A picture or video accompanied by a short caption has the potential to make a major impact on your business. There’s no better place for your images than Instagram. Instagram has soared in popularity since its founding in 2010 and is currently one of the most widely used social media platforms. Instagram is not just for individual users anymore; major brands have amassed large Instagram followings and use their accounts to further engage with their customers. Follow these 7 steps to create a strong Instagram presence for your business.
1. Create an Instagram Business Account. In your settings, set up your company page as a Professional Account, then select Business. With an Instagram business account, you will be able to display your company name, the category that best describes your business, and contact information on your profile. People who visit your company profile will have the option to contact you through email or phone.
2. Curate an Ideal Instagram Feed. Start by establishing your content pillars; this is a great way to help you stay organized and consistent in your posting. Choose the focus of your Instagram content, whether it be statistical, educational, or business tips. Sharing your expertise in target areas will aid you in growing an audience while allowing you to have a base for your content creation. After choosing your content pillars, write down different ideas for each pillar to give yourself a reference for future Instagram posts. This will help prevent creative blocks when it comes to subjects for new posts.
One of Insightpath’s content pillars is education about the importance of video. For one Instagram post, we repurposed one of our tweets about video and included some aesthetic editing to match our branding.
3. Make the Most of Instagram’s Business Tools. With your business account, you get access to real-time insights into your content. This tool allows you to view new followers and accounts you have reached with your posts. Once you begin posting, each post will display its own insights, including how many accounts your post reached, how many times the post was shared, and how many followers you gained from the post. These insights are crucial to determining the types of content and topics that your audience engages with the most. With that knowledge, you can develop a strategy around those topics and how frequently you should post.
4. Post Regularly to Instagram. Keep your Instagram page active in order to attract followers and garner interest in your brand. Start by posting a few times a week to begin establishing your presence. You may not initially attract a lot of followers or have high engagement, but it is necessary to create content, no matter how many followers you have. Include relevant hashtags in all your captions to reach a larger audience and attract niche groups of people.
5. Connect with Other Businesses. Another way to stay engaged on Instagram is to maintain relationships with other brands and industry-related accounts. Follow other businesses in your industry and interact with their posts. For example, on Insightpath’s Instagram, we follow global leaders in software, marketing, and business, but also accounts that are based in our area, the Capital Region of New York.
6. Maintain High Quality Posts. Your Instagram content should be a blend of your content pillars and include the different type of posting styles Instagram offers. Instagram allows you to post single photos, videos, “carousels” of photos and videos, reels, and stories. Use these different posting styles to appeal to different sub-groups of your audience and to keep your content versatile.
7. Engage Your Audience. Instagram stories are a great way to interact with your followers and make your brand feel real and engaging. Ask your audience a question using the “ask a question” button or use polls to get perspectives on a topic. Allowing your followers to feel involved, as well as giving them something to interact with will keep them active on your page. Check out this example from Ikea’s Instagram, where they used a poll to have their audience vote on their favorite products in a story.
With these tips in mind, feel free to experiment with your Instagram posts to find what most appeals to your audience. Building a strong social media presence involves adapting and evolving your strategy to best fit your audience’s interests. Once you have established a presence on Instagram, your credibility as a business and the loyalty of your consumers is sure to flourish.
Thanks for reading part 2 of our Social Media for Business series! Stay tuned for part 3 which will dive into TikTok.