Effectively Utilising Instagram To Promote Your Business

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Instagram was dubbed the “King of Social Engagement” by Forrester in 2014 during a period of substantial growth and high levels of user engagement. Forrester

conducted a study of branded social media posts across the six main social networking platforms, concluded that posts made by top brand across the largest social networks achieved an engagement rate of less than 0.1%. For every 1 million fans on Facebook the brand received approximately 700 likes, comments, and shares. On Twitter, the ratio was about 300 interactions per 1 million followers. The top brands posts on Instagram however generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%. That means Instagram delivered these brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

It is worth noting that although still in its infancy at 5 years old, Instagram platform has actually experienced a huge reduction in its rate of growth.

In an updated report, Forrester noted that Instagram’s per-follower interaction rate of 2.3% at September 2015 is barely half what it was in 2014[1]. However per-follower engagement has fell across the board for social networks such as Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter with Facebook being the only network to grow its follower engagement in in 2015.

Visual content marketing has become increasingly prominent and the latest social platform acquisitions and trend towards visual sharing show that people are choosing to communicate through visuals now more than ever.

              “Images cut through the clutter as they appeal to us on a

              sensory level” -Jim Yu, CEO - SEO platform BrightEdge.

Today’s consumers often conduct online research before purchasing a product or service and are also more likely to leave reviews and or comments regarding products, services on places online than ever before. The point at which a consumer pulls out their phone and searches a popular hashtag on Instagram for a product or travel destination they are researching prior to making their purchase. For example there are over 824,221 posts for the hashtag #swatch which contains various makeup colour swatches that other consumers have tested and posted pictures and reviews on for the benefit of their peers. This moment when a consumer searches for a holiday destination for interior design or makeup inspiration is called The Zero Moment of Truth[2]. Alongside blog reviews Instagram is a powerful tool for winning this new key moment in the buying decision process. 

This three part series will guide you through the establishment and development of your Instagram account. The second article in the series will cover how to grow your account and the final article will examine ways to manage your account.

Setting up your Instagram Account

  1. 1. Username

Your username should tally with your current brand or company name. Your name should be the same across all social media accounts and not just your Instagram account. Consistent usernames makes you easy to find across all platforms. Avoid usernames that include numbers or special characters unless these feature in your company name.

2. Bio

Your Instagram Bio is your introduction of your company to potential followers and clients.

You are restricted to 150 characters to describe your business in a meaningful way. Larger companies have the benefit of being renowned brands but even where expanding into new markets they have created winning bios within the character limit by expounding their company values or core beliefs and utilise media that aligns with their organisations narrative. Their focus on their organisations values neatly aligns with the theory by Simon Sinek, creator of the ‘Golden Circle’ concept that companies should first communicate their core beliefs, then ‘how’ the company achieves these core beliefs and then ‘what’ the company does to fulfil these core beliefs. e.g. Dior ‘I create so that each woman is the most beautiful.’ Another example is Agent Provocateur ‘Celebrating and Empowering Women.’

3.Website URL

Instagram allows you one clickable link in your profile which can be used to forward users to your website. To measure the success of your Instagram promotional campaigns you will want to track the number of people who arrive at your website from Instagram. However, traffic driven by this link does not accurately show up in your Google Analytics data. There is a ‘technical’ way to get Instagram click-through’s to display in your Google Analytics, which can be found here, alternatively you can simply use the Bitly link shortener and track click-throughs via Bitly. Bitly also offer custom links to tie in with your company brand.

4. Similar Account suggestions.

You can leverage your reach by ticking the 'similar account' suggestions box in your profile that will show up as a 'suggested similar page' to other users when they are looking for Instagram accounts to follow.


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Read 2222 times Last modified on Thursday, 31 March 2016 08:59
Laverne Thomas

This Law Graduate established her social media consultancy 'The Social Atelier (www.thesocialatelier.com)' which assists businesses in expounding their company values via their social media platforms. She consults for other UK based brands including Brissi, the charity SE1 United and one of London's top Instagram influencers  Tobi '@tobishinobi' Shonibare, whose account currently stands at 118,000 followers.

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