What is Instagram for business, and do you need it if you’ve already got a good following on another social network? The answer depends on the company. No two businesses are precisely the same, but there will be a lot of similarities between commercial entities, especially competitors, so this is where research plays an integral role.
Work out if your business needs Instagram or is better off focusing on another social media platform like Facebook or Linkedin. Most likely, you’ll realise Instagram is too hard to ignore. Recent statistics suggest there is a healthy crowd of 300 million active users on Instagram. It would be hard to convince yourself or your management team that your customers are not on Instagram, and so too your competitors!
Please note, just being present on any social network is not enough. Your business will need to actively grow a following and experiment with engaging posts and stories. Therefore reframe from dedicating the lion’s share of your digital marketing budget to advertising and promotion until your business has campaigns metrics that accurately show follower engagement and conversions.
We’ve compiled this business blog on how to get started with Instagram, plus tips to grow and engage with followers.
Posts & Stories
There is no doubt that social media algorithms will favour your recent posts and observe how people engage with them after publication. If many people see, like and comment on your posts, you will tend to get more impressions. Timing is everything, so it pays to time the release of your posts to match when the maximum number of followers are online.
When you know the best time to post on Instagram, you can work out what posts and stories to release to encourage maximum involvement and participation.
Analyse your engage analytics to figure out whether your audience prefers stories or posts. It may be that your followers love both but prefer stories and posts at different times. Remember everything action you take and investment you make in your social media presence on Instagram is focussed on engagement and conversations.
Did you know the official Instagram Guidebook recommends posting three or more times a day?
However, this is one of the most common challenges that business owners face. Plus, that’s Instagram’s recommendation. Other marketing experts may say once a day is ample.
What time of day should you post?
Statistics show that, in general, the best time to post is in the morning and then spread it throughout the day and even night as your following grows, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
Consider your target audience and the people already visiting your profile to figure out the best time to publish your content. You’re probably getting the attention of people from all walks of life, so you need to look at their age and their profession as well as any hobbies they might have. Are they more active in the morning when they’re taking their cup of coffee, after work while they’re stuck in traffic, or at night before they go to bed?
Think about the ways they use Instagram – once a day, scrolling for hours, or opening IG every few minutes to see if they’ve missed anything? Do you think they would appreciate the extra activity, or would it steer them away from your business? After carefully considering all of these factors, you can make a detailed strategy that would bring the best results.
Mix It Up
All marketing strategies have to fill the sales pipeline if they’re not resulting in direct sales. However, your business must do a lot more than just push its products and services to attract and retain followers. Think about the content you’ll be sharing, along with the format and the message, as well as any companies or influencers your business can partner up with for mutual benefit.
Getting started is always the most difficult and the most rewarding as you’re starting with a blank canvas. Make sure your business has and uses the brand presentation guidelines for all images, videos aka visual content. Consistency is vital, so all your business assets use the same styling and brand messages for user recognition and buyer confidence.
Instagram is popular with businesses because it delivers results. Its attraction is their large daily audience and how easy it is for companies to grow followers and use features to promote their brand and make sales.
To set up on Instagram, start off with the end in sight, with a marketing plan that includes a strong professional brand presence. Commit to posting lots of the content your audience wants and will share.
Get this right, and rest is history – Instagram will be your social platform of choice. Keen to read more on Instagram marketing, see 8 steps for local business Instagram marketing.