When you start a business in which you want to sell a product or service, you definitely want more people to hear about it. That is the reason you have made accounts on various social networks in the first place. But you still don’t feel like you are close enough with your customers. Let’s try to bring you guys closer!
The social network with maybe the most intimate relationship with its followers is Instagram. This relationship is similar to the one on Twitter, where the short, concrete and frequent news are most appreciated, but here it’s through images and videos. On the other hand, when you have some business, the first social network that you think of is LinkedIn. The problem with LinkedIn is there is always a bit cold, clear business atmosphere. Users of this network like that, so they will not forgive the attempts to share some more private things with them. For that, Instagram is a perfect network. It’s recommended to put some effort in your Instagram profile, in order to build your name and your brand.
First things first
So how to make a successful Instagram account for your business? Of course, you will be one of 600 million + people worldwide. Here is one good thing and one bad thing about Instagram accounts. The bad thing is that there isn’t a possibility to use it with your private account and create an Instagram company page or a group for your business at the same time. Which is possible at Facebook and LinkedIn. The good thing is that the Instagram allows you to create several accounts at the same time, so in your android app, you can easily switch from one profile to another. This will make it easier for you to handle both, while keeping business and pleasure apart!
Put extra thought in filling out all the profile information on your business account like you would with your personal account. Beside brief and clear introduction, essential things here are also your profile picture and your username. Remember, by these things, people will recognize your brand and they’ll be able to find you. It would be great if your username is the same as on all the other social media channels you have. Username is important when someone wants to tag you on the image or mention you in the description. Instagram has the autocomplete option when someone searches for other profiles. Your profile will appear if people type the first letters of the name of your brand that they remembered from another network, for example. So keep it simple and be consistent through all social networks.
Another important thing when creating a profile is to add an URL to your website/blog. Instagram allows this, and that’s a good thing – this is one of the first things someone can see when they come to your profile. It will allow the users easy access to your website if they like what they see on your profile.
Make it public
It’s very important to make your profile public, not private. You can use “private” option for your private profile but not here. Choosing this option for your business profile would be like locking the door of your shop, so only when someone knocks, you will open and let them see what you have to offer. It’s most likely they will not knock at all, but turn around and leave!
Make it busy
When you have completed the profile, the next step is to add content. As on Twitter, you need to do it continuously. Each photo should have good quality and it should tell a story. Don’t just add more of them at the same time without any sense. Also, no one wants to have overcrowded news feed only with your images. If you don’t have time, you can automate this process by using a tool such as buffer that automatically uploads the image on your profile at the time you set.
And don’t be boring! When uploading content, try to create a balance between business and private photos or videos. I suppose you have more serious, professional images for your business which better represent your product or service. But it would be good to include some pictures from behind the scenes as well. Instagram is the network that promotes catching the moment and making the everyday life spontaneous. Everyone likes to see something unusual or less serious. Something original, which they aren’t able to see from you every day. As you can see, when Zendesk CEO @mikkelsvane puts on a funny sweater, that image gets much better results than the Instagram post about their rewards. But don’t overdo it. Keep in mind the main reason for your Instagram business strategy.
If you want your images to be seen by everyone, not just by the people who follow you, or the people who use search on Instagram, it’s important to use hashtags. If someone clicks on a hashtag on the picture or search it, it will display all the images which have the same hashtag. It’s rare to see any photo on Instagram without hashtags. Any word can be a hashtag, there are millions of possibilities. So, it’s important that you use them wisely. Choose to use some of the hundreds of most popular hashtags – that way, by logic, you’ll have a better chance to be found. Here is a list of some of the most popular ones.
In addition, one more thing you shouldn’t avoid is geolocation. Whenever you can, mention the location where you took the picture because this will be another way in which people can find you. People like searching the Instagram by some popular places and cities, but they will also most likely search for their own neighborhood, or the places they have visited or plan to visit.
Probably on your private profile will be enough to just share amazing photos with your friends, but for corporate Instagram accounts, it’s more essential to get as many followers and to build your brand. One technique that has shown good results is that you ask a question in the description of the image or somehow otherwise get people to write comments on your photos. Then it’s necessary to respond to these comments in the shortest possible time using the @ with the name of the person whom you writing. By this, that person will get a notification about your mention. This person will feel that they are important for you and that you are somehow connected. If not already, that can be a good moment for the user to start following you. By commenting on your image, the users show interest in you. So, if you answer, interest is mutual, and you will gain the follower. Here is how Starbucks do that, the results are very noticeable:
Do you mind sharing?
When people speak about sharing photos from Instagram to other networks such as Facebook, there are many different opinions. On the one hand, it’s not good to share each image to other networks because then people won’t have a reason to follow you on Instagram. They should keep the exclusive to see some of your images only on your Instagram profile. But on the other hand, it would be good to share the image on Facebook sometimes. You can use it to boost that post which, along with everything, has a link to your Instagram profile.
Boomerang takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward. So, if an image speaks more than a thousand words, then these little boomerang videos speak more than a million words. Right?
Let me tell you a story
Using Instagram stories you can publish your daily activities. You can’t overload your followers because all images are grouped into a single story for one day and on the next day they will be no longer visible. Another important thing about Instagram stories is that they appear at the top of the news feed. That makes them the first thing people see when they open Instagram. As TechCrunch says “Instagram Stories has 100 million daily active users after just 2 months“. That’s a lot of users and a lot of possibilities for you!
See if it’s worth it
When you do everything right, you want to see more detailed results of your work, not just the number of followers, likes, comments… Because Instagram doesn’t have any visits analytics, anything like Facebook Page Insights, you can use a tool such as iconsquare which provides you essential information that help you plan on improving your instagram business strategy.
Stay in the game
As well as anywhere else, on Instagram you must keep your eye on your competition. Follow up closely what they do, what brings them good results, and what doesn’t. It’s important to learn from their experience and to continue to stay original. Don’t try to copy them because, be convinced of it, they follow you, same as you follow them! Keeping track of the competition, or profiles with the same strategy will give you more benefits. That way you will not only just stay in the game, but you will bring the game to a next level.
So, as you can see, if you know some tips and tricks on how to handle your Instagram corporate account, you have a big advantage because, at first glance, it may seem that things are the same as with your personal account. Let me know what is your experiences with using Instagram for business and, even better, share some more good tips!