You may be wondering if an Instagram Business Page is a good platform for you to use. While it may be more beneficial in some industries like retail, than others like manufacturing, everyone can find some benefit in using it as a marketing tool.
While not as popular as Facebook, Instagram’s hold is growing mostly in the Millennial and Gen Z age groups, which are rapidly becoming the majority age groups of the U.S. population. Whether you consider these ages in your “target audience” or not, they are here and they are growing. These younger generations are the individuals who decide what trends, what goes viral, and what pages are most popular. So, it’s in your best interest to take notice of them and see what you can learn about them and from them.
Social media is the new face of business selling. Instagram use is high within these ages. 64% of individuals 18-29 are on Instagram and 18% of all total users check their Instagram multiple times a day. As of September 2017, there were 800 million active Instagram users.
Boost Your Instagram Business Page
Instagram is all about visuals. The top performing accounts on Instagram are jam packed with visually thrilling images with rich colors or whimsical quotes. So basically if you want to do well on Instagram, you need to know how to post a good pic.
These 9 steps will help your account gain popularity and traction on the ‘Gram:
1. Follow, like, tag, and share
2. Post memes, unique photos, and videos
3. Include promos and CTAs in your image descriptions
4. Use images, hashtags, and descriptions that inspire emotion
5. Post consistently
6. Research the best hashtags and include emojis in your description
7. Tag your location to let people know where you are and where you’ve been
8. Link to your website and add special promo links in your bio
9. Use the story feature
Ok, let’s break these down one by one.
1. Follow, Like, Tag, and Share
If you’re familiar with these features on Facebook, you should have no trouble with them on Instagram. There’s an unspoken social educate on Instagram that when someone follows your page, they’re most likely going to follow you back. Target well performing pages in your industry, follow them, and consider following some of their followers as well. This is an endless cycle that you can get a lot of followers from.
Tagging a page or individual in your image or in the image description is also a great way to promote your page. If you both share the tagged image on your pages all your followers will see it and they might check out your page as a result.
2. Post Memes, Unique Photos, Videos
Like I mentioned before, Instagram is all about visuals. Don’t recycle the same tired images that have been passed around for years. People want new pictures and videos they haven’t seen posted hundreds of times somewhere else. Instagram users also want relateable posts. The best way to do that is through a meme. Find one that applies or there are several apps where you can create your own as well.
3. Include Promos and CTAs in Your Image Descriptions
An Instagram Business page is a great way to drum up awareness for a promotion or sale you may be running. Let people know about it by creating a link in the image description! Several retailer pages offer a discount on a product if they follow the page or share the post with their followers. Give users an incentive for supporting your account!
4. Use Images, Hashtags, and Descriptions that Inspire Emotion
Just like any other social media platform, emotion goes a long way. We can convey emotion on Instagram through color, perspective, filters, words, hashtags, and the list goes on! A post that has a motivational quote or even a cute kitten will engage viewers and either make them think or smile. Just because you have a “business” profile, doesn’t mean your page should be serious all the time. People come to Instagram to be entertained. We connect through emotion, so choose powerful images, hashtags, and descriptions.
5. Post Consistently
People are on Instagram at all times of day, so they might not see your post right away. Posting consistently to your Instagram Business page increases your chances of users actually seeing your posts and liking them.
A new Instagram algorithm update changes the way a user’s feed look by placing the posts from pages that that user has liked the most. The more likes you get, the higher up on the timeline your are. That means your page and posts are more likely to be seen, liked, and shared. With this change, it may be difficult to initially break into the Instagram market and gain followers. You’ll need to put a lot of effort in up front to promote yourself on Instagram which may mean you sending numerous follow request and building up your Instagram Business page. Once you start gaining some traction with followers, you’re visibility will start to increase.
6. Research Your Hashtags and Use Emojis in Your Description
Once you decide on a #hashtag you want to use, type it in to see how many results it has. If you’re a smaller business, you don’t want to try for a hashtag with say 600,000 results. Just like SEO work, modify your keyword until it has a more reasonable search result that is likely to be searched by your target audience.
Hashtags and emojis help to tell the story of the image and bring even more emphasis to your image description. Use a few of each in each description if you want. Be creative and not too bland. Remember to inspire emotion!
