Instagram has more than 800 million monthly ACTIVE users, meaning that many people are actively checking their IG app every month! This increased exposure can help you gather more leads, increase your website traffic, build brand loyalty, reach your target audience and be mobile ready. If any of those items interests you this blog post was made with you in mind! 🙂
Below I’ll reveal the skinny on 9 best Instagram tips for business you can implement in your marketing campaign! These tips will help you make the most of Instagram’s many features while giving you an edge over your competition.
Shall we commence? We shall!
1. Use the Proper Hashtags
Let’s start with the all too famous #HASHTAG! They’ve become a staple part of all Instagram marketing campaigns and rightfully so. Because Instagram is one of the most popular and highest engaged social sites, understanding hashtags and how to use them is rather crucial.
Today, users will often click on a hashtag that they find intriguing. In other cases they’ll search specific hashtags and scroll through posts that contain that particular tag.
This brings me to Instagram Tips for Business #1. You should not only include tags that relate to the image you post, but, you should include one or two branded hashtags! These custom tags can be based off of your business name, a current marketing campaign, or the action you want your audience to take.
Take a look at this post from Lazu Skin Care. This company follows the best practice that most businesses do by attaching their custom branded hashtags to most of their posts.
They use their brand name as a tag and a second tag, #lazued, what they say happens when you use their products! Cute eh?
It’s important when brainstorming your tags to make them as evergreen as possible, meaning always relevant! Other great examples include the all too famous #justdoit from Nike, #americarunsondunkin from Dunkin Donuts, and #indiquehair from Indique Virgin Hair. All of these tags are evergreen because they encompass parts of each brand that will always remain relevant.
2. Publish Great Content
The only thing more important than your tags is your content or creative itself! When thinking of content ideas be sure to keep three words in mind; short, memorable, and fun! Now this doesn’t mean that EVERY post has to reflect these three adjectives but content created with them in mind tend to perform the best!
We all know creating images, capturing the perfect shot, adding text, creating short videos can be a huge hassle, especially when you’re business is a one-two man show so for Instagram Tips for Business #2 I suggest you “Work smart not hard”!
Thought you’d never ask! 😉😌
Use ready to use templates! Creative apps like Spark Post, Canva and Venngage should become your new BFF’s! You’ll be able to create quality graphics that are appealing and engaging with ease. Take a look at these images all created using Canva templates!
Every business owner’s time is precious. And when you use templates, you’ll have the ability to create graphics that look professional without taking a lot of time!
Speaking of time, let’s keep it moving! ⏰
3. Tell Stories
Did you know that OVER 300M users interact with Instagram Stories daily?
Now, Stories is one of Instagram’s newer features and was created to compete with Snapchat Stories.
Initially, no one was sure if it would surpass Snapchat stories. But within its first year of existence it had close to double the views of Snapchat Stories! 😱
With that being said, no business can really afford to NOT USE Stories!
Still not convinced? No problem, just take a look at these stats because these facts don’t lie!
- Instagram Stories had over 300 million daily users by the end of 2017! And for a bit of perspective, Snapchat’s had only about 166 million daily users last year!
- A study conducted by Digital Trends showed that 1 in 5 stories causes a follower to send a direct message (DM) to a company.
- A case study conducted at Agorapulse found that ads run on IG stories tend to be better at driving cost-effective results (including clicks) than traditional feed ads.
This makes Instagram Stories a powerful tool to create conversations, learn your audience’s opinion, and give them a voice in your company decisions!
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, ok GREAT, use IG stories. But how do I make the most out of them? Well, welcome to Instagram Tips for Business #3. To make the most of using your IG stories you should:
Use stickers to drive results! The top four you should be sure to include are hashtag, location, poll, and emoji stickers. Using these will help drive engagement all while making your stories more attractive and current!
Most businesses post a lot of photos on their stories, as they should, but don’t forget about video! A quick 10 second video of a few behind the scenes shots can make all the difference in a return story viewer vs. a one time view. Video is extremely engaging and makes users want to know what’s coming next through visual storytelling!
Lastly, it’s imperative you use your story insights to learn what worked to engage your audience the most! In case you didn’t know, you can now find analytics on your stories performance in Instagram insights! Simply check under the “content” tab. You’ll be able to see your stories and who viewed them. I know, the data doesn’t provide a large mass of information, but it’s gives you an idea of what’s working and what’s not!
You could also consider allowing a micro or mega influencer (who fits your industry) to take over your story for the day! This way you not only engage your current audience, BUT can engage all of their followers as well.
4. Go “LIVE” with IG Live or IGTV
Instagram Tips for Business #4 is Use the IG Live Stream or IGTV feature to engage with your audience in LIVE TIME! You can use it to share big and exciting news, teach a tutorial, or share what goes on behind the scenes in your business. Be sure you promote your LIVE event via an Instagram post a few hours earlier. In addition to this be sure you post on your Story to drive traffic to your live as well! Let them know the time and a little bit of info on why it’s worth their time to tune in, a teaser so to speak!
You may be asking yourself, how do I know which one to use — Instagram Live or IGTV? Well there are
two questions you have to ask yourself when making this decision:
How long will your video last?
How long do you want your audience to have access to the video?
