It’s important to remember that not every social media platform works in the same manner. In fact, not every social media platform is the right fit for every business. For example, LinkedIn is ideal for B2B and Instagram is perfect for B2C. So how does Instagram work for business? There are a variety of ways you can leverage this platform to increase online engagement, drive brand awareness, and generate new leads.
How Does Instagram Work For Business?
Instagram for business might look the same as your personal account, but it is used in a completely different—and entirely strategic manner. While you can link your Instagram and Facebook, the goal is to deliver unique content on each. Since Instagram does not have anything in terms of “privacy” filters, this visually engaging platform automatically places your new and older posts in the feeds of those looking for similar content.
Since images, photos, quote cards, and the 3 to 60 second videos you post are visually appealing, they are at least 5 times more likely to achieve engagement. This includes Instagram’s version of “likes”, clicking the heart. Also, commenting, and tagging friends while sharing. This all might sound similar to Facebook, but if you have ever used this mobile-friendly site—you know this can all happen in a matter of minutes after your post goes live. With the way their algorithm works, you will continue to receive new likes and comments on posts for several months.
The Power Of The Hashtag
If your concern with Instagram for business is that you aren’t able to target your audience, that is where the hashtag comes in. First though, you must make sure that your easy-to-filter image is perfect. Then, write a short (or long) and engaging text related to the post. Follow this text with a series of hashtags that are both relevant to the image, and targeted to your audience. The key is to mix up your hashtags, and not use the same ones over and over again. For example, some that reference the use of your product/service, some referencing your service area, some referencing your target demographic, and at least one referencing your business. No less than 7 hashtags per post, and call it good at around 20.
Instagram marketing must be a delicate balance of visual appeal, and promotion. In other words, no not every post can be of your product—or your upcoming sale or event. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as a fashion brand who shares posts of multiple fashions, in a series of engaging environments. When it comes to new products and sales, leverage Instagram to build anticipation, or even to offer rewards. For example, the 10,000 person to follow you gets a free gift. Or maybe even the 1,000 person to like the post.
Behind The Scenes Sneak Peek
Customers who follow your business or brand because they love your products or services are always eager to take a peek behind the scenes. With the built-in photo editor, you can snap photos of live events, or an average day in the office—and filter it to look super cool.
Tell A Photo Story
Just like every other free social media platform, Instagram needs to make some money. One of the ways they do this is with paid story ads, video ads, photo ads, and carousel ads that can be hyper-targeted for your audience base. These paid options come with in-depth analytics to help you determine the most effective way to drive conversions.
All in all, Instagram is a visually engaging way of connecting with both your existing audience—as well as reaching a whole new set of leads. It can be leveraged for local, nationwide, and global engagement.