Using Instagram for Business
by Taylor Veal
Instagram is taking over as the dominant social platform for businesses- and for good reason. With over 700 million users on the app curating the content that they want to see, businesses are able to get in front of a captive audience and showcase their brand in cool visual ways. We’ve seen some great success with our client Instagram profiles and learned some tips specific to running Instagram for Business.
Instagram for Business Setup
Choosing Your Name
As simple as this sounds, we’ve seen many businesses try to get cutesy or cryptic with their Instagram handles. This only serves to make your business harder to find for customers. Keep your handle as clear and branded as possible. If your business name is taken, try using underscores or generic words like “shop” in the handle to differentiate.
Make the Most of Your Instagram Profile Info
Instagram for Business caters well to company information. With these profiles, a company can add a phone number to their bio along with their address, website, and a snippet about their business. Use this area to get creative while making the information useful to customers.
One of the most underutilized areas of the Instagram profile is the website section. Often we see businesses only link to their website homepage and leave the section alone. This area is such an opportunity for engagement, as it’s currently the only clickable link in your bio. Think—downloads, purchases, e-books, and mailing lists. All things that can drive traffic from your followers.
Set the Tone
Many Instagram accounts have a type of theme to them, whether it’s a color, style or pattern of photo. It’s never too late to begin a theme later, however, businesses should make sure that they are keeping up with whatever plan they choose if they start one. If committed, it can make an account stand out among others and attract followers organically.
Instagram Stories have taken the social world by storm, and for good reason. Unlike their competitor Snapchat, Instagram Stories are at the top of your news feed and provide a casual way to interact with your followers. Stories are perfect for:
- Behind-the-scenes content that is lower in image or video quality.
- Quick shout-outs for office birthdays, tips and tricks, or new product.
- Using location tags for temporary events like client visits, conference attendance, etc.
Keep in mind that Instagram Stories only last on your profile for 24 hours, so important information like addresses and dates for events should be kept in the normal feed when using Instagram for Business.
Use Various Formats
Instagram has adapted well to the trend in using creative visuals to market products. Think outside the static single picture and use videos, Boomerangs, and multiple images to engage followers. With the quality of phones now, your business doesn’t have to invest in expensive video equipment to create content that your audience will find worth watching. If your post subject looks better in motion, put it in motion!
Need some inspiration? Check out these ideas: 10 Brands Using Boomerang Right
Hashtags can expand your reach beyond your following as they’re searchable to anyone as long as your profile is public. Best practices say to use about 5 hashtags per post, even though Instagram allows up to 30. Keep your posts from looking spammy by optimizing for just a few popular hashtags and a few industry-specific ones.
Collaborate and Share
Using the tag feature is another great way to expand your audience using Instagram for Business. Users can see all the posts their favorite businesses, brands, and organizations are tagged in from those accounts, leading back to your own. Furthermore, there is the opportunity for other accounts to share your content to their own followers. Tag clients, organizations, people, and brands that you work with in posts that involve them, and make sure that you respond when other companies tag yours as well!
#1 Instagram Tip- Be REAL.
I truly cannot stress this tip enough. Be authentic, be engaging, be REAL with your posts. While there are occasions to use flashy graphics or a necessary stock photo, businesses should keep these posts to a minimum. For the most part, your posts should be insight into your business, your solutions, and your “real-life” stuff. These posts get far better engagement than pushing sales because Instagram is the prime opportunity to humanize your company.
No matter the industry, there are ways to make Instagram for Business work for you and your company. At Keystone, we handle posting for our clients and ensure that their social presence matches their business to create a complete online picture.