Instagram essentially started as a simple platform where users could share photos and small video clips. A few years later, you are looking at a global advertising platform that is used by over 80 million users on a daily basis. Unsurprisingly, Instagram also carries a greater level of engagement when compared to Facebook and other popular social media platforms. If you are a business and you are not using Instagram to promote your brand, then you’re missing out on amazing opportunities. Now, you may find the prospect of creating an Instagram account and publishing tons of photos a pretty straightforward task. But trust us, there is more to it than meets the eyes and we will breakdown everything for you, from creating a perfect Instagram profile to getting things rolling in true Insta-style.
So, make sure to follow the experts, build your brand on Instagram and grow your business like a true professional.
Create a username for your profile
The first thing to do before you go on a posting spree is to actually come up with a unique username that will help you stand out. If it turns out that your business name is already taken, which is pretty common, then you need to look for different variations of your business name. For instance, if your name is ‘Shelby’s cafe’ and the name ‘@shelbyscafe’ has been already taken by someone else, then you should consider adding the location title to the business name. Something along the lines of ‘@shelbycafeliverpool’ showing that your cafe is based in Liverpool. Just as important is the username of your profile. Use proper capitalisation for your business name so that it’s easy for people to find you on Instagram.
Use your brand image as your profile picture
We cannot stress enough the key role brand image plays in helping users recognise your brand. In fact, your profile image is probably the first thing users see before landing on your page. So, you need to upload an image that is instantly recognisable for users. Imagine the impact a brand image could leave on your potential users. It’s highly recommended that you set your logo as your Instagram profile picture. If your business brand has equally important sub-brands, you can use different brand elements that effectively represent your business.
Write an informative profile
Nothing leaves a better impression on the imagination of Instagram users than a well-written bio. Any valuable information about your business you include in the bio can go a long way in earning the trust of users. Your job is to make your bio as memorable as possible. This is the place where you want to introduce your brand to your users. Add important business details like email address, history and phone number. Remember, you’re doing this to familiarise your brand with users so make sure to do it with real clarity. Since bios are just 150 characters you need to make critical decisions about what to include. Give the readers a good enough reason to follow your account.
Include a trackable link
It is possible to place a link on your Instagram profile. Businesses use this option to put a trackable link that can drive traffic to desired locations. You need not limit yourself to putting a single link on your Instagram, rather you can experiment with a variety of links, be it a blog post, a landing page for an upcoming event or a business group. It’s completely up to you to decide what to do with this opportunity. In order to get the best results, make a point of changing the link regularly. Since the URL is trackable, you will be able to identify the source of the traffic.
It’s easy to generate your URL using Google Analytics. So place that link and start tracking the results.
Capture and publish high-quality pictures
You don’t need to have the most expensive DSLR camera to capture high-quality photos for your Instagram profile. Your smartphones can easily get the job done, if not mimic the quality of DSLR. Now, if you know how to get the best out of your smartphone cameras, then you can certainly take some gorgeous photos for Instagram profile. With the help of some photography skills and photo-editing apps, you can create wonders with your phone camera.
Before clicking photographs, make sure to find a location that has good lighting. Yes, photography is part skills, part lighting. Choose an engaging subject which you can use to tell a visual story. Now click away.
Establishing a consistent theme for your posts
You can’t just take pictures and start posting them on Instagram without any consideration. You need to first establish a proper theme for all the posts you are about to publish. Giving context to your posts will allow people to connect with them better. Start by making your photos visually and contextually related to each other. So how do you establish a theme? When you establish a theme, your posts will share interrelated appearance and produce similar experience for users. If you are showcasing photos of your cafe, make sure to include close up shots of your various coffees and people having jolly-good time at the cafe. Of course, the possibilities are limitless, your job is to narrate a visual story with a consistent colour tone. all the brand elements in place.
Publishing your posts regularly
The best way to engage your audience is by publishing your posts on a regular basis. Now, if you publish things in excess, they could be considered spammy, on the other hand, if you publish too little, your followers may forget about your brand altogether. The idea is to strike a proper balance by posting 1 to 3 photos a day. Once you understand the best and most engaging posts, finalise a time to publish them. You can deploy social media tools to automate the posts on Instagram. Keeping a calendar in place will allow you to publish posts on time and keep followers engaged at all times.
Using proper hashtags
People tend to use all kinds of dubious hashtag hacks to increase their like count. However, using irrelevant hashtags for your business will not draw the right audience. Instead of putting any hashtag of your choice to increase Like count, you need to use hashtags that will help users to discover your business. How do you do that? Well, you can start by typing in hashtags in the search bar and finalising on the hashtags most relevant to your business. Find out the tags behind high-performing posts. Using the right hashtags will make your content more discoverable. Hashtags allow businesses to tap into respective niches and reach the right audience.
Engage your followers on Instagram
It’s one thing to publish a huge amount of posts on Instagram, but a whole different thing to engage followers. While the effective deployment of hashtags will make your content easily discoverable, you still have a long way to go to make things more engaging for followers. It’s recommended that you post hashtags related to your business and drive relevant traffic to your profile. It’s worth noting that long-standing relationships on Instagram are established on a two-way street. A user is more likely to like to visit and follow your page if you liked or left a positive comment on their posts.
Measuring the right metrics
Now that you have got your account up and running, it’s time to start measuring the results. Measuring the key metrics of Instagram activities will help you make informed decisions about your business. Tracking the metrics is the only effective way to figure out whether your marketing strategy is properly working. You need to slice and dice the data and see what’s working and what isn’t. Use all the essential analytic tools you can get to track the progress of your business and optimise your Instagram profile to best effect.
As you incorporate these tips into your Instagram marketing strategy, you may reach a point where you need the assistance of a certified digital marketing agency to take your business to the next level. This is where our experienced marketers can grow your Instagram account and help attain all your business goals.