When it comes to social media marketing, Instagram is an excellent choice for brand imagery and visibility. Users are able to communicate and share using videos, imagery, content and even hashtags. However, Instagram was only built 8 years ago, so not many, especially the older generation, may have the best experience with that channel. In this article, I will be covering 5 do’s and 5 don’ts of owning a business account on Instagram and how you can use it to your advantage.
1) DO: Post daily
Marketing using social media isn’t just a plan, it’s a commitment, and posting daily gives your followers the opportunity to focus on your company, and keep the growth growing. Obviously, on this particular network, there isn’t such thing as ‘retweeting’ or a ‘share button’, but there are alternatives that can be just as effective. For instance; you can send a post directly to a friend with 2 clicks of a button – by clicking the little navigation icon located next to the ‘like’ and ‘comment’ icons, clicking your friends name then select ‘send’ – and liking, linking and sharing is great enough engagement anyway.
2) DON’T: Post irrelevant or inappropriate content
This doesn’t just go for Instagram, this goes for the internet as a whole – ever heard of the phrase, ‘the internet is forever’? well, it’s true, anything you post can be discovered and reflect another individuals view of you and your company in the future. This is a fairly obvious point, however, you’d be surprised at how many businesses are affected by even the slightest inconvenience, so we want to clarify what’s right and wrong – depending on your industry and current social media personality, we would suggest you stay away from controversial topics that may gain negative backlash. Keep it industry and encouraging, but it doesn’t hurt to add personal content (so the followers don’t just perceive you as a company, but a team) or anything involving the world.
3) DO: Hashtag
Especially on Instagram, hashtags are used for searching, which is a great opportunity for businesses to reach potential customers. Lately, Instagram has given users the capability to follow hashtags, like they are any other user. This way, your feed will be updated with any posts that have included that particular one in the caption. Businesses can use this feature to gain more attracted eyes by including the same ones consistently. Furthermore, when deciding on hashtags for your next post, consider what your target audience would search for if they were looking for your company, your industry or that specific content topic of that individual post.
In order to ‘follow’ a hashtag, you need to begin by searching the specific hashtag you would like to follow, then once it has come upon your results, you can select it and it will take you to a page containing all posted content with the hashtag included (shown in the screenshot below). As you can see, the ‘follow button is in a big blue box in the top right of that screen. Once you have followed, all content posted with that particular hashtag, will turn up on your news feed.
4) DON’T: Overdo the ‘DO’s
Reading through all of the ‘DO’s, you can tell that despite their potential, it’s easy for you to overdo them, and that can impact your following (and overall business) massively. Moreover, by constantly stuffing hashtags, links, your signature and any other types of content on your followers feed, it will get annoying, thus making your company a lot easier to unfollow and a lot less likely to receive any customers from that channel. Keep it simple and effective.
5) DO: Promote by bio-linking
When you post, a good way of promoting a new blog, product or announcement, is by adding a link of it in your bio (a block of text shown on your profile) then adding into your caption “click the link in the bio…” as a call to action. By doing this, you are directing your customers to your website and earning possible business. Pop it in your bio, keep updating the link, and making your customers aware of when you do so, it’s a good method. You can even add your latest company news links in your bio, as a type of call to action.
6) DON’T: Post for the sake of it
Supporting point number 4, do not overdo it. If you don’t have a post for that day, it’s not a problem as there are other alternatives you can do to remind your followers that you are active. For instance, responding to comments or liking and sharing relevant and appropriate content from your following. Just ensure that you aren’t posting something unnecessary that could potentially affect your business. Social media marketing is a commitment, but it doesn’t mean you need to post everything every day.
In regards to Instagram itself, the ‘feed’ is one of the most important features i.e. your theme and what you post. This is because when your followers / potential customers visit your page, viewing a nicely themed, multiple-post feed will attract an audience, that’s just how Instagram works. However, if users view a cluttered feed full of clashing colours and boring imagery, it will not draw them in as much. Therefore, don’t post for the sake of posting, create and edit your photos and make it important to post.
7) DO: Interact with your audience
Whether it’s asking a question, a caption contest, a poll etc. interacting with your audience via your posts is a fun and effective method to not only keep your following engaged but the potential to discovering new things and ways from the feedback you get given. Generating audience interaction can range from short-term to long-term; For instance, you can get your audience involved scenarios such as choosing what blog you write next or the name of your new product/slogan etc.
8) DON’T: Be aggressive when selling
Yeah sure, the whole point of being active on social media is to own another gateway for your audience to reach your website and somewhere where newbies can learn about your products and services, but if you are constantly posting everything strictly-professional, your audience will view you as an ad, not a reliable company, which isn’t a good sign at all. We would suggest, especially for Instagram, a channel based on imagery and entertainment, to keep your feed business-personal i.e. including any team achievements, new products (with great photography and filters), audience interactions or anything with a fun, eye-catching moment to engage your audience with.
9) DO: Create a signature move
Think about what’s unique about your company, do you have a specific ‘mark’ or style that suits your brand – that if an individual saw that pattern they would recognise that the content belongs to your brand. It can take time to develop and for your audience to adopt that it’s your ‘signature’, but once it has settled and is fully recognised, it’s great for engagement and for bringing in new, attracted customers. We aren’t suggesting plastering a faded version of your logo on every piece of content you create; try something, create something clever and memorable, yet simple. There’s a good chance it will work.
10) DON’T: Forget to keep up with analytics
Analytics are significantly helpful to businesses, as it lets them review the strengths, weaknesses, potentials and threats. Instagram, in particular, provide you with their own insights (but only to those who own a business account on that channel). Furthermore, business users gain access to data about activity, content and their audience, whether that’s within the last 7 days, 6 weeks, 6 months or that present day. Using the analytics, you are able to review:
- The number of actions taken within that date range.
- The number of impressions taken within that data range.
- Locations of where your followers are.
- The average time(s) that your followers are on Instagram on a typical day.
- The days of the week when your followers are most active.
- The gender and age distribution of your followers.
Thanks for reading!