Discover Instagram For Business

Andrea Palmer

Published Mon 08 Feb by Andrea Palmer in Marketing More Effectively

Are you wondering what Instagram is all about, not sure if it's the right platform for your business? Follow our practical guidance on what the app has to offer, how to get started and how to build followers.

The visual world of Instagram has been very successful for business in the food and fashion industry. Whether you're selling a product or a service, it’s a social network that can reap rewards for any business.

 So what makes Instagram so special? Let's take a look….

Instagram App Features

  • Instagram is unique, and different to other platforms like Facebook or Twitter - Its focus is photos and video rather than text updates and posting
  • Easy set-up via mobile phone
  • It uses clickable hashtags - Helps people find what they're looking for
  • Its look is streamlined and consistent - Photos posted to the app are always square, a bit like the retro Polaroid picture - this makes it to look professional without too much effort
  • The app offers unique photo filters - Valencia, Juno, Moon and Willow to name but a few are creative photo filters which can instantly transform images 
  • Individual and business accounts are treated the same, unlike Facebook and Pinterest - users are far more familiar and tolerant of business promotion
  • Instagram allows you to change account names as often as you like 

Register / Set-Up

Instagram is an almost exclusive mobile platform, so you’ll need to download the iPhone or Android app to your device in order to register your account.

Instagram accounts are public by default. We recommend you leave it that way to enable the best possible engagement.

Private accounts look like this and don't offer much to encourage followers

Account name

Use either your business name or one which easily ties to it. If you start out using Instagram with your own name it can be changed easily at a later date and at the moment, there’s no restrictions on this.

Profile photo

We’d recommend using a company logo - The photo / logo will appear in the cropped circle, size 150px by 150px so design your logo /photo for this.

Boost traffic to your website

Instagram provides one link to directly lead customers to your website. This is the only clickable link so be sure to connect it to your most relevant web page, landing page, blog page or online shop.

Business Biog

Encourage people to hit the follow button - Provide an informative and catchy biog to help convince your audience that you're offering real value to their feeds. 

Include your business name with a clear, concise description of what you do. Take into account the type of images you’ll be sharing and tailor your biog for this, avoiding a salesy tone.

Adding a hashtag to your biog can be useful for current campaigns which can be changed and updated as and when needed.

#Hashtags and how to use them

Hashtags are one of the best ways for others to find your posts. Users can search and click onto hashtags they see in posts, so using the right hashtags for your brand is essential. 

Here’s what we suggest:

Just like Twitter, don’t go over the top with hashtags or just pop hashtags in because they’re popular. Doing this may give you more followers over a shorter period of time, but those followers won't stick around if they're not getting what they’ve been expecting. 

Hashtags have to work for your brand

A maximum of 30 hashtags are allowed per post.  But beware, a string of hashtags won't engage your followers. It's more likely to have attracted people who like your photo rather than people who are interested in your brand.

Hashtags are also great to use in your biog: check out the next example by Bridebookplanners. They encourage followers by offering to feature others' posts on their bride book within their profile. All users have to do is add the tag #bridebook.

Practical Guidance

  • Add tags to photos – Helps your posts to find more followers and encourages more shares with a larger audience
  • Check out your competitors: see what hashtags they use and what is successful for them
  • Look at established brands to see what works for them and pay attention to other hashtags that you may not have thought of: perhaps these can work for you?
  • Search for hashtags you're thinking of using: from there, click onto posts to see if they are relevant to your brand and follow them. Often others will follow you back if they see your content is relevant to theirs

Increase your Instagram Following

Practical Guidance

  • Utilise your other social media accounts - Build anticipation by sharing updates on other platforms to showcase what you're doing on Instagram
  • Hold a competition – It's never been easier! Post an appropriate photo for the competition, then ask people to like the photo to enter into the competition
  • Show interest in others you follow - Regularly like and comment on others' photos which are relevant to your brand: it’s the easiest way to gain more followers
  • Ask questions in the photo captions: this can really increase engagement
  • Think about your brand - Don’t let your images let you down: delete any that look substandard and boring
  • Avoid selfies and snap shots of you or your team on holiday or a boozy night out: always keep your images consistent and brand-driven
  • Post at the right time - According to Huffingpost the best times to post are 2.pm and 5.pm with Wednesday being the best day of the week.

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