How to use Instagram for your Business
It's no secret that Instagram is a dynamite platform for business. The competition and creativity on this platform is unbelievable and trends come in like waves, which businesses ride to reach out to their audience. Just creating content that is easy on the eyes and to post is no longer effective. High-quality and meaningful content with a well planned strategy is what every business online aims at. It's easy to feel lost, not know where to start or feel intimidated when planning content strategy for Instagram as a startup, new freelancer and even as an established business that's just coming online.
That being said, we have prepared a way for you to find out if you are effectively using Instagram's top features for your business. If you don't have a strategy yet, don't sweat it, because this blogpost will give you the basic know-how that you need to get started.
Take this short survey with us to find out! Let's begin;
Are you using the right hashtags and posting at optimal times when your audience is most active?
Posts: We all know that static posts are no longer bringing in the likes they used to, unless you have a large following. But static posts are still a good way to maintain your feed's aesthetic. So don't chuck them out of your content strategy just yet. The first best bet to getting likes on static posts is by making them appealing and the second is by posting during times that your followers are most active on the app. You can know about follower activity from Instagram insights. We suggest scheduling posts in advance to avoid delays. Using the right hashtags is also very important for better reach & engagement.
Are you making short and interesting videos with catchy cover images that grab the scroller's attention?
Videos: It's becoming more and more clear that video works better than images on Instagram recently. We wrote a lot more about that in our previous blog 'Instagram and Video Content'. The bottom line is, you have to explore the different types of video options to find what works in your brand's favour. If you are being creative with your concepts or you don't need a lot of time to put your message across to your audience, videos are the perfect way to keep them hooked onto your page.
Are you making full use of IGTV to share with your audience more about your business?
IGTV: The Instagram TV feature is your best friend for when you need to engage your audience in detail about your services, product launches, partnerships and other topics that cannot be addressed in 15-30secs. You can upload IGTV videos up to 15 minutes long via the Instagram mobile app, and up to an hour long using the website. IGTVs are a great way to get your followers to come to your page regularly. By creating fun & quirky videos like taking them Behind the Scenes, Packing their orders, showing them your Travels and more you can give your audience something to connect with.
Are you making informative, aesthetic & on-brand stories?
Stories: The perfect way to spread information, create hype for upcoming launches, promote discounts, announce giveaways and more. If your stories are catchy and branded, your audience is going to keep coming back for more. One tip that we recommend is; using templates that match the aesthetic of your brand whenever possible. Use apps like InShot, Canva, Unfold, Adobe Spark and many others to make beautiful and memorable Instagram stories. Check out our blog on how to 'Increase the Reach of your Instagram Stories' to know how you can use stories to achieve social media goals. Using a branded template with your signature colours, textures, logo etc. creates a mental pin in the mind of the viewer that will help them identify your brand among others.
Are you highlighting significant stories that can push traffic towards your website, shop, other social platforms & blog?
Highlights: Keep the important stuff where your audience can find it again. Story highlights make your business information available & easy to understand for your potential clients and customers. Many people make the decision to follow a page by tapping through the highlights to see how relevant the business is to them.
Are you using reels as a way to engage with your community, followers & other businesses?
Reels: Finally, the most trending and fastest way to get onto your audience's explore page. Reels are now the most viral and addictive way to interact with your followers, that can give your company a human touch. Be honest, original, hop on trends and even get silly so that your audience can relate and engage with you. Reels are also perfect for engaging with other players from your industry which could lead to partnering with them. They do take some effort to create, but effective use of reels can have a great impact on your business & Instagram presence overall.
We are now at the end of our brief survey!
If you found yourself answering positively to the above, you are well on your way to increasing your reach and building your business' social media presence. Adapting to changing trends and using them strategically is the key to growing on a platform like Instagram.
If you could not relate to the above, that's completely alright. Finding what works for your business takes time. The key is to begin. Once you have tried, you know what works & what doesn't. Instagram insights and activity tracking will help you to understand and scope it out over time. Use reports, engagement & response to your advantage and do more of what your followers want to see. Personalise the way you use Instagram for your business for steady but sure growth.
Ruth is the Content Writer & Media Executive at Social Donut 101 based in India.
A design, writing and pizza enthusiast that has a hard time resisting cake.