The phenomenon that is Instagram has erupted in popularity following its launch in 2010. The image sharing app attracts millions of users daily and is one of the most popular social networks worldwide. People use Instagram to share photos of their day to day life (friends, family, food, cat pictures…) but it can also be an effective social media platform for businesses to utilise. So if you’re a business owner or work for an organisation interested in expanding their digital reach, take a look at these 4 reasons on how Instagram can work for you.
Expand Your Reach – Instagram provides you with the opportunity to gain a larger reach and following for free! Some people tend to favour Instagram over other social media platforms, because of its easy usability and focus on pictures rather than words, which some people prefer over a wordy Facebook post. Instagram is simple and fast to use, you can take a picture and upload it almost instantly. Using hashtags on your posts creates the potential for increased visibility, you never know your post may go viral! Instagram also allows you to directly target millennials as they make up over 50% of Instagram users. Join in on the weekly Instagram trends such as #TBT (throwback Thursday) to join in the larger Instagram community whilst giving your brand personality at the same time! All of your posts don’t have to be business focused, find a balance between fun and professional images to expand your audience.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – Cliché but true in Instagram’s case! Part of Instagram’s success is down to the fact that people love posting and having a nosy at other people’s pictures! We are living fast paced lifestyles and are becoming less interested in reading posts long in text and now prefer scrolling though visual content such as Instagram and Snapchat. You can take an ordinary picture or video and turn it into an extraordinary one, with endless filters and editing tools anything is possible! Be creative, create images that will interest your audience and stop them from scrolling through their timeline and take an extra look at your post! Capture an image you feel you will give your brand personality, this will give you a friendly image whilst giving your audience an insight into your business. Through careful selection of images you can visually story tell much easier and quicker than other social media platforms. However Instagram etiquette states any more than three posts a day is too many! So try to not overload your audience with streams of daily photos.
Targeted Approach – Before posting make sure you are aware of who you’re targeting, use an image you feel will relate to them the most to avoid people hitting the ‘unfollow’ button. What you write in the caption is also important, try to be brief but informative with added personality. Try to avoid ‘sales’ talk, your followers don’t want to see another obvious self-promotion advert. Be more discrete when promoting your business, write something your audience can relate to and would be interested to read. You can gain high levels of engagement on Instagram, through the ease of ‘liking’ a post to your brand incorporating specific #hashtags creating a community of people on your page. A community of users should be your target audience, achieve this by following influencers and @ them in your posts and using relevant #hashtags, this can also be done on a global scale! It also creates the possibility of your business being ‘found’ from other organisations across the world. Remember to also engage with other people’s photos, like and leave comments on other images. It can be a useful way to network with other businesses and don’t forget to follow other organisations back!
Direct Traffic – First off when creating your account, make sure your audience know exactly who you are, do this by creating an instantly recognisable @name. A user name that’s unreadable to the average person will make it difficult for people to know who you are and could make people think you’re a spam account! Next create a link for your bio, choose one you want to direct most of your traffic to. Make sure to include your business name in the bio along with a brief but clear description of what you do, as this is the first bit people read! Add some personality to this part, make it interesting to read and encourage people to find out more about what you do, influencing people to click on your hyperlink and be directed to your website. As Instagram does not allow you to post hyperlinks on each individual post, ensure you mention in the caption ‘click on the link in the bio’ bringing your audience back to your homepage.