Among the top social media sites a small business should be on, Instagram is one of them. Instagram is an great platform for building relationships and sharing great visuals. With over 500 million monthly active users, a small business is bound to grow an audience if the platform is used correctly. However, there is a chance of not using this marketing tool properly.
That’s why today, I wanted to keep it simple and share some do’s and don’ts of Instagram marketing for your business.
Do’s You Have to Apply
Regularly Publish Business Matters with a Small Sample of Personal Photos
Your company has just launched a new product, take a picture and share it with your followers. You can also promote a contest in which your followers post pictures of themselves using this product, share pictures of the company’s parties and gatherings, introduce expert staff members, etc.
A photo of the conference table filled with lattes in the morning, an honest goodbye letter accompanied by a picture when an employee leaves; this kind of stuff will help create a connection between staff and fans, making fans feel part of a larger family.
Create a Complete Biography
Include the full name of your company, a concise description of the name’s conception, a link to your website and a profile picture that clearly identifies with your brand within your profile. These are the fundamental elements of an Instagram profile.
These detailed descriptions will make your brand an interesting site for visitors, and they will also help your visitors locate the kind of content and publications they are after. Your account will grow more rapidly and earn followers that really identify with your brand. The more detailed the information is, the greater the chances you’ll gain followers.
Start Conversations with your Audience
Many companies use Instagram to interact with their customers by posting photos of things unrelated to their products. For example, publishing photos of a personal event or staff member’s pet or hobby, is an easy and fun way for people to find that sweet spot between personal matters and business without having to first connect to a specific product.
This would greatly help to strengthen the customer’s perception of the company and make it feel more human. It will show many of its facets, such as teamwork, fellowship and good personal relationships. Remember, Instagram connects with emotions.
Showcase your Products in Attractive Surroundings
When showing a product on Instagram, remember that you are using it as a venue to make money with your products. For this reason, do your best to create a great product publication.
If your product is big and consequently takes up lots of space in pictures, locate a good photographer to get its best profile. Pictures of your products will be one of the major selling points in your publications. Now on the other hand, if your products are intangible services like moving services, it is recommended to plan that service with real people. Create the stage for a professional looking, believable picture of your services!
A Behind the Scenes Look at your Business
It may seem strange to have a photo of your employees wasting time on your website, but you need not have the same reservations with Instagram.
Social media is a great way to connect with your audience and show a human side without seeming too unprofessional. Show visitors how your product is made, or maybe show a day in the life of someone in your company. You could just show how hard you work. Instagram is a great platform to highlight what is unique or special about your love for the company.
Invite your Supporters to Participate
Participation is what social media sites are made for. Invite your followers to comment, remind them of where they can locate you, invite them to share their photos with a specific hashtag, and so on.
This approach is perfect for conferences and events, or to show how your followers use your product. You’ll want to keep these sharing activities going on over time and use them as feedback. At the end of the day, you will only be satisfied by a job well done with a lot of participation from your followers. Organize online events, mental games, and let your followers’ imaginations play a leading and participatory role.
Automatically Share Most of your Messages on Facebook and Twitter
In your account settings, you can set your profile to automatically publish your Instagram photos or videos on your other social media accounts, like Facebook and Twitter, the moment you publish them.
Always write a short message or description for your publications, so followers won’t get lost in the stream of information that so often floods social media. Get used to creating a recognizable set of words, so your followers always know that it is you posting.
Keep it Simple with Text
Instagram users love the platform for its visual nature. Use Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to provide links to blog posts, infographics and other content. And keep Instagram as a tool for your photos and video-publishing means.
Keep your picture’s text simple: details, specifications, curious facts and prices. Let the pictures do the rest of the talking!
Publish at Peak Times and Be Active
Whether you are a blogger trying to increase your number of followers, or if you want to make sure your selfie exceeds the hallowed “like” benchmark, the time of day you post can have a significant impact on what you attain. Analytic tools, like Iconosquare and Buffer, can be used to assess user peak hours, usually after work and at night.
Nobody will go to a page that is only active occasionally. Constant activity makes your account grow and become more popular.
Do Sneak Peaks
Everyone loves to be the first to know, so have your Instagram followers feel special by showing them. For example, exclusive previews of products and services, virtual tours of your new stores, production facilities and offices under construction.
Be sure to publish these teaser materials on Facebook and Twitter, too. Nothing’s better than expectation to keep your followers anxious and engaged!
Don’ts You Have to Apply
Don’t post low-quality pictures
While it is true that this is a purely visual application, it does not mean that any low quality picture should be published. Users will just pass them by or make negative comments.
It also does not mean that you need to hire a professional photographer, or that you have to rent a cutting edge photography studio. You have to try to take good care of your pics and use the filters offered in-app to help yourself and your product.
Remember that this will help you keep good comments coming and getting more likes.
Always be genuine, authentic, always be yourself and don’t ask people to always follow your posts. To be successful on Instagram, you need to interact with your audience but not in an overwhelming way.
Too much activity over a short-term period can make Instagram think that you are a Spambot; a fake profile that operates automatically. Instagram is serious about taking steps against this kind of behavior. Don’t get your business’s account blocked or post too frequently to the point your audience unfollows you.
Don’t Post Pictures That Do Not Belong to You
This is one of the most important rules to follow on any social network. If there are pictures that you really like, comment on them or share them with the people you follow (but giving credit.) Don’t steal their work or download pictures from the internet to later upload as yours.
You are not only stealing somebody else’s work; you are also making yourself a liar in front of others. If you are caught, you risk losing access to your account. The best thing about this application is that it allows you to be authentic with your audience.
Don’t Rush to Post
Be sure you have included all the necessary information about your niche, so visitors understand what they are seeing. Of course, check your spelling. There’s nothing worse than reading nonsensical, mistake-ridden text.
Remember that lots of people will check your post, so make sure your published URL links work properly. Take your time and do it right. Hurrying up does not mean that you are doing it better. It is better to take care of details before uploading your post, read and check everything beforehand. Don’t make it seem like you just post confusing gibberish.
Don’t Forget To Respond to Comments and to “Like” Them
Never forget your followers. Try to always answer their comments. Users take their time to engage with you and you should show appreciation and respond.
This makes them want to comment in future posts since they know you’ll interact. It doesn’t matter if it is a simple comment, or a complex comment, always try to answer them. Make users feel more in- touch with you, want to promote you to other people, and convert them to your followers. Remember, this application is very interactive and that means a great way to assess the way you work and how to improve or change it.
If you receive negative comments, whether they’re serious accusations from unsatisfied past customers or just out of touch comments, try always to set them aside. Don’t argue with them.
Only real complaints should be addressed, with a simple request of direct contact from the customer. Negative comments should be ignored or just deleted.
Take full advantage of this guide and Instagram as a marketing tool. Be sure to follow these tips and you will see growth in no time.