Instagram has emerged rapidly in recent years, listed as one of the fastest growing social media platforms, it has over one billion active users today. Being the second most engaged social media network following Facebook, on average, users are spending 53 minutes per day on Instagram compared to Facebook’s 58 minutes per day.
Integrating Instagram into your businesses marketing communications will allow you to build your brand and grow your awareness, with 200 million+ Instagrammers visiting at least one business profile per day. Instagram is a business-friendly platform where promotions and marketing material are expressively used with over 60% of users discovering new products on the platform.
If your business isn’t already using Instagram for marketing communications, it is very important that you do so now. Considering (on a global scale) 90% of accounts follow a business on Instagram, it is an essential community for your business to be a part of. The following are a few effective ways that you can employ to get the most of your business Instagram account.
Create an interesting profile
It is very important that your Instagram account is created as a business profile. Setting your account as a business profile allows you to monitor real-time metrics and get user insights and engagement from your page.
With a business profile, you are entitled to include more information on your account, with the opportunity to include your industry headline, phone number & a contact button, website link, address as well as include links in your Instagram Stories (once you have over 10,000 followers that is). Business profiles on Instagram are a lot more usable and informative to users.
Once you have created your business profile on Instagram, the next thing to do is to ensure that the content engages with your audience. You can start by writing a 150-word bio to be displayed at the top of your profile, focusing on your unique selling point/s as well as any relevant information users will find of value (which will differ for each industry).
Further engaging with your audience through regular posts which are high in quality, using unique images or captions will make your profile stand out amongst your audience. Engaging with your users is a great way to get the most out of your Instagram account, as Instagram has less competition and higher engagement rates than any other social media platform.
Use Instagram stories
Instagram stories are very popular with over 500 million+ accounts using them every day, they are a great way to engage with your followers and creatively share what you are doing. Instagram stories are present on your account for up to 24hrs after you post them, however, they can then be stored as ‘highlights’ on your profile for users to view them once they have expired.
It is found that 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses, making them essential for all business accounts. As a business profile, you have the opportunity to add links to your Instagram Stories once you obtain 10,000+ followers, allowing you to effectively link landing pages for your users to view and engage with. Using landing pages as links on your Instagram stories can be very useful in driving your business campaigns or collaborations.
As a business profile, you can also implement paid advertising on the platform, allowing you to target relevant accounts by appearing in users feed, stories, explore or collection pages in the form of images, videos, or carousels. Using ads on Instagram allows you to drive awareness, increase customers and share your story with a highly engaged and relevant audience.
Hashtags are a great way to extend your marketing communications on Instagram. A user has an option to follow a hashtag, meaning whatever content is posted using that particular hashtag will appear in their Instagram feed. Every business and marketing campaign should have its own hashtag to get recognised on Instagram, which you should consistently use and encourage your customers to use as well (to obtain user-generated content.
However, don’t overuse hashtags as users might perceive it as spam and unauthentic as you seek to get anyone and everyone to view and follow your account. Each Instagram post is entitled to use 30 hashtags. Using close to this is too many and can communicate that you are targeting irrelevant audiences. Further ensure your hashtags are not banned as they will be ineffective and generate confusion for your followers.
Evaluate and Optimise success
As a business profile you will have access to real-time metrics about your content and followers, this will allow you to evaluate your Instagram performance and optimise it for success. Considering which content has the most likes, interactions and shares are great indicators to evaluate and drive your content.
You can also incorporate a range of social media management tools, providing you with Instagram profile analytics, allowing you to evaluate and further optimise your approach to success. Through closely evaluating your Instagram account you will be able to understand and apply useful strategies to get the most out of your business Instagram account.