Recently, Instagram has reached 400 million monthly active users! It’s safe to say that at least some of your target market is on Instagram. This mobile app was made for sharing photos and 30-second videos, but it is so much more than that. It’s a platform for your brand and your brand’s voice.
Almost anyone can use Instagram to market his or her business. It’s especially effective for product and service based businesses (@starbucks), e-commerce sites and physical locations (@Nike and @Strangedonuts), and people who don’t even have a website yet (@SimpleGreenSmoothies). Instagram is perfect for marketing a business because it is mobile, grabs attention, it’s quick and easy to use, and not to mention, the 400 million and growing active users! It brings in the most qualified leads because if people click on your link in your bio, you know they are interested. If I haven’t convinced you how awesome Instagram is for marketing yet, here’s some statistics that might make you reconsider.
Like I said before, Instagram is more than just posting a picture and hoping people will like it. For business marketing, there are key factors that go into posting that picture. What should the caption be? Will this picture grab people’s attention? What do I want people to do after seeing this picture? If people go to my bio, what will they see and/or think? It’s not as hard as it sounds, you just have to put in the time and effort; just like any other marketing strategy.
In order to have a successful Instagram account for your business, follow these simple tips and you’ll be on your way to making a voice and presence for your brand!
- Track traffic. Use a customized link shortener to track traffic coming from your Instagram account to your website. This will let you know how well your account is driving traffic and leads. I use bitly.com, which makes a link exclusively for your bio.
- Have a clear brand representation. The colors, look and feel, and your brand message should be consistent across the board. Instagram is a tool to visualize your brand and you want others to be able to recognize you with one photo. An account that does a good job at having a clear brand representation is @victoriassecret.
- Posts should have visual interest. Think of each and every photo you post as the front cover of a magazine or the featured photo of an article. For your business, photos posted should look professional. Make sure the lighting is perfect, the focus is right, and the content is interesting. Even if your brand doesn’t have a visual focus such as food and clothing, find the beauty in your brand. Take pictures in the office, at events, and of clients.
- Get more followers. In order to get more followers without paying for them, try tagging people in comments, post daily, use geotags and hashtags, and cross-promote your partners. Share the love!
- Use strategic descriptions. You need to figure out what is going to work best for your business. Build off your blog, use symbols and emojis, and embrace the hashtag. With smart and strategic descriptions or captions of your photos, you will help expose your account and content to more people.
- DO NOT over post! Everyone’s experienced this before. You start following a friend and they feel the need to post every single picture from the night before. You either quickly scroll through the feed until their name disappears or you give up entirely and click the ‘unfollow’ button. Instagram is a lot different than Facebook. Do not create an album of your night out on someone’s Instagram feed. Don’t oversaturate and you won’t lose followers you already have.
- Promote your account everywhere. Just like you have a ‘Like’ button for Facebook on your website, email, blog, and newsletter, you should put a ‘follow’ button for Instagram on everything. Anywhere your brand is present and visible, you should be promoting your Instagram account along with all other social media accounts. Build your following and maximize engagement with these followers.
Once you start posting regularly [not too often], find your brand’s voice, and build a following, you should start seeing a positive effect on website traffic and leads. Use Instagram to make people love your business and brand!