram use.
So, would I recommend Instagram as a marketing tool for YOUR company?
Let me answer that with two questions:
- Are your clients and target audience there?
- Do you have the resources? Meaning high-quality graphics, budget to pay people, time if you want to do this yourself and knowledge to use it effectively
If your answer to both of the above is” Yes,” then have fun reading these Instagram business tips that I and other companies had fun completing.
However, if your reply to the first question is “No” and you said “Yes” to the second one, you may need to go elsewhere where they are; otherwise, you are only wasting your resources. You don’t want that right?
If your answer to the first one is “Yes” and your answer to the second is “No,” hire someone knowledgeable in social media.
Instagram Business Tips for Companies
Set aside a budget for Instagram Ads.
I wish I started this with a FREE tip, but I just like to lay it out quite plainly…Instagram, like any other social media platforms, is “pay to play.” Our use of Instagram is relatively FREE but free won’t get us far.
Want to get immediate results? Pay.
Want to scale organic reach? Pay.
Want to be in front of more leads? Pay
Want to get MORE potential clicks to your landing page? Pay.
You can use social media for free but to scale growth faster, then advertise your business. You will need a budget for that.
Decide on what personality you want to project on Instagram.
Do you want to be seen as fun?
Do you want to be perceived as the expert in your field?
In your posts, your tone, your choice of words, the types of posts you share and your rapport with your audience can influence their perception. However, you want to be perceived, as it turns out, honesty trumps snarky-ness according to
However, you want to be perceived, note that honesty trumps snarky-ness according to this.
Convert profile you use FOR business TO business
What an Instagram business profile has which a personal profile does not?
- Instagram Insights.
You need info about your demographics. A different audience has a different language, remember? Use Insights! It’s free.
- The ability to include at least one contact information in your business account – email and phone number.
- You can add your store address that people can click if they need directions.
- Scale all your Instagram hurdles using the Ads tool.
If you think that you need the above for your company, then switch over.
Do not promote your Instagram post to profiles whose message is different from yours
Occasionally you will get an email from someone on Instagram with loads of followers “sell space” in their gallery to give you more eyeballs. Often you will get this from people who has thousands of followers vs a few that you have.
My recommendation here is if you have money to spend, use it on ads directly via Instagram not through such means as above.
Did you know that on Instagram ads you can refine targeting yourself – by location, interest, age and gender? This is something that you can control. The random email offers you get? You can’t.
Another recommendation: collaborate with other businesses in your industry.
Engage. Engage. Engage.
It is SOCIAL media after all. Each business may have different goals for using it, e.g., to create community, nurture relationship and gather more leads but keeping engagement going should be top of your list.
With many businesses strapped for time, companies tend to just “post and go.”
Want to stand out? Be an engaging business. Engagement is the SECRET sauce that is not a secret at all.
Follow Instagram-ers intelligently
Just because someone tagged #F4F or #Follow4Follow, doesn’t mean that you NEED to follow them back.
Do your research when you follow people back. Are they accounts that you your business would like to follow?
Check their Instagram profiles if it’s complete.
Check if their posts are on-topic.
Check if they are within your geographic target.
Should you follow private (locked) accounts? That will be up to you.
Geo-tag posts if applicable
“Post with a location see 79% higher engagement than posts not tagged with a location.”
This is ideal if your business is targeting local clientele.
How to tag location to your Instagram post:
- Simply add location when publishing posts. Click heck the three dots (circled here), and follow what it says.
- Use geotags or create your own. For example, if I live in Granite Bay, California, I ‘d use #GraniteBay #visitgranitebay or I’ll create something else.
Hashtag your posts
Hashtags are to Instagram what keywords are to SEO. ~ Rubyism
Instagram hashtags add visibility to your post for discovery and engagement.
Hashtags can either be by geography, niche, interest group, or generational. You can search posts by hashtags, and related hashtags.
Does it matter how many hashtags you use in a post? It does according to a study by QuickSprout. Apparently, posts with 11 hashtags received nearly 80% interactions vs. one with 10.
As of this writing, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post including hashtags in the description and the comments.
It is also a superb idea to check the score card of the hashtags you use vs. the ones that are getting the most engagement so you can clean out your list. You don’t get this on Instagram but some paid tools have that.
Images still rule the engagement roost on Instagram – for now
In spite of the rise in the number of videos posted, images still get the most engagement.
Would it be possible for video to become the rage on Instagram in the future? Yes. Remember, Facebook owns it. Facebook’s darling posts changed from images to videos now so with Instagram, it can be just a matter of time. And of course, there’s the adoption phase too for users.
If you are a company using images:
- Filters are great but why filter a perfect image already. Save time post it as is. Take great photos in the first place.
- Filters are like masks to reality. If you want to post something about a product you are selling, then you may need to post it as is.
- Do not over-filter (read: over edit) food that you are selling.
Jot down a compelling caption
Compel them to act. Examples for these are: visit a link, answer a question, call you, email you, tag your company for user generated contents (UGCs).
