How Instagram can help your business

You as a business owner may have thought Instagram is just for selfies, cute animal photos, vacation inspirations and what people are eating for lunch.  That is certainly true but there is so much more happening on Instagram! As a business owner, you want the story of your business to be on Instagram! This is one of the more interactive social media platforms and it can benefit all types of businesses to have a strong presence.

HOW BUSINESSES CAN GROW BRAND AWARENESS AND INCREASE REVENUE

Recent statistics show that Instagram's user base of  400+ million is becoming broader.  70% of Instagram’s audience is under age 35, the rest of the 30% is 35 and older.   B2B businesses are even in on the Instagram fever, especially with the new ad platform that was incorporated after Facebook purchased the social network.  

Instagram is a photographic/visual form of social media that can tell a story about your brand. A picture is worth a thousand words and with one glance your existing and potential new followers can instantly connect and remember you by the images you post.

Some of the different ways all types of businesses are connecting with consumers: Animal rescues are finding homes for pets in need, authors are selling books, CSA programs can promote by sharing photos of weekly shares, fashion and accessory shops can showcase seasonal arrivals and sales, charities are raising awareness and so much more.  With so many people shopping from their phones and tablets Instagram is a source for increasing sales and website traffic!

An Instagram caveat is the inability to put active links in descriptions or comments.  You can sneak around this by putting a link in your user profile. Change it often and encourage followers to see your profile for more info in some post descriptions.

 

TELL ME A STORY

Sharing your posts on Instagram is all about telling a story. YOUR story. Your posts show people who you are, your employees, business culture, products & services. Think about what you want your pictures to say about your business.  Are you a company with a hip young modern culture? Maybe your staff does cool team building activities once a month? Show that off! Has a customer sent a photo about how they use your product in real life? That will inspire others to do the same and buy from you!

Hashtags are an important strategic move when using Instagram.  These make it easier for people to find you when they search hashtags, and there are no limits on how many you can use. Descriptions are another effective way to show some personality but don’t get too silly or go overboard - use hashtags here. Be authentic and your followers will respond positively.  

WHAT TO POST AND WHEN TO POST IT

If you have several great photos consider spacing out the posts. To keep things simple use a scheduling program.  Take your audience into consideration and time the posts to go live when they are most active on the Instagram platform.  This way you get maximum exposure because Instagram posts in real time.   Post once a day at least so you’re not entirely lost in a feed of all the other accounts your followers are following.

In addition to your photos, mix in your feed helpful tips that appeal to your demographic and even a little insight about a day in the life at your workplace.  It’s very important to stay to active by engaging with and following others. Leave comments! See what your followers are talking about and commenting on.  Double click on others great content. This is business but it can still be fun and social!  

Consistency is important for any type of success in life and business. Like all social media platforms, the most important thing is to be consistent about posting and with your brand messaging.