How to Use Instagram for Your Business

Instagram has poised itself as an unexpected host of untapped potential for businesses across all fields. As of 2016, the mega-popular social media platform has announced the impressive statistic of 600 million monthly active users. Company’s have started utilizing this social platform as a medium for marketing and advertising. Besides being incredibly effective, it is also free. However simple it may appear, using this app for a company requires proper execution and specific strategies. Here are a few ideas to help you use Instagram for your business.

Create a Brand-Focused Page

As with any social media account, companies must focus on creating a brand-focused page. After all, the main purpose of utilizing social platform accounts is to increase exposure and generate sales. Keeping this in mind, you should dedicate all components of your account to promoting the brand.

First and foremost, your profile picture should display a company logo or name. This helps users to match a brand with the account itself. The biography section should be filled out with a short description describing the main focus and services provided by your company. A link to your company’s website should also be included in an attempt to attract more potential customers.

Build a Following

Unlike other forms of advertisement, online platform audiences need to be earned and built from scratch. After all, the most important component of effective advertising is an active audience. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for building loyal and active followings on this platform. Some business owners may be reluctant to spend money on growing their following. However, you must remember that this platform is being used as a marketing and advertising technique to increase exposure.

Engaging with other companies is one of the most popular methods for growing followers. For example, shoutouts are often used by smaller accounts hoping to gain a mass of followers. A shoutout is when a more popular account reposts or mentions a smaller account. You can contact larger accounts within your company’s niche and request a shoutout or find accounts selling them online. While shoutouts often cost money, they can yield incredible results.

Post Consistent Content

One of the most important components of running a successful account is to post consistent content. While the specific frequency is often contested, posting weekly is generally the minimum. Consistent posts can result in an increase in activity and overall followers. It is also important to ensure all posts are related to your company. Those who decide to follow your page have no interest in seeing unrelated posts. The key is to maintain a consistent and relevant stream of posts to keep your audience engaged and informed.

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Engage in the Community

After using this app for a while, you will quickly realize that there are several other accounts related to your particular brand. There are countless niches within the social platform culture. To generate interest in your company, it is important to establish your account as an expert in the niche. You want users to associate your brand and account with quality information and content. This will greatly increase the chances of turning followers into potential customers. After all, they followed your company’s account out of interest.

In order to become positioned as an expert, businesses must actively engage within their niche. This requires you to become familiar with other popular accounts as well as with your followers. Liking and commenting on other related accounts can help to increase exposure and reputation. This activity should always refer back to your account or provide valuable information regarding the niche.

Incorporate Sales Pitches

It is easy to get caught up into the intricacies of this application. However, businesses must not forget that this social media platform is just being used as a medium to increase sales and brand exposure. Keeping this original motivation in mind, you should find ways to incorporate a sales pitch into posts. Fortunately, there are several strategies involving this important step.

Perhaps the most obvious method is posting an image of your product or service. This straight-forward approach will yield satisfying results as active followers will automatically view these posts. However, there are more subtle ways that can be even more effective. Companies should consider posting images that are related to their company, but not explicitly endorsing it. This ensures that posts don’t come off as too “salesy”. Instead, a link to the associated product or service can be included in the images description.

Analyze Your Activity

As with any form of advertising or marketing, your company’s social activity should be monitored and analyzed on a regular basis. These statistics can provide company’s with critical feedback regarding the performance of their accounts. From this information, companies can determine what strategies are working and what others need to be changed.

To be sure, some statistics are more revealing than others. For example, the comment and like activity can reveal the time that followers are most active. Furthermore, they can reveal what kind of posts draw the most activity. While the official application doesn’t provide these statistics, there are countless third party apps that can be used.

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Take Advantage of Hashtags

For those who are unaware, hashtags are an important component to this application. In short, users are allowed to include 30 hashtags per image that is posted. In theory, these hashtags can be any word desired by the user. However, some are certainly more effective for business strategies than others. These hashtags have the potential to attract interested users to engage with your company’s account. The idea is to post hashtags related to the associated post as well as your company’s niche.

For example, a post of a landscape sunset picture may include the following hashtags: #landscape, #photography, #sunset, etc. Anytime a user searches one of these associated hashtags, posts containing them will appear. However, some hashtags are more popular than others. The more popular the hashtag, the greater chances users will find your account. Essentially, hashtags allow users the opportunity to reach other active users within their niche.

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