In comparison with Facebook and Twitter, Instagram has more than one billion monthly active users and a more engaged audience.
As a popular network for business owners, they can market their products to a more targeted audience without a large amount of money being spent on paid advertising and promotion. The platform focuses on visual content which allows professionals to deliver their brand image in a more compelling way.
If you already have a personal Instagram account, you will understand how simple the interface is to use. Instagram’s API allows users to post their photos or videos to third party platforms which allows businesses to take full advantage of all it has to offer.
Here are seven tips to create and maintain your professional Instagram page by engaging your followers.
1) Make an effective profile
If you haven’t already, download the Instagram app onto your mobile, compete your profile and go to settings. Click on ‘go to professional profile’ to set up your account with the characteristics of your company. When writing your bio, avoid fitting in your entire business in 150 characters but instead focus on an important or unique aspect. This could be an upcoming event, an award you’ve won or even an exclusive insight into a new collection. By keeping it short, users will be enticed to view the whole profile.
2) Make use of hashtags
There are more than 2.77 billion social media users worldwide and this number shows no sign of slowing down. Therefore, hashtags are vital to increase the discoverability of your content. Whilst they can be directly related to your campaign or more generalised, a good way for people to find content related to you, is by setting up a main company hashtag to include in your posts. There is a limit of 30 hashtags per post which is more than enough, add 3-11 per post to ensure it looks authentic as opposed to resembling spam. The placement of your hashtag could be in either in the post itself, a comment added in below or at the end of the post – they are all effective, have a try of them all to discover which one works best for your brand.
3) Build anticipation
Instagram is a platform intended to keep your audience interested, which is essential in any marketing campaign. It is important to treat your followers as VIPs, reward them with discounts and let them to be the first to know about any new products, services or events you have planned. Visually aid your brand by building anticipation with exclusive behind the scenes footage and teaser photos. This will make your followers feel part of a unique group and engaged in future posts. Traffic is organic so remember to be patient at first, keep an eye on what posts are working well via the stats insight feature.
4) Showcase your business’s company culture
Instagram offers you the chance to show off your brand in a visual way. You should take this opportunity to showcase the culture of your company by introducing the team, filming behind the scenes and providing insights into brainstorming sessions. Followers will connect engage further with a brand once names and faces has been revealed. Sharing an insight into the reality of your company will make your brand relatable. You can also offer tips via video related to your brand (i.e. How to style knee high boots by a online clothing brand). Remember the platform is full of creativity and communication, so keep a mix of business and fun.
5) Keep your style consistent
A visually pleasing aesthetic is important when planning your Instagram feed. Take into consideration your colours, font choice and image sizes. Avoid complicating the user journey but instead invite liking and commenting by keeping everything consistent. Pick a colour scheme to incorporate throughout your feed, your loyal followers will begin to attribute your brand to these colours and a relationship will form.
It is important to assign one person to manage your company’s Instagram account in order to keep one voice and style. Brainstorming ideas and strategy should be completed as a team, however having one team member posting, responding to DM’s and sharing content will result in a rounded strategy that will go a long way. Having too many people on one account can lead to the style shifting and outdated content being posted, which could lose followers.
6) Use Instagram DMs for customer support
Instagram DMs are easy to use and are often overlooked when it comes to professional Instagram accounts. They are the direct connection with customers, influencers and potential buyers, making it vital in your business account. In any business, customers expect a business to be reactive by responding to them within an hour of sending a message. Instagram DMs provides this, giving customers an easy way to contact a business in real time and reaching a solution in half the time of sending an email.
7) Access the ‘promote’ feature
Instagram promotions are normal posts that you can convert into a sponsored post for elevated reach. They can appear in the same area with the same ‘sponsored tag’ but Instagram treats them differently in their algorithm. An advert has more preferences for targeting and customisation because the sole purpose is to convert. A promotion takes a well performing regular post to the next level of views, likes, comments and shares. Consider your end goal and if a boosted promotional post will enrich your brand.