Use a Consistent Profile Photo
Here are some tips for Using Instagram for Business. I honestly believe that all of your social media pages and profiles for your brand should use the same profile photo. Doing this makes it so much easier for people to find you on new sites. Instagram is no exception. Whether you use a logo or a photo on your social media pages, use the same photo on your Instagram account.
Use a Recognizable Name
You can make your “name” whatever you would like. But if you’re using Instagram for business purposes, make your name and username are something recognizable.
Create a Good Bio Description
You have 150 characters for your Instagram description. This is plenty of space to say something good! I recommend keeping your description similar to what you say on other platforms (for consistency and recognition) but feel free to vary it a little bit. Tell people what you do, who you are, what you enjoy, or where you’re located. Keep it fun and in line with your professional branding.
Use the URL in the Bio for Maximum Effect
Unfortunately, Instagram only allows one place to put a clickable link – and that’s in your bio. So use it for maximum effect! Determine where you want Instagram users to go on your site. If you generally want to send people to your blog, make your url your blog link. If you want people to go to your products page, have your url link to that page on your site. If you are hosting a contest or promotion and want people to go to that opt-in or landing page, put this link in your bio. Just make sure you change the link to something else after the promotion is done.
Vary Your Image Content
We say it about every other platform, and Instagram is no different. Social media is not a megaphone to constantly tout how awesome YOU are. It’s a place to interact and engage with your audience. Don’t only post photos about your products. Or only share new announcements or upcoming events. Instead, include a variety of posts about every aspect of your business – and your customers. Share behind-the-scenes content, celebrations, local events, local weather, and other varieties of content. Also mix in a variety of videos with your images.
Use Hashtags Appropriately
When it comes to using Instagram for business, you really do need to use hashtags. They increase your reach and exposure exponentially. However, it’s extremely important that you use them properly! Just because Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags doesn’t mean you should! Instead, include 5-7 relevant hashtags on each post. “Relevant” means anything related to your post, your business, or your industry. If your post has nothing to do with a sunrise, don’t tag #sun and #sunrise.
Be Active and Engaging
The most important thing I can stress (like I do about other sites too…) is to be active and engaging on Instagram. If you’re only checking in a couple times a week, you’re not going to see the results that other businesses do. You should be posting at least once a day and checking in regularly to answer questions or respond to all of the comments on your posts. You should also be actively engaging on other users’ posts. “Like” a lot of posts and comment on other posts. This is how you build relationships!
Give People a Reason to Follow You
Just because you’re on Instagram, doesn’t mean people will follow you. You have to give them a reason! Share exclusive photos or videos here. Provide Instagram only promotions. Host contests. Celebrate your followers. Make it unique! If you share every post from Instagram to Facebook and Twitter, why would anyone follow you on Instagram too? All they’re seeing is duplicate content. You can definitely cross promote to other sites though. If you’re sharing a series of images on Instagram, share one of the images to your other social media sites as a teaser and tell them they can see the rest of the photos on Instagram. This gives people a reason to follow you here too!
Implement a Strategy
In order to really be successful with Instagram for business marketing, you need to have a plan. You need to know why you’re using Instagram, what you want to get out of it, who your audience is, how often you’ll post, what types of content you’ll post, and what means you will use to grow your audience and reach your goals. You will also need to track your progress and your analytics to make sure you’re adhering to your strategy and determine if and when you need to make adjustments.