March 11, 2017

Top Tips for Your Instagram Business Account

How do you make the most of your Instagram business account? Do you go for a casual scroll down your feed, keeping an eye out for photos and videos that stick out the most? Are you only active on Instagram in order to stay relevant amongst your followers? Or do you follow a medley of other small businesses, photographers and artists for collective inspiration?

However you utilize your Instagram business account, Instagram is perhaps the most powerful visual interactive tool of the social media age. Its mega-engaging media platform keeps users salivating for intriguing visuals that draw interest–whether adventures, products or new technology.

By sheer size alone, Instagram’s gargantuan growth under its Facebook ownership is nothing short of astounding. At 300 million users across the globe, Instagram has surpassed even Twitter in terms of total profiled users.

You’re a social media manager and you run your company’s Instagram business account. You know that it’s important to keep an active presence and develop original, creative content to stay seated at the “cool kids” Instagram lunch table, separated from your competitors in the minds of consumers.

Here’s the skinny: Instagram users, more than anything else, are shoppers. Not only boutique or product shoppers, but value shoppers.

There is certainly a recreational and enjoyable side to consuming content, but many Instagram users are after things that will provide them value. 70% of Instagram users have reportedly looked up a brand at least once on Instagram. As a business, this affords you an opportunity to not alter your Instagram content strategy but rather customize it to what provides your followers the most value in order to bring conversions for your business.

Here are some best practices and top tips for your Instagram business account.

Tip 1: Getting Down to Basics

Setting up your Instagram account for maximized interaction is foundational. How come? You have one chance to engage a user once they view your profile or a piece of content you post.

As attention spans in the social media era grow shorter, businesses must adapt by getting more creative to steal a user’s attention within the first few seconds of a page view.

Of course, this is challenging. A good start might look like this:

1. Include a website link to boost traffic and number of clicks.

While Instagram does not allow URLs to be included in individual posts, you do have a chance to escort users to your website: your bio. Keeping your website link (or link to your on-site blog) is a good opportunity to use for this space, but companies will often post photos or videos that lead users to want to see more. This is an opportunity to write “link in bio” in the comment on your post, and attach the corresponding URL in your bio that will usher users to your website.

2. Make your name and profile photo memorable and iconic.

Just as your company logo functions as the living image and emblem of your brand, so can your Instagram avatar image. Make sure your name and avatar image both stay consistent across all your social media channels. This helps build brand association and recognition amongst consumers!

3. Write a catchy and creative bio that is undoubtedly “you” (your business brand).

Good, compelling copywriting is branding 101. Instagram’s character limit will force you to keep your bio description succinct and straightforward, but this is a good thing! As the head honcho of your Instagram business account, you want your brand to be well-represented with clarity and brevity. A really well-written Instagram bio can do just that.

Tip 2: Create Stellar Instagram Content

As a business, you need to fight the temptation to use Instagram as a platform to outright sell your products. The last thing you want as a social media manager is to give off a digital used-car-salesman vibe.Instead, observe an inbound marketing approach to your Instagram business account.

Rather than coming at your Instagram followers with selling propositions or deals to draw them to you, let them come to you.

How? Create stellar content. Post original, catchy and relatable photos and videos than will resonate with your target demographic. Of course, creating really good Instagram content is easier said than done.

Target is a prime example of a brand who curates catchy, relatable content while displaying who they are as a brand without pushing their brand on their followers.

Remember, Instagram is a social marketplace that drives views that will potentially turn into conversions. There is no guarantee someone will visit your Instagram account ready to pursue your products, but as a social media manager, the quality and relevancy of your photos and videos provide an opportunity for individual influence–which is the first step of a conversion!

Tip 3: Perfect Your Stellar Content

Once you know what you’re going to post, it’s time to optimize it. If you don’t have Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, or another major market editing tool, use Instagram’s cropping tool to make your photo or video as professionally cropped as possible.

Have you edited your photo yet? Instagram’s variety of filters allows you to set the mood and tone of your photo to match either the occasion or, suggestively, the tone of your brand! Sift through filters and edit your photo so that users know your photo is unmistakably your business.

Nike maintains a well curated and well-polished Instagram account. Nike not only produces stellar content, but edits photos well so they look clean and compelling as users scroll down their feed. They also make great use of Instagram video to bring some of their storytelling posts to life.

Tip 4: Maximize Your Following

The final tip for your Instagram business account is to keep growing by optimizing. Social media makes no time for those who don’t seek consistent growth through originality, and Instagram is no exception.

While creating and polishing stellar photo and video content is the primary way to stay relevant and grow your following, consistent activity can certainly provide a boost.

Even if you would rather not share quality content from other companies, an easy way to stay active is to like and comment on other posts.

Make your presence known in the Instagram community to increase the number of views to your account. If users notice that you are an engaging presence amongst the accounts they are following, chances are they will venture over to your account eventually to see what your company is all about–that’s your first impression and first chance at a conversion!

Another way to engage followers with your Instagram business account is hashtag creation. Hashtags are frequently searched words or phrases that conceptually unite brands across industries.

Popular hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday and #TransformationTuesday have stood the test of time amongst the younger Instagram crowd. However, you can certainly take advantage by creating your own hashtag and posting with it consistently on your Instagram business account.

Califia Farms, who runs one of the cleanest Instagram accounts on the market, uses hashtags that directly relate to the Califia brand. This is a great way they are able to connect with their national array of followers.

Remember, providing value to your follower base is the single most important goal of Instagram management for your business.

Setting up a creative account with the bare necessities (bio, brand title, avatar image), generating creative ideas, producing stellar and finished content, and optimizing that content by remaining engaged in the Instagram community are top tips to keep your following curious, compelled and consuming value-driven content.