Instagram For Business? 7 Tips To Get It Right!

A tweet can hold 140 characters but a picture is worth a thousand words. These phrases are common knowledge among social media professionals and designers. But if you post a lousy picture then you’re not saying a word! Furthermore, if that picture is on Instagram, why would anyone follow you?

Here are 7 tips that we discovered while working our Instagram account over the last year:

1. Serve up the right hashtags

The most valuable component on Instagram is the almighty hashtag. Spend a little time on the platform itself searching for hashtags for your industry. Learn what’s trending by visiting http://top-hashtags.com/instagram/ and see if there’s a way you can incorporate any one of these into your post. We learned that the hashtag #SEO didn’t display “Search Engine Optimization” results as we were hoping, so we had to switch to #SearchEngineOptimization in order to find the right audience. Bottom line: Do a lot of research before you start using the hashtags.

The right hashtags on Instagram can make all the difference on who gets to see your post

The proper use of hashtags should be used on all networks, but it’s vital on Instagram

2. Grow Your Audience Of Instagram Followers

Success on Instagram will never happen overnight unless you have a celebrity site. Roll up your sleeves and get comfy, because in order to grow an audience you have some work to do. Start by following industry leaders, news sources, and your own vendors, employees, etc. Then, apply what you’ve learned in your hashtag research and start liking and following posts and accounts that go well with your audience. Some companies have a fear of following too many in comparison with who is following them, so they consistently delete the accounts that don’t follow back. The easiest way to do this is by using Iconosquare. You can open up a window of your followers side by side with those you are following to simply search and delete if they don’t follow back.

3. Plan Your Posts

Once or twice a day is more than enough for posting to Instagram. If you feel the need to post more, space them throughout the day. A good posting schedule would be once in the morning and once in the evening.

4. What To Post

If your company sells a product, take photos and upload. If you have nothing tangible—then post tips, quotes, behind the scenes of your company, employees, etc. Spend a little time looking at other companies in your industry then find your posting “voice.” It will take some time. For instance, when we first launched on Instagram we wanted to use our tagline, “stand out from the herd.” However, too many herd pictures and concepts made our company look more like a milk farm than an email marketing company.

standout

One of our earlier posts that looks too much like a milk farm

holygrail

A more recent post using a tip combined with a striking image

 

5. Customize Your Instagram Bio

Your bio holds a lot of weight, especially because it’s the only place you can post a working link. Be sure to fill in your bio completely, use your company logo, display your website address and use hashtags. Make sure you check off the box, “Include your account when recommending similar accounts people might want to follow.” This will help you get found.

6. Cross Promote

Since Facebook and Instagram are joined at the hip, many brands post videos on Instagram, share them on Facebook and then boost the post in order to reach more people.  This succeeds because research shows that photo and video posts do well organically on Facebook.

7. Look In The Toolbox

The easiest way to enhance your posts is to use the multiple filter choices that Instagram offers. Some companies use the same filter and color scheme on all their posts for consistency. Play around a little and see what works for you.

One of our favorite tools is Iconosquare (http://iconosquare.com/viewer.php). When we’re not interacting on the app this is our go-to place on the desktop. You can easily view your feed, search for posts and new followers, etc. Iconosquare has a very good statistics tab. You can get an overview of your activity that goes back seven days.

One of the major frustrations with Instagram is the inability for social media managers to schedule their posts.  This is vital if you have multiple accounts to manage. There are a few 3rd party programs out there that will enable you to schedule. Latergramme (https://www.latergram.me/) and ViralTag (https://www.viraltag.com) are both good.

Let us know what works for you, and if you need further help. And check us on IG @openmoves for more tips in 2016

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