Deciding which social platforms are right for your business can often be a difficult decision. As professionals in social media, we often know at a glance what will work for you and what won’t.
The worst decision you can make is to join a social channel just because it’s there. The best decision you can make is to research more about the channel and whether it’s actually worth your extra time and effort for little or no gain.
Using Instagram for business has become a little more popular recently and some businesses are really using it to their advantage. We won’t lie, it is time-consuming, but as with anything, you get out what you put in.
We’ve put together a few tips if you decide that Instagram is right for you.
This is where you get to sell your business. You must be clear about what it is you do and avoid too much ‘industry jargon’ which may confuse people about your offering.
Everyone’s got a bio, right? A bio gives a follower an insight into who you are and what you.
It’s important for your bio to be short and succinct, so people don’t have to read hoards of unnecessary text. It’s what we’d call in the industry ‘a call to action!’
The very nature of Instagram means that your images need to be top-notch. They have to stand out from other profiles. Most mobile phones now allow you to modify photos, including captions, filters and logos as necessary. Instagram will also help you with this in order to make your images look amazing.
If you happen to work in an industry where it’s difficult to achieve ‘good’ images then you probably need to reconsider whether Instagram is right for you.
When considering what images to post you must ensure there is consistency in what you are posting. If you’re posting images about fashion, keep it to fashion as much as possible otherwise you could have a few un-followers if they don’t like your deviated images.
Post as often as you can.
Like Twitter, the visibility and engagement of your Instagram posts will decrease over time.
Research suggests that over 50% of comments are posted within 6 hours of publishing and after this, the engagement of your post decreases. Again, make sure you have a regular presence. You could consider scheduling some posts to ensure you have regular updates across a certain period and there are lots of free tools out there to help you.
What to say and when to say it
If you haven’t got anything exciting to shout about then it’s often best not to say anything at all. Creating content just because you need a post to go out today will often not get the interaction you want and means you’ve wasted some of your valuable time.
As a business you need to shout about what you do, but not too much. There’s always a fine balance between promoting your products and services and blowing your own trumpet all of the time. Your followers will want to see relevant, engaging and informative posts about your business, the industry and other businesses you’re connected with. They are following you for a reason, so be sure to get the mix of posts just right.
Being a business on Instagram means you have something of interest to the Instagram audience. Showing interest and respect for other people’s work will increase your engagement, and naturally, your following.
The worst thing you can do is wait for people to come to you. Make your posts visible in the right places by using hashtags and of course using great imagery.
You can easily grow your following on Instagram by liking and commenting on other people’s images. Getting involved in conversations is a great way for your business to get known. If you’re not seen to be engaging with other people’s posts then you can’t expect people to do the same for your business.
When using hashtags in your Instagram posts, don’t be shy! The more you use that are relevant to your industry and the post, the more your audiences will find you and engage with you. You should always spend some time researching hashtags and don’t always go for the most obvious. Your posts are more likely to be seen by those you want to be seen by using small to medium niche hashtags.
Don’t underestimate branding
When adding exciting images to Instagram, try and brand them as much as you can. The more your brand is noticed on your Instagram posts, the more traffic will head to your website to find out more.
The introduction of Instagram stories allows you to post less formal content on a more regular basis. The benefit is that they only stay online for 24 hours, unless you save them to your story collection, called Highlights.
A lot of Instagram followers now will purely look at stories first, and then decide if they want to view more content, so adding stories on a regular basis can improve your following and engagement.
So is Instagram right for you?
If your still undecided the answer is probably no but if you’d like some help in deciding which social media channels are right for your business then get in touch. We offer training solutions to get you up to speed with getting your business on social or alternatively we offer a service to do it for you, giving you the time to concentrate on what you do best.
Blog by Lucy Groves – Social Media Manager with Catch Designs