Effectively Use Instagram To Promote Your Business Part 2

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Many business owners find it difficult to actively manage their social media accounts and market their product or service around the demands of day-to-day

business operations. The most successful Instagram feeds are those that post daily and engage with their followers.

Managing your Instagram account around your business.

1. Devise a strategy

Before posting, create a strategy for your Instagram activity. Listed below are a few basic questions to help you develop your plan:

  • What are you trying to achieve with Instagram?

Are you aiming to build a community that engages each other to create positive change; you want to drive followers to your website and convert them into paying customers.

  • How will Instagram grow your business?

Having a group of brand enthusiasts will spread your message large and wide and sell your products for you. Drive targeted traffic back to your website. Strengthen brand awareness and foster new partnerships.

  • What do your audience want on Instagram?

Instagram users are are in constant “scanning” mode – they either like something or they don’t. Instagram is about capturing real moments, so you need to talk to your audience in their language: be positive, be inspiring, and be authentic. Nail down your client avatar and see where a bunch of them hang out.

What words, hashtags and filters do they use? Who do they follow? Check out the top 100 hashtags from Websta and search relevant keywords and discover popular accounts. 

2. Create a content plan

WHAT TO POST

To help monitor your progress you will need to set goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) so you know where you’re going. The goal is the desired outcome and KPI’s show whether your performance is good enough to reach your goal. E.g.

  • Goal: Grow account to 1k followers.
  • KPIs: Number of likes, comments, shares, mentions, shoutouts.

Once you set your goals, create an editorial calendar. There are a number of tools that you can use to assist you with this: IconosquareScheduGram or Simply Measured. You may find it useful to use a spreadsheet in addition to or instead of the aforementioned scheduling tools.

You should only share images that relate to your brand values, which trigger emotions and make people feel part of your brands narrative. The key components to a successful Instagram post are:

  • Beautiful imagery - clean high resolution images that are visually appealing,
  • Compelling overlaying text,
  • Post descriptions/captions - consider your captions carefully, they should relate to the imagery. Try posing questions to engage followers and create a dialogue.
  • Mentions - posts that include another Instagram user in the caption net 56 percent more engagement.
  • Hashtags - Instagram permits 30 hashtags per post which does not mean you have to use all thirty by any means, but do consider which popular and unique hashtags you wish to use. Words that describe the subject of the image or theme of the post as well as hashtags that are unique to your brand or business to encourage your hashtags to trend on Instagram allowing customers to use your hashtags if they post your product online. A word of caution, beware of overusing popular hashtags such as #friend #girl #love as this can lead to you gaining a large number of “ghost followers (inactive accounts that will follow yours but not engage at all). It is also worth noting that hashtags now appear in the list of
  • emojis (where suitable)
  • Geotags - posts with tagged locations have 79 percent higher engagement. So a simple tweak such as adding your office location, town or city can help to drive engagement.

WHEN TO POST

Given Instagram’s recent algorithm changes the time you choose to post will not have as much of an impact on your impressions as posts will no longer appear chronologically in a feed but will be determined by relevance to your followers and how recently they have engaged with your feed (recency). As such you may wish to encourage your followers to turn on post notifications. A few tips that will

  • Consider your posting times

Post at times when you are likely to get the most impressions. Think about what your followers are likely to be doing at the time that you post.

  • Aim to post at least once daily.

Successful accounts post around three times a day but this can be burdensome for many companies who do not have a dedicated member of the team who manages their social media posts. Posting once a day to detail your companies narrative, share your company culture with your followers or even to repost follower generated content will help to keep your feed live.

3. Build influencer relationships

Reaching out to influencers in your niche with a view to building partnerships can help to grow your audience. There are a few simple steps to finding the right influencers to collaborate with:

  1. Identify the influencer who speaks to your current or target audience. I.e. if you are own a gym it would be worth contacting an influencers with reach in the fitness world that runs a successful fitness account. You could use popular hashtags in your niche to spot key influencers following on with the example above your could search a few of the following terms: #gym, #workouts, #fitnessprofessionals
  2. Think about how you can partner with the influencer. Specifically what do they stand to gain from the collaboration i.e. free product offers from your company or paid shoutouts.
  3. Contact the influencer via their contact details on their profile or with Instagram Direct.

Quick tip: There are also feature accounts that you may wish to collaborate. They are not individual influencers but accounts that focus on a particular industry or niche such as food, fashion, and hair and make up. E.g. CheckoutAfrica, who pride themselves on the promotion of African culture.

4. Manage your profile

When all elements are put into place you will need to start monitoring your feed, followers and niche. Iconosquare is a great tool for browsing Instagram from within their user interface and offers a whole host of data (e.g. growth charts, engagement rates, and more).

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Read 812 times Last modified on Friday, 08 April 2016 04:54
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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