Instagram Stories have a short lifespan and will disappear after 24 hours, unless you add the footage to your highlights, while IGTV, like youtube videos, stay on your channel forever, until you manually delete them!
5. Make Your Posts Shoppable
Now, this next tip is for my ecommerce readers! One of Instagram’s newest features is Shoppable Posts! This feature has made it easier for a consumer to purchase your products! Instagram Tips for Business #5 is to start using this feature if you aren’t and you’re an ecommerce business! This will alleviate the step you customer has to take to go and find a specific product on your site for purchase. Potentially decreasing the possibility of their initial intrigue will turn into a conversion.
The setup is fairly easy, all you have to do is connect your product catalog to your account. Once that’s complete you’ll be able to tag your products as if you were tagging a person when you upload your post.
At the end of the day, Instagram’s new shoppable posts feature offers an incredible opportunity for you business to turn its’ followers into customers! Don’t miss out!
Alright, so far we’ve talked about all the various creative sides of Instagram and tips you can apply to each area, so now let’s tackle a few items you might find tedious and potentially impossible to do on your own.
Let’s start with follower growth!
I’m sure that’s your current sentiment! 😌
6. Organic Follower Growth
As a small business we understand how important it is to have a large following on your social media platforms. In a world where looks ARE everything, we understand how important it is to have high follower numbers, so I wanted to include some strategies on growing your following!
Before I go into Instagram tips for business on growing your following, I want to define organic follower growth, vs. paid follower growth. Organic follower growth is when your content attracts followers over time while paid follower growth happens when you buy followers. I never suggest taking the latter option! For my Instagram Tips for Business #6 I suggest you implement these 10 strategies In terms of your organic follower growth (the best practice for growing your numbers):
- Post consistently (at least once a day)
- Try videos, live videos, and Stories
- Study and use quality hashtags
- Share user-generated content
- Collaborate with others – Maybe influencers in your industry
- Post at your best times
- Use your analytics
- Engage your fans – respond to their comments
- Host contests
- Cross-post – Post on all your social media platforms
When you consistently implement these best practices across the board you’ll see follower growth! It will take time, but Rome wasn’t built in a day right?
7. You Gotta Pay-to-Play in this World
So, algorithm, defined by Webster as a step-by-step set or rules or instructions necessary for performing a specific mathematical task or solving a particular mathematical problem, determines who sees your posts.
Recently Instagram revealed the three main factors that determine what posts pop up on Instagram users feeds:
- Interest – How much someone would care to see a post
- Timeliness – How recent the post was made
- Relationship – Accounts you regularly interact with
In addition to these they take three other factors into consideration:
- Frequency – How often a user opens Instagram
- Following – Content from all accounts a user follows
- Usage – How long a user spends on IG
Social media sites like Instagram want you to pay to reach your ideal market! I know what you’re thinking… Why?! Simply put, it’s because that’s how they make their money! According to business2community.com, brands only reach about 6% of their audience without using paid advertisements on Facebook.And because Facebook owns Instagram I and other marketing experts are almost certain, they will only continue to further restrict how many people will be able to see your post organically. With that being said, Instagram Tips for Business #7 is put money behind your posts. You’ll see a drastic change in engagement and views with boosting a post for as little as $5 over the course of 1-3 days!
8. Track Your Analytics
For Instagram Tip #8 — remember, the devil is in the details and you need to be right there with him!
Above I mentioned checking your Insights in terms of your stories, but it’s imperative you use all aspects your IG analytic data! Here’s a quick overview of some of the most important reporting measures Instagram Insights offers and what they means:
- Impressions – How many times your post appeared on your users screen.
- Reach – This describes the number of unique users that have seen your Instagram posts.
- Website Clicks – This insight reflects the number of times any links you’ve included in your business profile have been clicked.
- Profile Visits – This insight reflects the number of times your profile has been viewed.
- Followers – This insight tells you how many followers you’ve gained or lost over the past week! It also lets you know the best “average” time of day your followers are using Instagram so you know what time is most optimal for you to post.
Use this data to maximize your results!
9. Have Fun!
For our last Instagram Tips for Business #9, remember to keep it fun and creative!
Be sure you have fun with your Instagram! Implement giveaways to drive traffic, partner with other business who aren’t direct competitors, use your Instagram as a way to solve your clients pain points! Be creative! Keep it light, and keep it fun.
Before we finish this blog post, I do want to touch a little bit more on giveaways, never do one without thinking through what you hope to gain from it! These limited promotions can help you spread brand awareness by enlisting participants to share, like, and tag three friends to enter your giveaway (one of the many rule sets you can create for your giveaway)! A highly shareable post will drive social shares and lead to greater impressions and exposure for you!
Moving forward, when creating your flawless Instagram campaigns you’re going to include branded hashtags that are evergreen! They’ll be paired with content that didn’t take an excessive amount of time to create because you checked out those canva.com templates! And if you’re an ecommerce business I’m sure you’ll be tagging those products!
You’ll also start using those Instagram Stories, Live videos and IGTV as a means of engaging your audience! And in the midst of all the fun you’ll be keeping an eye on those analytics so you know how to alter your approach and rework your strategy to ensure organic follower growth.
I hope these Instagram tips for business were helpful. If you implement these tips your competitors may just think you hired someone! 😉 But, if you feel like you need some additional help, feel free to contact us today to get started!