Considering that Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there, there is no doubt that it is an essential part of any online marketing strategy. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words” as Instagram proves the raw power of using images (and video) to market businesses.
But, before you dive straight on into Instagram for your own business, there are some things you should understand. If you’re going to add a new social media platform to your marketing strategy, you need to ensure you understand exactly what you need to do. Successful social media profiles take hard work, but they’re certainly worth it.
Understanding what to Begin With
There are a few things that are important for you to note and consider as you’re beginning your business journey on Instagram. Some things you need to work on are:
- Knowing your theme: You must decide on a theme for your content and be consistent with it. This includes design elements such as colour and font.
- Photo quality: You need to ensure that the photos you post are high quality. This doesn’t just include the camera work, but also the creativity and aesthetic.
- Giving people a reason to follow you: You need to make sure that people want to follow you. This means knowing your values and making them clear to anyone who stumbles across you. You want them to immediately know what you are about and feel connected to you.
- Timing of posts: You want to decide how often you want to post and be consistent about it. This can be once or twice a day or even once or twice a week, but make sure you don’t post too little.
- Engagement: Make sure you’re ready to dedicate time to engaging with your audience as well. Responding to comments and commenting on other people’s content is just as important as the content you post!
- Telling a story: Your images and captions need to tell a story. This means deciding how you’re going to evoke emotion in your followers through your content. You need to be ready to be authentic with them!
- Understanding your audience: Ask yourself who you are targeting your content towards. Who do you want as customers? What do these people generally like? What kind of aesthetic are they attracted to?
Understanding Your Audience
Understanding your audience is so important that it’s worth repeating and expanding upon here. Once you know who your audience is, you need to understand how they use Instagram. Younger target markets will have different posting habits than older target markets, so do your research before you start!
Once you get started on Instagram, you can then use your analytics to better understand your audience and figure out how to create content for them.
“You can use your analytics to help you understand what sort of audience you already have on social media. On Instagram, you can click on the insights button on your profile and it will give you lots of information such as the percentage of followers from different cities and countries, the age groups your followers fall into, and even the percentage of which are male and female.” – Like A Voss
Understanding What Not To Do
Just like there are a lot of things that you must do on Instagram if you want to be successful as a business, there are lots of things that you must not do. Here are some of the most important things not to do:
- Do NOT make your account private: This one seems a little obvious, but it’s so important that it has to be on this list. If your Instagram is for your business, making it private is going to immediately ruin your chances of success. People only tend to follow accounts that are private if they already know the person. So, save the private account setting for your personal Instagram. If you use it on your business, you’re not going to get any new customers.
- Do NOT forget about your bio: It’s easy to write your Instagram bio once when you start your account and then immediately forget about it. Don’t! Make sure your bio is always up to date. It’s any potential customer’s first impression of who you are and what you do, so make sure it’s perfect!
- Do NOT overuse filters: This doesn’t mean not to use filters, it just means not to put layers and layers of them on your photos. People crave authenticity on social media and tend to shy away from obviously filtered photos.
- Do NOT overuse hashtags: You should still use hashtags. They’re really important for any Instagram account, just make sure you’re using them right! You don’t need to hashtag every single word. Check out this blog to learn more about using hashtags on Instagram.
Instagram is extremely popular with businesses and individuals alike, so it’s important to get on board and start engaging with current and potential customers. As long as you do your research and know what you’re doing, you won’t regret it!
What do you think is most important for a business to do on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below!
Need help with your business account on Instagram or any other social media-related matters? Contact us today to set up a FREE discovery session with our team – we’d love to help!
This blog post was originally published in April 2018 and has been edited to improve accuracy and readability.