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Tip Of the Month: Instagram for business - Best practices

Let's speak friendly digital! Marie Nadal Sharma, Founder & Director of Them You & Me shares tips about demystifying digital marketing.

Instagram for business is a powerful social media platform to increase your company’s visibility, its engagement with your customers and community and ultimately, connections and conversions. Instagram’s massive potential reach, vast user base and marketing options make it ideal to showcase your product or service and leverage the numerous opportunities to grow your brand’s awareness online. If you aren’t using this platform already for business, then you should consider doing so now. In this article, we’ll share some best practices that will help you get the most out of this social media platform.

 

To begin with, you’ll need an Instagram business account. If you already have a personal account on which you post brand-appropriate content, then you could simply convert to a business account. This will give you access to business features such as:

  • Instagram insights
  • Instagram ads
  • Instagram shopping
  • Primary and secondary messaging inboxes
  • Contact information and a call-to-action button on your profile

 

Of course, you can use these tools most effectively only when you know what to use them for. So, you’ll need to define your goals clearly. Do you want to:

  • Create an online presence for your business?
  • Increase brand awareness?
  • Build a community?
  • Get new leads?
  • Sell directly through Instagram?
  • Establish your brand as an industry leader?

 

Think strategy first before you start posting.

Once you’re clear on what you want to achieve through this platform, you can frame your Instagram feed accordingly. Here are some things you should focus on, to help you achieve your goals:

 

1. Optimise your Instagram business profile

Character limit for bio: 150 characters

Consider this your elevator pitch; use it well. Using emojis may help say more in fewer characters and connect with your audience in a friendlier way.

 

Luckily, there are a few more fields that help take the pressure off mentioning everything of importance in your bio, such as:

  • Name: up to 30 characters
  • Username (your handle): up to 30 characters
  • Website: a clickable URL – your website, landing page, product page etc. Maybe, look into Linktree to show several options when people click on the URL.
  • Category: a business feature where you can mention what kind of business you do
  • Contact info: email, phone number
  • Call-to-action buttons: direct messaging from your profile

 

It’s best to choose your brand logo for your Instagram profile photo but again, it depends on your business.

 

2. Create visually compelling content

Instagram is a visual medium, so your pictures and videos will have to be clear, well-lit and well-framed at the very least. Infographics will need to be attractive and easily readable. Your posts will also need to be compelling, tell a story to engage your audience and share some valuable tip. You could use:

  • Quotes
  • Behind-the-scenes posts
  • User generated content
  • Videos
  • How-to posts

Inspiring and engaging posts are shared – and that’s how you extend your reach.

 

3. Create a theme for your brand

Once you’ve decided what you want to post, think about how your Instagram page should look and how your content should ‘sound’. Strive for a consistent font and colour scheme and feel. You can achieve this simply by using filters or editing software presets. Think Canva as a great start.

 

4. Write interesting captions

Caption character limit: 2,200 characters

Instagram will truncate your caption after 125 characters, so ensure your important information appears first. Here’s the optimum length you should aim for:

Organic posts: 138–150 characters

Instagram ads: 125 characters

Make your captions engaging, relevant, useful, and always aim to connect. Your messaging should be on-brand. If you feel comfortable using emojis, add them to let the information breathe or to highlight some important facts...

 

5. Use Instagram Stories

This is a great idea for engaging with your audience through polls, quizzes, questions, behind-the-scenes snippets and more. It’s also an effective tool for receiving feedback, your audience’s opinion and for connecting with them. If customers or followers tag you, you can reshare their content to your own stories.

 

Stories have a 24-hour life and are more real than your curated content. However, you can save your top stories in Highlight albums that appear under your bio, with custom covers for each. This is especially useful for providing more information about your business to your followers.

 

6. Post consistently and use hashtags judiciously

Growing your account takes time, and you can achieve this through consistent posting. Also, note that the time and day of posting also make a difference to viewership and engagement. Try posting at different times and see what works best for you. And use accurate hashtags wisely - up to 30. Make sure they’re:

  • Relevant
  • Specific to your business
  • Are not spammy (such as #like4like, #followme etc.)

 

You’ll find them to be key in increasing your visibility and discoverability.

 

7. Use geotagging

If you operate your business in a particular area, then take advantage of Instagram’s geotagging function. It’s especially useful to be discovered by new followers in the area. Simply click ‘Add location’ when you create your post or stories.

 

Geotagging will show your business address, business category, hours of operation, website, and phone number to users. Any pictures or videos that you are tagged on, can also be seen. It offers information that will be valuable to people who are looking for your products or services near their location.

 

8. Engage with your audience

Make sure you put the ‘social’ in this social media platform! You might post valuable content, but responding to comments, following other accounts in your niche, liking, commenting on and sharing others’ posts, and interacting with other profiles goes a long way in enhancing your visibility without being promotional. Make it friendly...you’re here to build connections, and meaningful ones!

 

9. Go live

A great way to connect with fans in real-time is by going live. The possibilities are endless! You can:

  • Conduct a how-to session
  • Host a Q&A
  • Interview someone – a team member, client, customer, industry leader etc.
  • Provide a look behind the scenes
  • Collaborate with an industry expert or influencer through the ‘Add a guest’ option
  • Offer travel views

Your imagination is the limit, really. And, this is a very useful way to impart information, demonstrate something, take your viewers on a virtual tour, and more. A great way for them to know more about you and your business.

 

10. Sell through Instagram

A business profile gives you access to set up an Instagram shop, so you have your very own online store within the app. A ‘View shop’ button on your profile will directly lead your customers to your shop. Also, the Explore page carries a ‘Shop’ tab which enables users to view products of brands they follow and search for new products.

 

Tip: Do you tag your products in your stories? Then turn on Auto-highlighting to save all stories with product tags for customers to view even after their 24-hour lifespan.

 

11. Go for Instagram Reels

This seems to be immensely popular currently, so make the most of it by using the feature to give your audience a peek behind the scenes, share quick tips and demos, provide information creatively, and more.  

 

This should give you an idea about how to make the most of your Instagram for business. But whatever you do, periodically track results for your posts, stories and business account as a whole with Instagram’s analytics tools. This will help you measure your success and tweak your strategy as required.

 

Remember that a social media platform is social and you’re posting to start the conversation and connect with your community, followers and gradually with your customers. Be yourself and share what is happening in a genuine way. Do not post only about your products or services. People want to know more about you, your business, your journey in order to connect better with you and ideally, build trust for them to use your services or buy your products. Think consistency, do not compare yourself with anyone else and share naturally to help others. 

 

And plan ahead, always, so you don’t end up spending too much time on 1 post. You can use this extra time for many other things. :)

 

At Them You & Me, we help in the digital transformation of businesses. If you have any questions about your digital marketing strategy or about Instagram for business, please get in touch with us. 


You can also visit our website to learn more about us and our services.

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