How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Brand and Drive Business
Social media marketing has seen an incredible surge in popularity in recent years. From being used solely to connect with friends and family and meet new people, platforms like Instagram are now legitimate channels for business growth. In fact, Instagram’s photo and video sharing format are ideal for small and large businesses to connect with their audience, showcase their brand, and ultimately, generate leads. If you’re a business owner eager to leverage Instagram’s potential, here are a few things to know.
Integrate Your Social Media Accounts
If you already have business accounts on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter, begin by connecting them with your Instagram profile. This will encourage your existing users to follow your new Instagram page. When you share a post on it, it will automatically be shared to your linked accounts. Quick and easy!
Craft a Great Bio
There’s not a lot of room for a lengthy bio on Instagram but that shouldn’t stop you from creating a terrific one. The basics include your business’ name, a profile photo mirroring your brand’s identity, your website, and the kicker – summing up what makes your brand great in 150 characters. Add your contact info and a call-to-action button, and you’re done.
A quick way to focus attention on your profile is to ‘regram’ or share popular posts and interesting posts by your followers. Instagram has no native way to do this but there are third-party apps that do. Once your audience sees that you actively engage with your followers, they’ll be eager to be part of your base and will be encouraged to create original content.
Avoid Hard Selling at All Costs
Instagram is a social media platform with the keyword being social. While it’s true that many users use it to find businesses and purchase products, they want to do so without feeling compelled. The ‘trick’ is to appeal to prospective customers through great content. Showcase your offerings but do so to encourage – not pressure – them to purchase.
Upload Quality Photos – in the Right Size
Instagram is a photo-sharing platform so it’s a no-brainer that the photos you post must be top quality. Blurred images, those with poor lighting, and bad composition are a no-no. Use high-resolution images that act as a voice for your brand. In addition, size them to Instagram-friendly ratios so they don’t get cropped awkwardly.
- Instagram photo and video sizes: 1080×1080 px, 1080×1350 px, and 420×654 px.
- Instagram story size: 1080×1920 px.
- IGTV size: 420×654 px.
Take Advantage of Instagram Stories and Reels
Instagram Stories is a terrific way to advertise your business. Fun, creative and short, it’s quickly replacing feed posts in popularity. This is because it’s engaging, feels authentic, and humanizes brands. Additional features like Stickers, GIFs, Music, polls, etc. provide attractive decorating options that make ads, updates, and whatever content you post resonate with your audience. Once you hit 10,000 followers and above, you get the coveted ‘Swipe Up’ feature that lets you add a designated link that your audience can follow.
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A newer feature, Reels, is another tool you can utilize to drive business. It lets you create short-form 15-second or 30-second videos that you can edit and add effects to. It’s a great way to entertain your audience and spread your brand’s message. Reels can be shared to your feed and on the Explore page where they will be visible to more people.
Use Instagram Reporting Tools
It’s all well and good to create solid content but you need to know how well it performs. Which posts get the most engagement? How are you stacking up against your competitors? Which hashtags perform the best? Instagram Reporting Tools lets you analyze your data to show what content your audience likes. You can then use this information to tailor content to get the most engagement and make the most impact.
Who doesn’t love a chance to win something without paying anything? Contests are a smart way to encourage engagement, build followers, and get them interested in your brand. You can even collaborate with influencers for greater reach. Create a unique hashtag, ask people to comment and tag others, and award a product/service of yours as a prize.
Instagram has 500 million daily active users (DAUs) and 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs). That’s a massive number that’s only expected to grow. With this, we can also expect more innovative features. It’s high time to ride ‘The Gram’ wave and take your business places.