How To Use Instagram For Business: 10 Steps To a Better Online Presence

Updated: Feb 22

Is your business/brand on Instagram but struggling with engagement or even worse converting followers into customers?! Are you starting to feel like Instagram is a waste of time? Let's talk about that!

There are many ways to make Instagram work for your brand, but you have to be willing to put in the effort. Gone are the days of uploading a photo with a few generic hashtags & watching those likes roll in.

Here are 10 steps toward a better online presence!

1. Use a business account

This might seem like an obvious one, but with a business account, you’ll have access to useful insights & analytics to better understand what works and helps grow profit. You'll have access to incredibly insightful information and features such as; demographics, timing, ads, call-to-action buttons & much more! Before you start with strategy & marketing you must make sure your account has been switched to a business account.

2. Optimize

First impressions are everything, so your Instagram bio needs to convey your brand’s personality, & let people know what they can expect from you. The Instagram bio is limited to 150 characters, so use that wisely. The 150 characters should convey your brand personality, & give people a reason why they should be following your Instagram account.

3. Know your audience & Set Goals

What is it your brand is looking to accomplish on social media? Brand awareness? New leads? Sell products directly from the app? Meet with your team & jot down reasons to be on the platform that will benefit your brand. When you know who your audience is, you can tailor your message to those people in an attractive way. A way that will ultimately lead your brand to accomplish those set goals!

4. Visually Compelling Content

It’s tempting to use your smartphone to just snap a quick pic & upload it to IG, but you’re going to need a little bit more than that to reel in your audience. You don’t need a pro photographer (although that definitely will set your brand apart, hit me up if you’re interested 😉) but your photos & videos do need to be sharp, well-lit, well-composed, & at the very least, they need to be in focus. If you’re using other images, like infographics or text on a background like this post, make sure they’re crisp, clear, easy-to-read, & eye-catching. (Need some branded graphics? Let me know I can help with that too!)

5. Your Brand’s Look

Your brand’s look or aesthetic is what will help loyal followers know they’re looking at your content before even clicking through. The use of color influences buying decisions & can affect emotions, so keep that in mind when creating content. Use colors that fall within your branding and keep your feed relatively consistent.

6. Captivating Captions

Your voice is just as important as your look on Instagram so don’t skimp on captions. Research shows that Organic Posts do well between 138–150 characters & ads perform well at that 125 characters mark. Don’t be afraid of a lengthy caption, you have 2,200 characters to use, just make sure it is worth it to the reader.

7. Hashtags

You can use up to 30 hashtags on a post but skip the generic hashtags that have millions of tags (your content will get lost). Stick to hashtags that are relevant & specific to your niche, these stand a better chance of your content being seen by your desired audience. Location-based tags are great too, especially for service-based industries. Creating a brand-specific hashtag is also a great way to encourage followers to get involved in the conversation and this will give you a bit of insight to see who's talking about your brand.

8. Timing is Everything

The best time to post varies from industry to industry, for instance, the Food & Beverage industry's best time to post is Friday @ 12 pm (not a surprise) and the Retail industry is Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12 pm. Ultimately, you want to post when your audience is online. Your analytics will help you determine when your followers are online & most active.

9. Utilizing Other Features

Instagram has so many new features now; Reels, Stories, Shop, Live Video, and even Interactive Stickers. Don’t be afraid to try new things in order to reach new audiences or encourage engagement from your current followers. If your brand sells a product, try creating a shoppable post. This provides users with a seamless shopping experience directly on the platform. Going live and creating stories gives viewers an idea about the people behind the brand and gives them inside access to how your brand operates on a daily basis. Additionally, Reels a relatively new feature that when done well can help you stand out from the crowd & grow your audience.

10. Engage!

Perhaps the most important tip! If you want more engagement, you must engage, too. I find that doing this from a computer is a bit easier and quicker than doing it from my phone. This includes replying to comments, pinning a particular comment that may stir up a conversation, even engaging with industry leaders. If someone tags your brand in their post, interact with that post and try resharing that post to your stories.

This is just the beginning of using Instagram for your business. Building a strategy and a content calendar can help organize the process of building your online presence and make it a lot less overwhelming. Implement these 10 steps to enhance your brand’s Instagram, and if you're interested in more information or need some planning & strategy tips, contact me today, and let's talk. 😊

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