Business Finances

The Business Owner’s Guide to Mastering Instagram

As a business owner, you understand how important it is to have a strong online presence. And in addition to blogging and having a great website, one of the most important things you care about is getting a big social media following. This means mastering your presence on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. Instagram, especially, is one of the most important. Even though it started as a simple photo sharing app, it became popular first with millennials and Gen Zers, and now even older generations are starting to use it. Which is why so many businesses are setting up accounts, and why so many hashtags on Instagram are now branded.

When it comes to mastering Instagram and getting the followers you want, there are several strategies that work best–and here they are.

Switch to an Instagram for Business account

Even before you’ve started posting any pictures or coming up with clever hashtags, you need to ensure that you’re using an Instagram for Business account. It’s easy–once you have a Facebook page, you can automatically connect Instagram to it. Benefits include automatically getting more views, providing contact information such as your phone number, email, and address, and selecting your business category. You’ll also be able to provide a direct link to your Facebook profile. All of these features mean easier access for viewers if they want to learn more about your business.

You’ll also get free information about your account, using the Insights feature, such as which posts are most successful, and the location, age, and gender of most of your viewers. Considering that 51 percent of Instagram users access the platform daily, you’ll soon get a lot of information to help your posts be more effective.

Use Instagram stories

Instagram stories are a super-exciting new feature that the platform rolled out back in 2016. This was largely in reaction to Snapchat, which was getting the attention of many younger users. But now, it’s a huge boon for any business. According to the Later blog, “only 24 percent of businesses rank story engagement (the number of unique views on your Instagram Stories) as a measure of success. But, with 88 percent of businesses stating that they want to increase posting to Instagram Stories in 2018, you can expect tracking Instagram Stories analytics to become a new challenge and focus.”

Especially if many of your consumers are Gen Zers or millennials, this is a feature you should master. Read up on some of these tips from HubSpot to learn more–it’s an opportunity to have some fun and get creative, including actual video instead of only image posts.

Have a strong Instagram brand

When it comes to designing your company website, you’ve probably done a lot of research to make it as interesting as possible for visitors. You’ve probably created buyer personas, completed some analytics research, and checked out your competitors’ online presence. In the same way that you’ve curated the look of your website, and the tone of your business blog, you need to do this on Instagram.

It’s not just about randomly posting pictures related to your business. Think about what impression you want to give your followers. For example, if you’re an ecommerce purse store, do you want your images to focus on how fab your purses are? Who uses them? How they’re made? There’s a lot to think about, depending on what customers you want to attract and what your brand’s values are. Additionally, you need a tone of voice in your captions that match the language in your website and blog. Do you want to be thorough, funny, provide content in different languages?

In 2017, there were 216,000 photos posted every minute on Instagram–so yours need to stand out. Partnering with the right Instagram influencers will make a big difference for your brand, too.

Be smart about hashtags–and location tagging

A huge part of captions are the hashtags you use. Remember to create one for your brand, use ones that are trending (both right now and within your industry), and finding out which ones fit your brand’s niche (the search option is helpful for finding those).

Additionally, adding a location anytime you post will automatically get the attention of people in those areas and give you more engagement–79 percent higher engagement, in fact.

By using these strategies, you’ll be an Instagram master in no time, which means more customers and more success. What other Instagram strategies do you think would be effective, especially in your industry?

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