Do you tend to post a long-ish description? Then put your key message early in the caption. Instagram truncates it after three lines.
Key performance indicators(KPIs) need to be identified from the get-go
Whatever your goal may it has its key performance indicators.
Growing social media engagement may be your aim for using Instagram or social media for now. That goal has different KPI – and tactics.
The native Instagram analytics can be used for some of the above KPI’s, but if you like to dive deeper, there are free and paid tools that you can use for that. Google Analytics is free.
Social media goals are like roots. As your business evolves, you change leaves not roots.
Learn from other businesses
Research how other companies, including your competitors, are using Instagram for their business. Is what they are doing something that you can implement for your firm? Is it something that you can do now – or later?
Measure what matters
Measuring is not to determine that what you are doing now is effective. Measuring is trying to find where you are wasting your resources and time on what you are doing for your company.
You CAN track all the KPIs that are available, but it doesn’t mean that you should.
Never leave the caption section blank
You would probably be able to get away with this if you are National Geographic, but you’re not.
Tell your story in the caption section.
In case you are wondering if the longer your caption, the better the engagement rate, nope. It does not. There is little correlation between these two according to a study.
Optimize your Instagram business page bio
Your Instagram business profile is your most important real estate on Instagram.
It is one of the first places that Instagrammers check to verify whether you are worth following. Make sure it is optimized with your company’s relevant info.
Critical sections of your Instagram business page:
- Photo Avatar: Decide if it is your face or your logo that you would like to use if you are a small business. Either way, you can change that later.
- Link: Use a landing page that matters to you. It can be a promotional link – email sign-up, coupon, download or your latest blog. This is the ONLY place on Instagram where a URL is clickable.
- Bio Description: Add in your description the reason people should follow your business page. It can be a promise to “be the first to get your freebies,” chance to join contests and more!
Publish relevant posts
How do you know it is relevant? That’s why you need to check your Insights.
What are your top posts?
What is the theme of your recurring top posts?
Questions help create a dialog
You want engagement, don’t you?
“Ask them, answer them, rephrase them, encourage them. Create a dialog and keep your audience engaged.” Tip via HH Staffing services
Asking question in social media demonstrates:
- Your willingness to begin a conversation. And respond back, within reason, when someone finally responds.
- Humility. We don’t know everything, you see.
- Your willingness to shift the spotlight to THEM, not you.
- Get a solution. Some of the tips that you see here is a result of my asking for help from other businesses.
Relax and have fun. It shows!
That’s a tip shared by Realtor Gitta Barth of My Florida House.
We couldn’t agree more. It is social media after all.
Keep it casual. Use your audience’s language. Leave your product sales copy voice and language in your website’s sales pages.
If you are worried that the fun could get out of hands like other businesses or companies, manage it NOW by creating a social media guideline to keep things within bounds.
Strengthen a story, or theme, using a carousel
Carousel is a feature on Instagram where you can post multiple images.
It grabs attention
It can help build a story or a concept.
Timing of posts
How do you figure this out? Again, check Instagram Insights. That’s another reason I like to use business profile for businesses.
Do you want to post when most users are active (not)? (Pro Tip: That means you will be competing with other users for attention and potentially less engagement.
In spite of what others say about best time to post, one thing we know is this. Each business is unique. It sounds like a cliché, but to prove our point here is an example of “best time to post on Instagram” for two different accounts.
Adventure Photo Studios
Your theme can either be:
- The message
- The subject of photos you share
- The filter or color that you choose
You can do some testing too by either asking your audience or by, again, checking data.
Vote out boring
From the get-go resolve that BORING posts should have no space in your Instagram gallery.
We know already that Pinterest is image-driven; it is even more so with Instagram. Quality posts thrive here. The inability to click a link in the description section on Instagram posts is an indication that the picture is the “main show.”
Website as your home, not Instagram
Do not neglect your business website over Instagram or other social media platforms. People might check your social media profile. However, when it comes to making a decision to buy, particularly for B2B companies, often businesses research the website before they start contact.
(e)Xplore (read: research) like a pro
Pros research the landscape before jumping ahead. Include this as part of your Instagram marketing strategy. This is where it should all begin: RESEARCH.
Using Instagram, you can research hashtags, users, competitors, location and a lot more.
You can’t control reach and impressions on Instagram, but you can control engagement
How? By posting relevant content that your audience likes.
If there is no engagement, maybe your content sucks?
..and if no one seems to be home in your profile, that may be because you aren’t home too and you are just cross-posting elsewhere? Don’t blame the platform. Check your strategy.
What does your audience like? Check Instagram Insights or your Google Analytics. That’s one way to find out what your audience likes.
Another way is to ask THEM.
Keep things light and positive. People want content to be inspiring! Tip by HH Staffing Company
We can infer from Curalate about how positivity abounds on Instagram with the most popular positive emoticons that are shared on Instagram.
So yeah, you can’t control the negativity in social media, but you can control what you post on your profiles. Keep positivity shining in your corner.
Did we miss anything?
Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community