Instagram is the second most popular social media platform on the web — with more than 600 millions users. What started as a personal place where you could store your most intimate moments caught on camera has now been transformed into a major advertising operation. Social media marketers have quickly caught on to the power of visual targeting and are using Instagram’s photo-based ecosphere as a way to reach defined audiences. It’s important to note that you can’t just use any social strategy to generate leads — you need to use a defined set of objectives and fine tune your methods according to performance. Here are some tips on how to effectively optimize Instagram for your business.
- @whatwasthatagain?: Names really matter. Similar to your Twitter handle, your Instagram name is the way users are going to find you, follow you, and respond to your posts. Use something catchy that also defines your brand. For example, use your website domain name as your Instagram username. Haven’t built your brand website yet? Now is the time to get your website set up. Take the first step by registering for a unique domain name with this helpful tool.
- Link back to your business. Unlike Facebook posts where you can consistently post content that links back to your website, you are forced to be a bit more creative on Instagram. You have one major opportunity to link back to your business — in your biography. The link can be situated right beneath your name and will be clickable. You can also include your website in image posts next to hashtags but it won’t be clickable, and will serve primarily as a reminder of your website. Tip: It’s beneficial to have a web page name that is catchy and easy to remember.
- Don’t just post: Engage and participate. It’s easy to fall into a routine of simply posting content, but if you really want to engage your audience and grow your organic reach you’re going to have to actively participate on the platform. Identify relative brands and influencers and follow them. You can even perform competitor analytics in order to determine what’s working and not working for similar businesses. Engage in the comment section within your own posts as well as others. Mention other users using the @ feature when you post relative content. Getting seen by your peers and competitors is good for growth.
- Don’t hard sell your products — make them appealing using Instagram’s powerful editing tools. Social media use has grown by 356% since 2006. A huge percentage of buyers are influenced by a brand’s social media pages so you have a real opportunity to generate leads. Publish attractive photos of your products or services that make users desire them without shouting about how good they are. When a user makes their own decision to purchase without feeling pressured, it is more likely they will become repeat visitors.
- Include video content. Video content is growing exponentially across all social media platforms. In order to keep up with other successful brands, you’re probably going to want to learn or invest in professional video editing. There’s nothing that looks worse for your brand than poor video or sound quality so make sure your content is up to par before you post.
Instagram is a powerful marketing tool with a huge potential audience reach and serves as an ideal social outlet for business promotion. It is definitely one of the more creative platforms on the web and will require some out-of-the-box thinking. These tips will guide you on your way to successfully Instagramming for your business.