How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Business
Instagram is a photo- and video-sharing app that allows users to post and review images from people and brands from all over the world. Brands have flocked to Instagram to keep up with users who are drifting away from written content in favor of beautiful photos that are more engaging and easier to consume. So how can your business and brand get going with Instagram?
What’s Your Goal for Instagram?
Start by defining your business goal for using Instagram. Are you using it because you keep hearing a lot about this social media tool or can you truly tie it to a strategic goal? Be strategic by aligning your Instagram efforts to a measurable goal such as increasing website traffic, boosting product awareness or connecting with online influencers.
The Right Frequency is Essential
With your goal set, your next task is to determine how frequently you’ll post. As with Facebook and even email marketing, a regular schedule is helpful in two areas. Committing to a schedule helps you carve out the necessary time in your work day to create the content. Perhaps more importantly, a set schedule for your Instagram publishing helps your followers know when to expect your next post. No, your audience is likely not going to be waiting with bated breath for your next post unless you’re a celebrity, but they can see at which frequency you typically post. This helps them decide if your Instagram account is active and worthwhile to follow. Give your target audience as many reasons to follow you as possible.
Types of Content to Share
Another consideration is the type of content you’ll publish. Aim for a good variety of content. For a marketing agency like ours, our Instagram account will include samples of marketing collateral that we’ve designed, behind-the-scenes views at our agency and design inspiration. Upfront, think through the types of content you can post and keep that list handy so when your creativity is not sparking, you have your list of reminders within reach. It’s also good to use a combination of still photos and video. Some types of businesses lend themselves more to photos, while others are easier to capture in video. Determine how you can do both.
Remember to tie your content back to your business goal. On our own Instagram account, we may include a link to more details about a project on our website or blog specifically. This helps connect what we’re posting with the business goal of driving more traffic to our website. This said, be careful to not be overly sales-y, but link back to your website when you are providing additional content that’s helpful to followers.
Decide How to Interact on Instagram
Another point to think about is how you’ll handle engagement on Instagram. Of course, you want your followers commenting and sharing your posts. That indicates that your content resonates with your audience. Don’t forget to set aside time each week to respond to comments and look at the new people following you. If they seem to have similar interests, it’s likely a good idea to follow their account, too. Don’t automate your responses to comments on Instagram. The canned responses come across as cold and unengaging. Go for authenticity instead.
You can include up to 10 photos and videos each time you post to Instagram, giving viewers the opportunity to swipe through a set of photos. If you have a new line of products or even a new product that has optional features like color or additional accessories, choose to post multiple photos in one Instagram post and show people their options.
Instagram stories, which are videos that appear in your feed for 24 hours and then disappear, are also getting good responses. (We’ll cover that in another blog post.) Grab potential buyers’ and followers’ attention with these popular Stories.
Overall, the important factor is to plan your Instagram use strategically and stick with the schedule as well as the experimentation with content and frequency. Your followers will show you what they like and how you can deliver more delightful content.
If you found this post helpful, you may also like my blog post “Fastest Growing Instagram Account & What Matters”.