The Unfiltered Picture of Instagram for Business
You know Instagram, one of the most popular social media platforms, especially for the under 25 crowd. You’ve got your business rolling and are looking to maximize your exposure on all of the social platforms. Because, as we preach, you need to go where your audience is and connect with them in their preferred way. But how do you use Instagram for your business?
The straightforward approach is to grab some great images of your products or services, use a few relevant hashtags (less than 10, according to recent research), narrow your filter use to a couple that reflect your business and click the share button. Boom. Presence on Instagram created. Make sure you’re using an Instagram business account and get 100 followers and you’ve unlocked the world of analytics for your account as well.
The next steps would be engagement. It’s called SOCIAL media, not PASSIVE media. In 10 minutes per day, you can hop on Instagram and search for relevant business accounts, hashtags for your business, and see what your competitors are doing. Then engage with those posts. Comment on five posts that you like within those hashtags that make sense for you. It’s called engaging with your potential customer audience and it can grow your Instagram account popularity and relevance in your market.
Okay, those are the very basics. We haven’t talked about stories, links in stories, links in bios or other uses beyond a pretty photo. Let’s get into that right away.
Instagram stories provide short-term, 24-hour content that users are taking advantage of to share things directly with their followers that actively seek out and watch the content. How can you use stories for your business? It gives your brand a human element and you can speak directly to your potential customers.
Within the story, use hashtags to join relevant conversations, tag appropriate accounts and use stickers to spice it up. Once you have 10,000 followers, you can even add a swipe-up link to the story and start directing your viewers to a desired web destination for leads and conversions. Yes, even typing that out it sounds like real marketing with potential to gain revenue. And that’s the point! This is essentially free advertising! All it takes is the time to do it. And if that’s a problem, give us a call. We can help. (shameless plug)
Stepping away from the stories aspect of Instagram, businesses might be finding it tricky to drive that traffic to the web where they can make a conversion. As of today, links aren’t allowed in Instagram posts. If you want to add a link to something, you’ll have to edit your Instagram bio with the one link you’re allowed on the platform. If you want to link on multiple posts on a regular basis, you’ll always be updating your bio and adding the commonly used “link in bio” at the end of your post.
This is where the other uses of Instagram come in. Just because you’re on an image-heavy medium that limits the ability to drive web traffic doesn’t mean your options are limited. You can always create specific graphics for Instagram with additional information in the graphic.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not telling you to create advertisements and share them on your Instagram profile as a normal post! That content won’t get you the attention you want and could backfire. What I’m talking about here is a one-liner call to action with your great-looking, Instagram-relevant image. It can be as simple as, “Call 123-4567 for more info.” Or, “Text 12345 to see more.”
These simple, subtle calls to action can create those conversions you might not think are possible due to link limitations within the platform. We know not everyone has the 10,000 followers needed to put links in their stories. Frankly, the limitations breed business for fake accounts and businesses that promote gaining “1,000 FOLLOWERS IN JUST 2 DAYS!!!”
Still, you should be after quality over quantity for your followers. Then every post you make has the opportunity to reach that one person that turns into a customer. And that’s what this whole thing is about: creating customers and brand advocates.
Now that you’ve read through my ramblings on Instagram for your business, you can start trying some new things to grow your following and turn those followers into customers. Happy posting!