With the rise in popularity of Instagram Stories, to recent advancements of advertising opportunities, now is the time to start using Instagram for business effectively.
So you have a business account, that’s step 1 ticked off the list, but how are you going to get your message out there in a creative and engaging way?
Why is Instagram for business important?
Before we dive into our 10 Instagram for business tips, here are some interesting stats as to why your business should have an Instagram account if it hasn’t got one already.
Always remember that Instagram isn’t just for millennials. Of the 1 billion monthly active Instagrammers, an estimated 32% of users are aged 18-24. That means the other 68% of users are outside of this age gap, and engage with business accounts just as much as millennials do. Moreover, Instagram’s most popular demographic are those aged 25-34.
And if those stats aren’t convincing enough, according to Instagram an estimated 200 million users visit a business profile at least once a day, with 80% of Instagram users already actively following business accounts. Business accounts are sprouting daily, and make for an incredible way to reach audiences with engaging visual content.
From coffee to concerts, plants to pasta, if you’ve got something to sell, Instagram has people to target.
So what are you waiting for? Here are our top 10 Instagram for business tips that will kickstart your marketing campaigns!
1. Don’t fake it till you make it
Our first Instagram for business tip involves building street cred – a tough process that requires patience. Inasmuch as you drive to advertise, let your content be highly relevant and shareable.
The first rule of Instagram is to show and not tell. First and foremost Instagram is an image-sharing platform. Resist the urge to transform your feed into a promotional showcase, leave your BOGOF and 2-4-1 offers for Facebook. Use images to catch users eyes amidst their scrolling, so that they take the time to stop and read the captions. Here you can mention your latest deals and offers to alert followers. Just take this Tentsile shot for example.
Instagram for business top tip: You should always aim for great quality photos. A regular camera or smartphone takes higher quality pictures than those taken directly in the app. Make sure to take advantage of Instagram’s editing tools too!
2. Create visually stimulating content
We’ve covered photo editing, but what about the videos? Videos are known to create far better engagement than images on social media, and the number of videos published to Instagram each day has quadrupled from 2017.
Jazz up your Instagram feed with Boomerang videos, one of Instagram’s many ways to create engaging video content. It’s free to use and can be accessed straight from the app, and works by recording a sequence of images that are then repeated back and forth in a loop.
Simple in nature, but a cool factor to add to your feed. You’re demonstrating that you can keep up with the latest trends, and gather new followers as a result.
The video will only last for 4 to 5 seconds, but it’s a valuable 4 to 5 seconds of branding. It poses the challenge for businesses to find a way to utilise the time to gain the viewers attention.
Instagram Stories are also huge! As of now there are 500 million Instagrammers across the globe using this feature to showcase their thoughts, new purchases, or asking for recommendations from their followers.
From a business perspective, Stories allow for a deeper connection. They add a personal touch to your brand and provide you with the opportunity to show behind the scenes at HQ, the day in the life of an employee, and as a place to host Q&A’s and speak in real time directly with your customers.
3. Adopt fun quotes and sayings
Witty or inspiring quotes are a great way to break up picture-only Instagram feeds. Make use of quotes that support your business missions and the purpose of your brand. In this way you’re not just sharing random thoughts, you are growing the philosophy of your brand through this type of content.
Not only will this additional type of content resonate with users, it will get them thinking. Inspiring quotes can encourage users to take action, while funny quotes can appear ‘relatable’, stimulating them into sharing the content, further increasing your brand awareness.
It doesn’t have to be just quotes in the form of images. Incorporating quotes in the caption of posts is just as effective.
Instagram for business top tip: You don’t have to get all fancy when producing these images. Sites such as Canva and Crello all have free basic plans with all the tools needed to create beautiful images.
4. Share pictures and videos of your customers
This tip works particularly well if you deal with your customers face-to-face, such as restaurants, cafes, bars, hair and beauty salons, the list goes on.
First of all, this is an authentic form of content that relates back to our first tip. Capturing a shot of a group of friends together shows that your business is the place to be. A study has shown that Instagram photos that show faces get 38% more likes than those without (obviously ask for their permission first).
5. Get your followers to engage
Your audience should always be in mind when creating social media content. Instagram is a platform for photos, and it can be hard to get people talking. Posting funny images and asking your followers to ‘caption this’ is just one of the genius ways to generate interactions. Asking questions is a great way to get people talking too, and even enter into a discussion with yourself and fellow followers.
This is something any type of business can implement, as you’re essentially asking your followers for their opinions. Below is a great example from MTV.
6. Regularly Re-gram
Re-gramming is the process of sharing another Instagram users images to your own page, and noting that it is not your own content. It’s on the same wavelength as retweeting, but there isn’t a simple button to click and share others post. Instead reposting apps have been designed, with the majority of them easy and free to use.
But why re-gram? You are essentially shining the spotlight on your followers’ photos, and highlighting that you enjoy showcasing your customers content and are interested in how they have used your products in their daily lives, with hopes to inspire others to do the same. This is a particularly great tactic for any business that sells any type of home decor. Home interior pages are huge on Instagram. It’s not just businesses that create accounts for their love of home interiors!
Thousands of personal accounts showcase daily the inside of their abodes, mentioning their favourite places to buy home decor and how they have styled these pieces within their homes. Simply reposting their picture not only provides inspiration to other users, but it also gently advertises and persuades customers to purchase these products, as their most affluent influencers have shown how your products can look fab in their homes.
7. Consistency is key
Posting consistency is a highly important ingredient when creating a successful social media presence, especially on Instagram. Keeping your posts consistent, through branding, times of posting, tone of voice in captions etc… can all help your audience to recognise your brand and grow engagement. Recognisable brands gain traction amongst your target audience.
One way to be consistent is to set up a posting schedule. According to a recent study, the 50 most successful brands on Instagram post on average 4.9x a week.
Instagram for business top tip: Posting frequency isn’t all that matters, it’s the time of day and day of the week. To make things easier, there’s a full guide of the best times to post on social media on our site, which you can find here.
8. Pay to Play
Paid advertising on Instagram is an effective method of acquiring new followers. Instagram advertising is essentially the method of paying to post sponsored content to reach a larger and more targeted audience. You can target the ads to your specific demographics, and within specific locations.
But does it work? The answer is yes! In March 2017, over 120 million Instagrammers visited a website, called, emailed, or direct messaged a business to find out more information, based on Instagram ads.
According to Instagram themselves, 60% of users say they have discovered a new product/ service through the platform, with 75% taking action after being inspired by a sponsored post.
9. Don’t just rely on paid posts
This may sound contradicting to our last tip, but always remember about your non-paid tactics. Although Instagram ads can generate great engagement and boost follower count, there are additional ways to build your community by simply following other Instagram accounts with the types of customers that you want!
10. Hashtag Strategy!
A good hashtag strategy will increase your businesses visibility on Instagram.
- Select 5-7 extremely popular hashtags – that have anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 posts associated with them. Anything over 500,000 usually invites bot activity, rather than genuine likes or followers
- Pick out 5-7 moderately popular hashtags – that have 10,000 to 100,000 post associated
- Choose 3-5 niche hashtags – with less than 10,000 associated posts, and are targeted to your business and what your audience will likely be searching for
- Include 1-3 branded hashtags – that you exclusively use for your brand. They can be campaign related, but always include your business name. These specific hashtags will allow you to find other’s posts who have bought your products, allowing you re-gram their images.
And there you have it, Shareable’s top 10 tips for using Instagram for business effectively. Now you are ready to create and post with these proven tips that have worked for a variety of businesses.
Just remember to be real and have fun!