6-Step Guide to Boosting Your Business on Instagram
Suck at money? Congrats. You’re part of the 99 percent of people in their 20s floundering when it comes to finance. Adulting is hard, and money is harder—especially when it’s your own and not your parents. My Two Cents is here to break down everything you need to know about finance, business, and entrepreneurship. We’ll tackle all the basics, from how to get a business permit to how to invest in stocks, to educate the fledgling adults on how to not go broke.
Welcome to the idiot’s guide to money. Lesson No. 23: Learning how to ‘Instagram’ for business.
Do as the youngsters do and use the word “Instagram” as a verb. Nowadays, small enterprises, and even medium and large enterprises, need an Instagram presence to boost sales, reputation, and engagement. It’s no surprise why Instagram has been called “the new home for brands.”
Let’s just look at the numbers: 25 million companies worldwide use Instagram for business, 200 million users visit at least one business profile on Instagram every day, and one third of the most viewed posts on Instagram are from businesses. Aside from that, 80 percent of users have increased their time spent on Instagram and 60 percent of people say they discover new products on Instagram.
There’s also the fact that Instagram just has an undeniable “cool” factor that gives your business extra points with its users. The platform does most of the job for you—all you have to do is regularly churn out quality content that will engage users/potential customers.
Here’s how to actually Instagram for your business:
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1| Set up a winning Instagram business account.
We’re not talking about a half-assed attempt to be “relevant.” We’re talking about a professional looking Instagram business profile that will give potential customers and clients a closer look at what you can offer them.
Like Facebook, Instagram has a business profile version equipped with features that will give you insights regarding your users, profile visitors, engagement, and more. Setting up a business profile is the first step to figuring out your battle plan.
2| Use Instagram data to your advantage.
Instagram insights will tell you who your audience is and what they want. It’s a go-to marketing analysis feature that will help you discover who your users are, where they’re located, what people are viewing, where they find it, what they think of it, and how you can use all of this data to your advantage.
The metrics provided by Instagram insights will tell you what strategies are working and what you need to adjust to make them work. Marketing is all about data, and Instagram is one of the best tools to both market and gather data regarding your marketing campaigns.
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3| Take your profile seriously.
Take profile details seriously. We’re talking about your location, your contact details, and what you’re all about. It’s a small detail, but we’re sure some of you have also passed on a business because the details weren’t clear. Instagram is like a no-nonsense online mall. If the facts aren’t clear, people will more likely go to another profile than click on the link in your bio.
Make it clear that you’re a business with something to offer, or Instagram users might just skip your profile altogether.
4| Tell stories well.
Instagram has a reputation for being an influencer-dominated platform to project unattainable goals, but it’s really more than that. You can tell stories better on Instagram than on Facebook. With that said, a content plan and schedule is important, so you can more accurately curate the image of your brand.
Your brand-appropriate content should tell stories like behind-the-scenes anecdotes and product uses and testimonies. Show off your creative juices, but don’t be pressured to be aesthetically perfect. Instagram might be a visually-demanding platform, but you can get by with a good phone camera and a free editing program.
Post regularly to create a brand loyalty and high engagement, and don’t shy away from hashtags to widen your reach. (Tip: add “ph” to the end of hashtags to localize your reach).
5| Actually engage with your audience.
There’s something infinitely more approachable about businesses on Instagram than on Facebook, and it shows. There are 150 million people on Instagram who communicate with business per month, proving that engagement is key when it comes to creating a loyal following.
If a user asks a question, like comments and just reply. Make it a habit to respond to messages in your inbox. Show that your business has a personality beyond formal business speak.
6| Use Instagram ads.
Advertising on Instagram is streamlined so you can determine your reach in one app. These target options can be location, demographics, interests, behaviors, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences.
You can decide on the type of ad you want on Instagram, whether they appear in the form of IG stories, photos, carousels, videos, collections, or ads that appear in Explore. Social media advertising is more cost efficient and controllable than other mediums, so Instagram advertising is a good platform to get on.
But ads can only take you so far. At the end of the day, it’s still about the brand loyalty you earn on your business’ Instagram profile.