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Instagram for your Business
Instagram is more than just a social platform where you can share pictures of your food – it can actually serve as a helpful resource to build your business. With 65% of the general population being visual learners, Instagram can really point your business in the right direction and help you to start off strong. With the stories and carousel ads, you can post so much content to your audience that informs them of your business and its services. It is a very visual platform, with the option to use certain hashtags that gain more followers to your page.
More than Just Pictures
There are many ways that your business could start off strong through Instagram. One way is through a video. Once you create your business’ page, post a video about what you offer and grab their attention. The videos you post can either be ones you take outside the app or ones you take through the app. Sometimes video series can be fun and interesting to watch, especially if the content is enough to draw your audience back for more. Videos among photos also provide breaks throughout your content so your audience always has something different to view.
Powerful images can also help your business. They can boost engagement and drive people to your business, if you are local. If you do not have a physical location, pictures you have taken or personal screenshots are just as beneficial. Any photos you gather and post to Instagram should show your business and brand in a positive light. When people see them, they should read about your story and be compelled to reach out to you. Unfortunately, too many pictures can be too overwhelming to your audience. You want them to see what you do but you do not want to overwhelm them visually. Post frequently so that your audience stays updated but also allow your audience to be drawn to your website or reach out to you in order to learn more.
Keep your page recognizable with a consistent name and profile photo. Instagram allows you to change your photo whether it is through Facebook or your camera roll but it is important that your business profile is consistent. The photo should represent your business with a brand or logo you have come up with and should not change. The name of your business should always be the same on the profile as well. The name should be the same across all online platforms so there is no confusion when people look for you.
Instagram is known for hashtag use so it important to use hashtags that are specific to your business. Hashtags should include keywords or phrases relevant to your brand, combine broad and more specific hashtags so that your post will not get lost in a sea of already well-known tags, and lastly, they should be unique and personal. Creating your own hashtags to go along with your posts can be beneficial to your business. They create a sense of uniqueness that can also be appealing for your own followers to use. Many hashtags seem like the best way to reach more people but that is not the case. A post with more than five is more likely to be skipped than another with five or less. Keep it simple.
Similar to Snapchat, Instagram allows you to add photos/videos to be viewed by your followers for 24 hours. They do not need to be added to your profile to be seen and there is no limit as to how many you can have. Unlike posting to your profile, where you can only apply filters, posting to your story gives you more options. You can animate them by drawing, adding text/stickers, add your location, weather temperature, and even the time. Each post to your story can be unique yet still convey an important message. When viewing a story with multiple photos/videos, you will see the oldest to most recent ones.
When posting to your story, you can add tags to your business which lead to your page when clicked on. Every time you post something new, followers are notified by your profile picture appearing at the top of the newsfeed with a colorful ring around it. After your whole story is viewed, it remains at the top for your customers to return to until it disappears. When viewing your story, there is an option for people to message you, should any questions/concerns arise or if they are interested in working with you and want to reach out. Remember: if your account is private, your story will not pop up to anyone who does not follow you. If you want to reach more people, have the account set to public. Doing so allows people to see your page based off hashtags you use and people/places you tag. It can even pop up for people as video suggestions based on what they like/post.
This is a fairly new way for businesses to get more content out to more people. They help drive more traffic to one’s business page, as well as to the website. After seeing a sponsored video/photo on Instagram that is interesting to them, people want to learn more and these ads can help them do just that. While scrolling through their feed, users may come across a ‘sponsored’ post with multiple photos to view. On the post, you can swipe left and look at multiple photos/videos (up to 10), about that business. This option allows for the business to show additional images and links to their Instagram page or their website. These carousel ads pop up for people who may be interested in their posts. Like other social media platforms, based on what you like, hashtag, and post, Instagram suggests similar posts/pages for you to check out and follow.
Such posts could contain information on one service, instead of multiple different posts that your audience might have to search for individually. They can learn about your brand and what you do, drawing them to your page to learn more. Even though the limit is 10 photos/videos, businesses can pack a lot into so little, gaining more traffic than before. Because you can connect to Facebook through Instagram, your business has the potential to gain more customers. When your audience looks through your profile, they can see which posts contain multiple media because there is a certain icon in the corner of the post. This can be beneficial to your audience because they do not need to click through each one of your posts to figure out the message you are trying to convey.
Utilizing Instagram Improves Your Business
Instagram has grown in popularity over the years, as the platform evolves to cater to the needs of its users. People think of it as a social forum, where you see your friends’ meals, photography skills, and traveling adventures. Fortunately, the business aspect of Instagram is growing and becoming easier for new businesses to start up and grow. Business owners can use the stories option to inform their followers about them, customizing it and making it appealing to them. The carousel ads allow new businesses to become more well-known, reaching a larger audience with a more content-packed post.