If you thought having a business Facebook page was all you needed to be present on social media, think again. Instagram is being used for businesses more and more every day and the potential for creating more leads through this platform is the greatest it’s ever been.
Instagram has more than 700 million monthly active users, less competition and a more engaged audience than other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, according to Statista. That’s a huge source for new business leads without having to spend a large chunk of your marketing budget.
Here are 5 steps to boost your company’s Instagram brand and get its social media presence on the right track:
Show Your Company’s Personality
Even businesses with intangible products can get creative with photos and videos to attract followers. Visual content showcasing your behind-the-scenes process, happy employees or even simple how-to videos are great ways to show your company’s personality. Some large companies like Google even post pictures of their employees’ dogs visiting the office!
Instagram stories allows users to post short videos and photos in a slideshow format that followers can view for up to 24 hours before disappearing. Stories give businesses the opportunity to show off their company culture or product in real time and they don’t have to be as high-quality as regular posts. Entertain your followers by using stickers, boomerang videos, face filters and more!
Post Quality Images
No, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to post quality photos. Make use of photo editing apps like VSCO and Snapseed to make your photos really stand out. Some industry influencers say that using the same filter on all of your photos help followers associate images together that match your brand.
We recommend not cramming too much in your photos and taking advantage of good lighting. Instagram influencer @margaret_zhang says, “Lighting is key — like any form of photography, no amount of filtering or app-editing will save a photo that’s poorly lit.”
Create a Hashtag
Social media marketing is all about creating buzz around your brand and hashtags create this brand recognition. Using your easy-to-remember branded hashtag in the caption of all your posts gives your followers a way to search your company and post their own photos of your product or service. This hashtag doesn’t always need to be your company name. Think of one creative idea that exemplifies your brand. Some examples are: #JustDoIt and #OptOutside. Hashtags can even be created for specific events to create excitement for your followers such as #TacoTuesdayatTitos.
Remember, always search your hashtag first to make sure it’s not already taken and that it doesn’t have a double meaning that you don’t want associated with your brand.
One quick way to disengage and bore your followers is to never have a conversation with them or not follow them back. Social media is just that… it’s being social. When you have new followers, return the favor and follow them back. When they comment on a post, or more importantly, when they ask a question, answer them! Make sure to use their handle when responding so they know you’re answering them. For example: “Hey @JaneDoe we’re glad you love our smoothies! We will be bringing back the Coconut Craze Smoothie in May!”
Another way to expand your audience is to follow industry leaders, influencers and people interested in your industry. Go out and create relationships on social media with these people! One day, you’ll have followers reaching out to you too!
Maintain a schedule whether it’s once every few days or a few times per day. It’s important to keep your followers engaged by posting visually stimulating content regularly. You may need to test this by posting at different times to see when your followers are looking at Instagram the most.
There’s no rule about how many times a business should post, but always be aware of how your followers are engaging with you. Keep tabs on what kinds of posts get the most attention, begin forming a content schedule that fits your brand and stick to it.
And there’s that! With these 5 steps, your business will be creating a buzz on Instagram in no time!