How Your Business Can Utilize Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms and it’s growing every day. From gathering insights to selling products, Instagram keeps rolling out tools to help business owners succeed on the photo-sharing social media platform. If you’re not on Instagram yet, you should be. No matter what industry you’re in or what you sell, here are the top ways that your business can and should be doing to utilize Instagram.

Your Profile

Your Instagram profile includes your profile photo, your bio, and your feed.

Your profile photo is the small circular image that people will see next to your username when you post or comment. The profile picture size is 110×110 pixels on mobile and 180×180 pixels on desktop, so Instagram recommends that your profile picture be 180×180 pixels to ensure that you have a high-quality image in both locations. It should be simple and easy to see since it’s so small. The easiest profile picture to have is just your brand’s logo so that people know exactly who you are when they visit your profile.

The Instagram bio is the next part of your profile and is often underutilized. The character limit for the bio is 150 characters, so you’ll want to make the most of that prime real estate! Include a little blurb about what your business does and the value it provides to your potential customers.

As a business account (Click here to learn how to change your profile to a business one if it’s not already) you also have the option to add a website link to your bio. Many businesses just put the link to the homepage of their website and leave it like that, but you can do so much more with it! This is the only clickable link you have in your entire profile, so update it regularly to drive event registrations, bring users to a Limited Time Offer page and more. Your business profile can also link a phone number and email, so make sure those are linked and correct to give potential customers an easy way to contact you.

Posts

Instagram for businesses isn’t supposed to be another version of your website, so don’t just post about the products or services you sell. Instagram is a very visual and engagement-driven platform, so focus more on providing value to your customers. There is an infinite amount of posts that you can create for your business’s Instagram, but here are some of our favorite ideas.

  • Behind the scenes – Use your Instagram to humanize your brand to your customers by showing a day-in-the-life working at your company, posting employee spotlights or showing the behind-the-scenes on how your product is made or service is performed.
  • Share tips and how-tos – Again, provide some value to your customers. If you’re a plumbing company, post a video tutorial on how to easily fix your sink’s leak and when to know to call a professional. If you sell a product, post a “life hack” about a unique way to use your product.
  • Run a contest – Encourage engagement from your followers by posting about a giveaway or some type of contest for your brand. The possibilities here are endless but try something that will encourage your customers to interact with your brand, such as submitting a photo or video of them using your product or sharing your post to their social media profiles.

Stories

In August of 2016, Instagram announced a new feature called “Stories”. Similar to Snapchat, Instagram users can post a story separate from their permanent Instagram feeds that delete after 24 hours. If your business isn’t using Stories yet, here are some tips to keep in mind to integrate them into your Instagram strategy.

  • Use hashtags and location tags – Instagram Stories are discoverable, similar to posts, through hashtags and location tags. So, a much broader audience can see your Stories, even if they’re not following you!
  • Make users want to click through – Stories are a lot more interactive than posts because users can click through them to see the entire progression of the story. Encourage users to click through by posting a step-by-step tutorial or by revealing something more and more through each Story.
  • Use features specific to stories – Instagram has added a lot of features just for Stories to increase interaction, so use them! Use the poll feature to gauge audience interest in a new product, test your customer’s knowledge with the quiz feature, host a Q&A with the question feature or use the countdown to build anticipation for a new launch.

Be Social

Instagram is a social media platform, so be social! When people comment on your Instagram posts, always make sure to respond to them. Engage with your followers, especially ones who tag you in their posts, by liking, commenting and sharing their posts to your own profile. Use the Live feature to answer questions and talk to your customers in real-time. The more social you are on Instagram, the more human you make your brand seem, which will make potential customers more open to purchasing from you compared to competitors.

While this is not an exhaustive guide for the entire world of Instagram, we know these tips and tricks will give you a great foundation to best utilize Instagram for your business. Looking for further help managing your business’ Instagram account? Contact us today.

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