Making Your Business Picture Perfect –
How Instagram Can Benefit Your Business
In 2010 the smartphone in everyone’s pocket became a camera with the introduction of Instagram. A smartphones primary function became taking pictures to document your life, rather than making quick or emergency phone calls. What started out as the introduction to selfies and the duck face has become a crucial way for consumers to find products, and for businesses to promote goods.
Instagram is a mobile photo and video-sharing social network that allows its users to communicate through visuals. Users can apply editing filters to their images and videos, create Instagram Live videos for real-time updates, and upload Instagram Stories for their followers to view, with each story expiring within 24 hours.
of Instagrammers follow a business on Instagram
of people say they discover new products on Instagram
advertisers use Instagram to share their stories and drive business results
What You’re Doing Wrong
You don’t have consistent or related images
You’re posting the same content over and over again
You’re not responding to comments
You’re not using hashtags
You’re posting poor quality images
You’re not thinking about posting times
You’re not engaging with other accounts
How To Use Instagram (Correctly)
Instagram users have different motives; it can be utilized for personal use, professional use, shopping, promotion, blogging, etc. The main difference between a personal and professional Instagram account is how you would create and share content. It is important to remember that a professional/business Instagram account is meant for your target audience, while your personal account is more for you. Similar to other business profiles, your business Instagram account is a way to promote your products and engage with your audience. When you sign up for a business account or convert your existing personal account to one, you are granted real-time metrics, insights on your followers, and you can add information about your business to your profile. As a business, you should be posting frequently and consistently to maintain your online presence. Instagram audiences are more likely to engage with a post on Mondays and Thursdays between 8:00am-9:00 am and at 5:00 pm, so keep that in mind when sending out your posts. Customer service is always crucial for business; this means that response time must be quick and answers must be helpful. In fact, 42% of consumers voicing complaints on social media expect a response within 1 hour!
As an extension of your professional account, Instagram can also be seen as a blogging platform. Captions have become a public diary or a lifestyle blog. This idea has forced the new era of #influencers to emerge. It is a simple, easy-to-use platform for blogging that allows people to read a public post that feels private and personal.
We are an extremely visual culture, and Instagram is an app that provides visual stimulation and satisfaction. It is a way of storytelling through images and occasional videos. Knowing how to make good creative is crucial. A brief intro to insta-esthetics is having high-quality images and knowing what your audience considers visually appealing and stimulating. Your images should be recognizable to your brand; therefore, you want to be consistent with the appearance of your images, so your profile has a distinct theme and your images stand out in your audience’s timeline.
How To Drive Engagement
Professionally, social media is used to drive engagement in hopes of customer sales and visits. For your social media profile to be beneficial to your company you need to drive engagement. Driving engagement can be done through hashtags (#). Hashtags on Instagram are similar to those on Twitter; you use hashtags in your caption that relate to the image and the interests of your audience, and then when users search that hashtag your image will appear in the public hashtag page. Captions have become an integral part of Instagram. A clever caption can win you followers and post engagement, so be creative! Like other social media platforms, it is important for your page to engage! The more you engage with other businesses, users, etc. the more your brand will be recognizable and reputable.
Other Helpful Resources
Want more information about this platform focused on self-expression and visual stimulation? Check out Cultivating Your Brand Through Instagram, and Inspiring People Visually With Your Business’ Story.