How to use Instagram to boost your business

OK, so you have started your own ‘biz-niz’, woohoo, but now you are wondering how to get your brand name ‘out there’. We live in a digital world; very few businesses get people to stand at the traffic lights handing out flyers anymore and some have even done away with good old-fashioned business cards. When last did you honestly keep a business card you were given? Not happening. This all means that creating brand awareness, reaching levels of likeability, gathering a big following and becoming successful relies quite a lot on your online presence, particularly social media. Let us take a look.

Facebook used to be the go-to, and still isn’t deemed ‘unsuccessful’, in terms of offering a thriving business platform. People often search businesses on Facebook, using their page as a directory, to search locations, for instant messaging and to check out reviews. However, in recent years, we have seen the rise of another online social media platform that gives businesses even more of a brand boost – Instagram.

Some impressive stats – Instagram has over 700 million active monthly users, more than 25 million companies worldwide already use it and roughly 200 million users visit at least one business profile a day. Yup, told you. Instagram has become the new home for brands thanks to high and focussed engagement, brand-loyal followers, influencers… the list goes on.

Hopefully you haven’t left this blog to quickly sign your business up on Instagram just yet. That’s because just signing up and uploading a collection of photos won’t turn your business into an overnight success. There are many tactics for mastering your Business Instagram and we are going to line you up in the right direction here. Let’s do this;

  1. GET INSTAGRAM FOR YOUR BUSINESS

You have a business and you realise the potential benefits of using Instagram to boost your hustle. First, go ahead and download an Instagram business account (you can have a separate personal account too). This gives you access to business features like extra slots in your Bio region for contact details and the business address. Your bio is also the only place that includes a clickable link so remember to keep it relevant and change it up as well. Craft a bio that appeals to your IG community while not ‘sounding’ like a salesperson. Also remember that your business Insta-page is about your target audience. Keep content relevant to customers and don’t show up in it either.

  1. HAVE A STRATEGY

You’ll quickly notice that Instagram is purely visual, and a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Take time to define your target market. You can find help with this here . Once you have a clear idea of your Instagram business strategy, it’s time to get creative with your content. Choose or create good quality images to upload; bear in mind Instagram’s format automatically makes your image square, within a 612×612 px frame. If you are selling products, then posting creative and attention-grabbing product photos is essential to online shopping (almost 70% of consumers consider detailed images to be more valuable when making their purchases). Try to refrain from only posting products and descriptions over and over as these become monotonous, straight-sales pitches. Get fancy with Instagram’s editing tools so your pictures pop; you have 95 million other posted photos to compete with daily, no pressure.

  1. USE HASHTAGS, STORIES & GEOTAGS

The aim of setting your business up on Instagram is to regularly engage with your audience, create a following and convert views and clicks into sales. Posting great quality and creatively crafted pictures depicting your brand helps with engaging your current audience but what about growing it? This is where Hashtags are important as they make it easy for people to find your photos in their searches. For example, the top hashtag on Instagram is #love which has over 1 billion followers! That means if you post a photo and use #love as part of the hashtags (granted it’s relevant to the post), then the potential of getting viewed and followed is very high. Instagram stories have a slide show format and are live for 24 hours. This feature is great for showing your behind-the-scenes content, running competitions or campaigns, uploading creative video clips etc. which encourages engagement and page visits. Tag/mention other accounts; this is great for collaborators and influencer marketing. Don’t forget to also tag your location which boosts local discovery.

  1. MEASURE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

It’s easy to get carried away with content, posting and counting your ‘likes’ but having effective business goals is still important. The SMART framework stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Are your business goals and strategies aligned to these? And if so, what performance metrics are you measuring; awareness, engagement, conversions or customers? Another, seemingly peculiar point that still makes sense, is your posting schedule. Followers will expect to see posts on a regular basis and the day and time you post matters. It’s tough to define exactly when that sweet posting time is but it does vary according to your industry. Best get on top of that then.

  1. ENGAGE WITH YOUR COMPETITOR’S FOLLOWERS

This doesn’t sound moral but all’s fair in love and war and there’s plenty to go around. On that note, why not head over to some of your direct competition’s pages and start engaging with their followers. Given that there is already interest, half the job is done. Engage by either following a user, liking a photo or commenting on a photo. Cheeky yet effective.

 

We’ve discussed only but a few of several tactics you can use for gaining traction with your Instagram business account. Because the process is essentially all ‘organic’ (aside from paid advertising and promotions), it is a process and requires consistency and nurturing. If you’re a business owner and, after reading this, feel ‘kinda’ out of your depth, get in touch with us at www.skivvy.co.za, we will gladly assist! #winning

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