Is it time to explore a new social media frontier for your business?
After you’ve found your voice and grown a following on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is a logical next step to expand your businesses’ social media footprint. With 700 million users and the backing of a powerful owner like Facebook, it’s the stalwart of the next generation of social media platforms - which includes Snapchat - that skew younger and more visual.
Here’s what it takes to get your business started on Instagram!
1. Instagram = visual + mobile
Like Twitter’s restriction to 140 characters per tweet, Instagram has a couple non-negotiables: First, all posts must contain visual media, and second, the app is optimized for smartphones. Improving your phone photography and mobile photo editing skills will really help your Instagram game!
2. Build your profile
Leverage all of the elements in your profile. Get right to the point about who you are and what you do to entice Instagrammers to follow your feed.
Your Instagram handle has a 30-character limit and is best populated with your company’s name in most cases. You’ll be given a circular space for your company logo, or perhaps an image that focuses on a defining element of your company.
Your bio gives you more text to work with for a company description, but remain concise and on point with your brand. Use your bio as a spot to link to your website, or a particular page on your site to act as a standing call-to-action.
3. Promote your account
Sending out a press release? Use that opportunity to link to your Instagram account. Redesigning your website? Look for places to place the Instagram icon and link out to your profile. You can also automate your Instagram posts to publish on other social media sites, which will subtlely alert your followers that you are active on Instagram.
4. Build your following
Aim to post images and videos that are authentic, unique to your brand, and inspire people to take action. Use Instagram’s famous filters to enhance the artistry of your posts. Use images and videos that tell interesting stories and attract like-minded people.
Instagram will give you a new line of communication with customers, prospects, and peers. Find, follow, and interact with their accounts to help build your following.
Instagram captions are just as important as the image. Be creative, and feel free to promote your company’s unique hashtags or chime in with other industry hashtags to be a part of the conversation.
5. Build toward advertising
When you’ve found your Instagram voice, consider Instagram as a paid advertising platform for your company.
Instagram ads feel incredibly native to the platform. Outside of a small “sponsored” tag, they have the look and feel of every other post in your audience’s feed.
Consider repurposing videos and photos that you already have in your asset inventory to build an Instagram ad around. If you are creating new images for an ad, keep them on-brand and artistically crafted.
Keep an eye out for Instagram ads that resonate with you and learn from them. Remember, ads should have a specific purpose, whether that is to increase your following, raise brand awareness, or steer traffic to your website. Include a call-to-action that is aligned with that goal.
6. A few Instagram don’ts …
- Don’t include specific time elements on your posts. You never know when someone will be seeing it.
- Don’t post copyrighted material or material you don’t have a right to share.
- Don’t post images and videos that are inappropriate for young audiences.
- Don’t misappropriate hashtags.
Getting started on Instagram will give your business a new visual and artistic outlet to tell your story. Follow these steps to a successful start!
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company specializing in marketing strategy, social media marketing, and building beautiful, optimized, and mobile responsive websites. We work with clients in Vermont and throughout the United States.