Written by Ashley Cooper
At Brand Story Experts, we have been using Social Media posting to celebrate the stories of our clients for a decade. In that time period, Instagram has risen to become a must-have messenger for businesses today. In fact, Instagram has become the fastest growing social platform, with over ONE BILLION users worldwide. It is essential that businesses, large & small, get on board with utilizing Instagram for their business and community – but you have to do it right. When creating an Instagram Business profile for your own business, the opportunities are endless. Here are 5 ways for your business to take advantage of today’s Instagram Opportunity.
Although Instagram stories followed suit from Snapchat, the original platform for stories, it has arguably become more popular since its conception in 2016. As of April 2019, you can include the following in your Instagram stories: Location (tell your followers where you are), Mention (tag your fellow users), #HASHTAG (create a conversation based on topics, events that are happening, trends, etc), GIFs (an image file that uses animated an still images), Time Stamp, Poll, Questions, Countdown to events, Quizzes and more to get your audience involved. These aspects all help tell your story more and give your followers a better idea of what you do, why they should follow you and allow for more user engagement with your audience and followers.
When Instagram launched “highlights” in 2017, they quickly became a staple of any Instagram profile. Highlights are stories that were posted previously but can be categorized and live on the top of your profile indefinitely until you decide to take them off. For example, bloggers or influencers typically categorize cities or style in their highlights whereas companies, such as home service companies, can categorize their highlights to specify trades, tips, team members, etc. It’s a great way to give your audience a little taste of the things you do on a day-to-day basis. Just make sure you are catering your highlights to your business.
3. WHO TO FOLLOW
When looking to grow or start your Instagram Business profile, it’s very important to strategize who you should be following. Here’s a great start – YOUR COMMUNITY! Start searching for your city in the discover tab and follow some of the top results. You can then go to some of those top results and also start following who THEY follow. That way, you can familiarize yourself with your community and know that you are following legitimate, local businesses. You can also follow your local fire or police department, other local businesses and influential people in your community. It’s also VERY important to utilize your own employees and team. This humanizes your brand and helps make a better connection with your customers.
4. ANALYTICS / WHAT TO TRACK
This is where it gets interesting. The analytics feature through a business profile should be utilized to its FULLEST extent. Through these insights, you are able to track how your content performs, page activity, how many visits your profile gets per week, clicks on your profile (website and phone clicks), your reach & impressions. You can also track your audience demographics such as where they live, their ages, gender and what days of the week historically perform better for your page. This can all be utilized by catering your content and your profile accordingly based on the results of all of this information.
5. PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE
In order to grow your audience, you MUST rely on more than just organic growth. Promoting your posts is an incredibly lucrative way to gain followers and awareness of your brand. When you have an Instagram Business profile, it makes it very easy to connect your posts and content to your desired audience. You can cater your posts to people who have certain interests, age range, gender, locations and pretty much any other way you would define your target demographic. That way, you know that your dollars are being spent towards the people that would actually want to see your product, business, or content.