How to Get Started on Instagram For Your Business

August 12, 2017
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Have you heard about the benefits Instagram can provide for businesses that use the platform and want to get started? Do you have an Instagram account, but are looking for ways to use it correctly for your business?

Instagram is one of the best ways to communicate with your customers on a visual level, while creating a community of engaged followers and promoting your brand.

Here are the fundamentals that every business should understand when it comes to Instagram. If you follow these tips, you’ll be setting your business up for success on the platform.

Understand the different types of content

You might be struggling with coming up with creative ways to share an image on Instagram. When everything you post has to relate to the image you’re sharing, it can be difficult to come up with enough contextual differences to keep your profile interesting. This is one of the challenges that I struggled to overcome when I first started managing accounts, so I understand the struggle.

As you’re considering different approaches to the posts you share, think about the following contexts and determine which would be applicable to your specific situation.

Behind the scenes content will help create a more personal bond between your brand and your community. Useful tips related to your products or service will establish your brand as an authority with the community. Promote a contest with some type of free giveaway to encourage your community to engage with your brand. Feature your follower’s content on your page to build a deeper relationship with them and earn brand advocacy in the process.

Understand the different ways to use Instagram Stories

Instagram offers several ways to share content with your community, each with their own unique characteristics. You can segment your options into two categories of delivery: Instagram Stories and the regular Instagram feed.

Instagram Stories offer three basic options: Live, Normal, and Boomerang. No matter what option you choose, the stories feature will allow you to create content that will show up in sequential order with other stories at the top of your followers screen and disappear within 24 hours.

Live video will be just that – a live broadcast from your device that all your users can watch in real time. Live videos will disappear after the broadcast ends and is particularly useful for launching new products, holding a Q&A with your community, giving a behind-the-scenes look at what happens at your business.

Going live is a great way to get your community’s attention because your followers will get a push notification letting them know you’re live as long as they didn’t change the setting for their profile.

The normal option in Instagram Stories will allow you to record a video and share photos that will be added to your story icon at the top of your follower’s screen. Unlike live videos, Instagram will keep this video for 24 hours and bump your account up in the queue that followers see.

Boomerang is a simple way to create and share GIF like posts to your story. This option will capture a burst of photos when you tap the record button and Instagram will tie them together to create a GIF. This option gives you the chance to be really creative and share content that can make your brand more memorable to your community.

Keep track of your results through analytics

When you first get started on Instagram for your business, you’ll want to set your profile up as a business. Doing this is simple – all you need to do is select “Switch to Business Profile” from the options menu and follow the prompts that come up from there. You’ll need to have this setting enabled to be able to access any of the built in Instagram analytics.

Once you’re set up as a business and have at least 100 followers, you’ll be able to see the basic metrics that help guide your decisions on what and how to post going forward.  The basic insights that Instagram provide include metrics on impressions, reach, clicks, likes, comments, and profile views. It’s important for you to monitor the metrics that matter to your business and record them each week since Instagram reports them on a rolling weekly basis.

In terms of measurement and insights the built-in Instagram analytics provides a basic, general window into how you content is performing, but doesn’t report on everything. To get a much more detailed view of how your content is performing and avoid the hassle of recording weekly results you might consider a third-party solution for your Instagram analytics.

If you’re really serious about making the right choices based on past performance Owlmetrics is a great tool that does the hard work for you and provides more in-depth and actionable insights into what works for you on Instagram. This service gives you insights into the tags you use as well as posting times so that you have a higher chance of getting featured in the top posts for the tags you use.

Identify and use relevant hashtags

If your content is the vehicle that will get your message to your community, hashtags would be both the GPS that gets it where it needs to go. Engagement on posts with hashtags will almost certainly be higher than those without them, but be careful about how you use them. Instagram currently limits you to 30 hashtags per post, but that doesn’t mean you should always use the maximum.

Take some time to research which hashtags are being used by similar brands on Instagram or use a tool like Ritetag to figure out what tags are used on Twitter, and cross reference them by searching for them on Instagram.

Once you’ve determined the right tags, you’ll want to determine which would be most applicable to each post and use them accordingly. Another option here is to hide the tags in the first comment of your post.

Whichever you choose, your post will show up when users search for any of the tags you used. Depending on your engagement on the post, Instagram’s algorithm might feature your post in the top results, so it’s important to find and use tags that have the appropriate level of competition for the engagement that you typically get on your posts.
How to Get Started on Instagram For Your Business
Source: HR.com Articles

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