Do you need a business presence on yet another social media site? In short, the answer is yes. Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms on the planet, with around 1 billion monthly active users. Using Instagram for business isn’t overkill — it’s smart business sense. If you don’t already have a presence there, you need one. If you do have a presence on Instagram, you might want to step up your efforts.
Images on Instagram get more engagement than those on Facebook. If your business is highly visual, Instagram is a must. If you’re ready to jump into Instagram marketing, here are eight clear ways you should use Instagram.
1. Offer Sneak Previews
Want to make your followers feel like they’re part of something special? Offer a sneak preview of new products before you post about them anywhere else. You could even offer a special order so that they can get in on pre-orders before anyone else.
Think about how you want to approach Instagram. Do you just want another social media platform to keep up with, or do you want to utilize Instagram for business leads? Once you know your goals, sharing images becomes clearer.
2. Connect With Your Audience
Some companies choose to separate their target audiences by creating multiple business profiles aimed at different personas. A separate account is valuable if you make products that hit different types of people. For example, if one of your products is aimed at baby boomers and another is loved by millennials, you might want to create more than one page to reach these two unique demographics.
Tito’s Vodka runs a page called Vodka for Dog People where they feature images of different breeds of dogs and highlight their product as an aside. Anyone who loves dogs and vodka follows this page. In the screenshot above, they feature a young King Charles Spaniel chewing on a toy that looks like a bottle of vodka.
3. Drive Traffic to Your Site
Instagram is another way to drive targeted traffic to your site. You can use one link in your bio that allows users to find out more about you by following you from Instagram to your landing page. However, you can also encourage users to visit your site by adding a call to action (CTA) to the caption. Users don’t want to feel as though you’re hard selling to them though, so be sure you offer something of value that encourages them to visit your website.
4. Create Interesting and Relevant Visuals
Images are important in social media marketing and particularly on Instagram, where users scroll through the images at a rapid pace. About 32 percent of marketers believe visual images are the top content for their marketing needs, with blogging following behind at 27 percent.
3M’s tagline on Instagram points out that they’re innovators of science that changes the world. Their visuals include their workers creating new products, sticky notes being used to organize a school schedule and command strips used to hang things in a college dorm room. The visuals are aimed at each particular audience for that product.
5. Seek out Real Followers
Unfortunately, not all users on Instagram are authentic. Around eight percent are spam bots and seek out accounts where they can throw in a spammy comment about something they’re trying to sell. However, the vast majority are other businesses and real people. Block any user who tries to post spam on your page, and you’ll filter out those fake accounts over time.
Create highly targeted ads for the best chance of attracting the followers who are most interested in your brand. Choose an objective, lay out the audience you want to reach and set a budget and schedule.
6. Show off Your Personality
One of the best parts of being on social media is the opportunity to show off your brand’s personality. Decide what your voice is — serious, humorous, educational or something else. Once you have a voice in mind, it’s easier to plan out your posts for Instagram or any other social media platform you’re on. Next, find creative ways to express yourself.
Play-Doh does a good job showing off the fun of their product and throwing some personality in there by presenting unique creations. Take a look at their posting of the tacos made from Play-Dough and their tongue-in-cheek comment, “Let’s taco about it.” The play on words is a fun way for them to show off their personality as a brand.
7. Update Your Fans
Instagram is a great way to quickly update your fans about new and exciting happenings within your company. If you break ground on a new warehouse, go ahead and share photos and details with your followers. If you get a new product, share that info too. Anything you think might interest them is a chance to connect with your audience.
8. Work With Other Brands
In Point #6, we looked at some of the things Play-Dough is doing on Instagram. You probably noticed that they’re creating items that look like products from various stores, such as Taco Bell, Starbucks and McDonald’s. They’re then tagging those businesses and taking advantage of influencer marketing in a unique way. Tying into other brands gives them access to the other big company’s user base.
Working with other brands is just one way to get the word out about your company. Instagram for business isn’t easy to navigate, but working with other influencers brings in even more followers for your brand.
Your Presence on Instagram
Before you jump into the world of Instagram to promote your business, take the time to study what others are doing. There’s a certain protocol for marketing on social media, and each platform has its own rules and standards. Pay attention to what the successful brands on the social media platform are doing, and repeat with your own twist. You should also study your competitor’s social media pages in-depth to see what you’re up against.