Since it’s launch, Instagram consistently improves their experience for business profile users, from analytics provided daily, to increased functionalities and features. Since it’s launch in 2016, over 25 million businesses use Instagram to market their products and services and promote their brand (Source: Instagram). With more than twice as many users as Twitter (Source: TechCrunch) and 80% of users are following or engaging with at least one brand (Source: AdWeek), it’s no surprise that businesses are moving towards the photo sharing platform. But what features does an Instagram business profile have that can help you market and promote your business? Here are 7 tips and tricks on how to convert Instagram into a marketing tool for your business.
Related: Instagram Marketing eBook (free download)
7 Tips for Using Instagram to Market Your Business
1. Get Set Up With an Instagram Business Account
The first step in using Instagram to market your business is to properly set up your business profile. In order to create an Instagram business account, you must first create a page on Facebook for your local place or business, and a standard Instagram profile. Make sure your Facebook page and Instagram account have the same handle to minimize confusion for your customers when searching for your business on social. Once you have created both of these, Instagram will give you the option under settings to switch to a business profile and connect your Facebook page to your Instagram account.
2. Keep it Professional
Remember to keep your posts on-brand. Your social profiles should only be a reflection of your business. While we all know Instagram can be fun and casual, in order to produce the best results for your brand, creating a new business Instagram profile will help separate your personal moments from your professional appearance. This means no selfies, vacation photos, or overly intimate posts.
3. Utilize Your Bio
Instagram only provides one line for a website on your profile, and with a 150 character limit on a bio, you need to make that space count! Make sure your bio is relevant and catchy, so that people are excited to follow you for more quality content, but can also easily understand your business mission from a single line. Before adding your website to the space allotted, make sure it is both up and running and mobile-friendly.
4. Quality Quality Quality!
With millions of brands on Instagram, you need to be able to make yours stand out from the crowd. High-quality posts will convince users you are worth following. Ninety percent of the information we transmit to our brain is visual (Source: Wishpond), so producing exceptional and relatable posts, captions, and Instagram Stories is key to keeping your followers (and potential customers) engaged with your Instagram account.
You don’t need a fancy DSLR or professional lighting, any phone with a quality camera is fine, but make sure your photos reflect your product and brand attractively. Keeping your content creative is vital as well. Allowing for unique and colorful videos and boomerangs, thematic pops of color, and bespoke captions gives users a sense of familiarity with your brand. Your product should look appealing and authentic, rather than trying to make a hard sell and put off potential customers.
5. Integrate Shopping
Earlier this year, Instagram unveiled their latest feature for select users: the ability for Instagram users to shop brands on Instagram. If your business produces physical goods in select categories, you will qualify for this update. This latest feature release takes a few steps, but is well worth the extra effort. One clothing brand saw a 1,400 percent increase in website traffic and a more than 20% revenue increase! (Source: Inc).
In order to access this exclusive capability, you must first sync your product catalog with Facebook Shop, authenticate your Instagram business account (an option that should pop up automatically), and select the items you want to tag next time you upload a photo. Users will be prompted to “tap to view products”, where they can easily view the links to and prices of the items in your image. This new feature is sure to drive traffic through the roof!
6. Offer Exclusive Rewards
Everyone loves free stuff, and Instagram giveaways and exclusive coupons are a great way to gain more followers, increase impressions, and build positive brand awareness. Attracting people to your business with a small, low-cost giveaway and adding call to action requirements to enter—such as tagging a friend in the comments or liking a post—will, in turn, drive your leads and potential customer base.
Another way to build positive brand awareness is through surprise and delights—randomly selecting active fans to receive discounts or gifts is a great way to keep them loyal to your business. Positive exposure to your brand is vital for growing your Instagram following organically.
Related eBook: Examples of Facebook Contests and Instagram Giveaways
Networking on Instagram is one of the most valuable ways to gain traction within similar communities. If there are businesses within your community (that aren’t competitors) that share a similar Instagram theme, it can be very strategic to collaborate for a social campaign. For example, if an ice cream business and a clothing brand collaborated, photos could taken wearing the clothes while eating the food. This spread is appropriate to be displayed on both social profiles, as a way to diversify and share audiences.
Instagram can be a valuable business marketing tool when utilized correctly. Driving free, organic traffic to your website and social accounts is great for discovering new leads and building a positive brand experience for your customers. Remember to keep these tips and tricks in mind when creating and building your Instagram!
For more tips and tricks on marketing with Instagram, download our free PDF guide below: