For businesses that have a lot to show their customers, but not so much to say to them Instagram is a great social platform to use. Its heavy focus on imagery will put your amazing visuals to the forefront of the content, unlike platforms such as Twitter and Facebook which many expect to get text and conversation from. Of course, engagement still is necessary so a small image caption and being involved in your page’s comment sections as well as others is necessary in order for people to connect with your brand. Make your page feel like your company by styling it however you want, your images have a huge impact on the feel of your account. So whether you want to incorporate brand colours or themes for the time of year, you can do it simply with your posts. To get started on instagram as a business is easy, simply convert your account to a business account and get started. But knowing what to do after making your account can be tricky, so what should you be doing?
Hire a creative
Before you rush off to take all the pictures and videos you can to start filling up your profile, be sure the quality of this content is going to be the best it can be. Make sure you have someone within your company who is specialised in or simply has a knack for photography and capturing video, whether this means hiring someone new or finding the hidden talents of your current workforce. This step is crucial for creating content that does not look ametur, as bad images are likely to be received horribly by any followers you may gain throughout the starting of your page. Better, high quality images are more likely to be appreciated than those that are dark, badly positioned or of terrible quality. Remember this content reflects on your brand, so good quality and interesting images will make your company look like it holds these traits also, but the same can be said for bad quality boring images. Create an image theme and see how you find it, content may have to be continuously tweaked.
Once you have someone ready and waiting to rush off to make content for your Instagram page, you now need to consider what you are going to post. Your content needs to be varied in both type and topic. This means having a good balance between photo and video content, as this gives people more to interact with and the selection of both appeals to those who prefer one to the other. As well as this variation of content types, the topics of the images and videos needs to vary to in order to produce consistent engagement. Having a selection of product based and engagement based content helps you find the balance between promotion and entertainment. It also helps you to be sure you are not over promoting your products by them being the focus of every image, instead if you need to try placing your products in the images subtly. For example a jewellery company with an image of people at an event wearing one of their pieces. Create a content plan that showcases your products when they are new, feature or limited edition alongside other pieces that feature your employees, related content and company events if you have them. This way you promote a sense of community and show followers you are more than a sales business.
Get content shared
If you do have a way of involving videos in your content plan, then make sure to make the most of Instagram’s features for them. As they offer longer videos than other short video platforms and editing features alongside the ability to save and share the content across your other social platforms. This allows you to create the best content possible for your Instagram page as well as get it seen on things such as your Facebook page, getting it more attention and bringing extra people in to your other platform accounts. Videos can be shared further through other platforms and with embed features you can show customers on your webpage your great content to. Embedding allows you to put your video posts on your website wherever you feel they fit. So using them on blog pages or within content is not out of the question, doing this not only gives website visitors extra content, but can also bring more potential followers through to your Instagram page.
All good company social media platforms know how to communicate with their customers, this means getting them involved with your profile. To do this, try hosting some contests or giveaways on the platform whilst utilising hashtags to get your message to spread further. The hashtags for Instagram are similar to twitter but they are used slightly differently, add them into your photo description to have your post appear in searches for a selected phrase. If you have the time and the creativity, creating your own hashtag for your brand is even better than using already existing ones, but you can and should utilise the popular hashtags in your industry and client base, as well as the trending ones of the day / week. As this will get your posts in form of as any relevant and new people as possible, helping you profile grow at a quicker speed. This extra audience is great for contests and giveaways as they are an extra way to promote the posts advertising them. Make the most of the platforms heavy reliance on imagery by hosting photo or drawing related contests and get the winner’s contribution featured on your page with a mention and a few hashtags to get it seen. The same can be done for giveaway winners, by using a promotional winner image at the end of a giveaway with a mention to the winner and your company / product hashtags.
Use adverts and stories
If you are looking to use your new social platform to gain some extra customers or sales, then some extra effort is going to have to go in your profile both to get it running and keep it engaging. This means using things such as Instagram adverts and stories. Their stories feature allows you to get some content in the top bar of your followers Instagram feed, no matter how many posts to up after it as stories are shown separately in a specialised bar at the top of your fan base’s apps. The great thing about this feature is not only its placing, but also the sense of urgency it gives your followers to see your content. This is because stories will only stay available to see or watch for an allotted amount of time, meaning this limited time is the only time this content is available and it will disappear forever afterwards. Your followers will see it immediately without scrolling down, so there is no worry of it getting lost within endless amounts of posts. Adverts however are less for the benefit of your existing followers and more for those who haven’t heard of you yet. Instagram adverts get you seen by the users who haven’t seen your profile yet or who just don’t follow you, like adverts on different platforms they aim to encourage followers, purchases and is a simple form of advertising that links back to your page or website. It is a great place to make your products look appealing with a little bit of explanatory text, they do however show as a sponsored ad so the users who see your advertisement know it is not a casual post.