7. Tag your Location
Instagram posts have a nice little feature that lets you track where you were in the photo. Maybe part of it is people being nosey, but this practice can also help promote your business too. Tag your location if you’re attending a conference or traveling to an out-of-state customer. If you’re a retailer who sells climbing equipment for example, post a picture hiking up a mountain and let your viewers know you were climbing Mt. Marcy in the Adirondacks. Tagging your location lets viewers know that you have an interesting life and that you do and experience things. It can inspire them to then go out and have similar experiences, creating a positive association with your business.
8. Link to Your Website and Add Special Promo Links in Your Bio
If you’re going to all the trouble of creating an Instagram business page, make sure you leave space for viewers to actually get to your website. Your bio appears at the top of your page. Add a link to your website or a particular web page you want to direct traffic too. Your bio is also a great place to place a link to a particular sale or promo. You may have already mentioned a promo in a post, but not everyone will see that image, so placing the promo in your bio is a more reliable way to make sure everyone who visits your page sees your offer.
9. Use the Story Feature
Instagram now has a story feature, much like Facebook and Snapchat. And they’re actually pretty popular. Again, make sure if you’re creating a story, you have something interesting to say, show, or talk about. Let your viewers see the “real you”. Many retailers also use the story feature as another area for product promotion and advertising.
Advertising on Instagram
Instagram makes it so easy to advertise on their platform. You can create photo, video, story, and carousel photo ads to promote products. Instagram also lets you target specific audiences with your ads so you’ll get the best results from your campaign.
Instagram lets you buy and manage ads through the app, in Ads Manager, or through Instagram partners. Ads created in the app is the most basic form and just lets you promote a specific post, while Ads Manager is the same tools as Facebook’s ads manager. Ads Manager lets you create, alter, and track how your ads are performing. Instagram partners are basically personal Instagram advertising consultants that specialize in specific areas that give advice and help you create the best ads.
By creating an Instagram business page, you can track engagement, see who’s responding to your posts, and create and manage your ads.
Business Page vs User Profile
First off, make sure you set up an Instagram Business page, not just a regular user profile. The only big difference between these two types is an Instagram business page lets you track viewer engagement with your posts. If you’re a retailer who actually wants to sell through the app, an Instagram Business page is extremely important. But, if you’re not a retailer or seller and still want an Instagram presence, a regular level profile will work fine.
Make sure you set your profile settings to public as well, unless you only want a very specific audience of pre-approved followers. If you’re account is set to private, only users who follow you will be able to see your posts and stories.
If you do set up an Instagram account and eventually decide it’s not for you, you can delete your account. Just know that once you do, it cannot be reactivated. Also, the username cannot be used again if you change your mind and want to re-create an account later down the road. You’re not able to delete your Instagram account within the app, so you’ll actually have to do it online.
There is a great support and info page on Instagram Business available to you too that has a FAQ section, some basic info courses, and other handy resources.
How to Create a Hashtag
A bit of hashtag education for you. The pound sign (#) is what activates the words into a hashtag; that symbol (#) is now referred to as the “hashtag symbol”. You also may have noticed there are no spaces in a hashtag. That space between words breaks the link. Yes, it may take you an extra minute to read longer hashtags with the words pushed together, but because we’re all literate, spaces don’t really matter as much anyway.
If you’re new to social media, you might not really know where to start when it comes to #creatinghashtags. For starters, a hashtag is a word or phrase that becomes associated with the post that it’s linked to. Hashtags are searchable on Instagram. So, if you posted an image with the hashtag #upstatenewyork and a user goes on Instagram and searches for posts under that same hashtag, your post is going to be in the search results.
The simpler the hashtag, the more results it’s bound to have. On the other hand, if you create an obscure hashtag, there will hardly be any results and you don’t want that either. For example, #water will have way more results than say #flintwater. Just search the hashtag you want to use and see how many results it has in Instagram. From there, you can finetune your hashtag to become more broad or narrow depending on the situation.
Instagram is a great platform to promote products and your business awareness to individuals in your target audience. If you’re just starting out on this social platform it seems like there’s a big learning curve, but once you set up your profile, it’s pretty simple and pretty fun. Instagram is one of the greatest ways to reach younger generations and boost awareness for what you do. Whether you’re a retailer who wants to create an Instagram business page or a manufacturer looking to get some social media attention, Instagram is a great (and easy) way to do it!