Instagram is one of the most used social media platform in the world with over 1 billion monthly active users as of June 2018. Instagram is a photo sharing social network that allows users to edit, share photos as well as videos.
Iconosquare’s study of Instagram in 2015 shows that 70% of Instagram users usually look up a brand on the platform while 62% of users follow a brand because they like it.
How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Business
- Create an Instagram Business Account
- Know your target audience
- Post regularly
- Grow and Engage with your audience
Create an Instagram Business Account
First things first, before you can grow your business with Instagram you need to create an Instagram business account. This account has to be different from your personal account, Keep in mind that with your Instagram business account, you will be marketing to the target audience and not yourself so selfies about yourself and trip to different parts of the world won’t be needed.
You also need to optimize your business page, if you have a website you should include a link to your site on your business page to boost traffic to your site and increase backlink. This link should be added to your bio. You also need to be persistent, steady and recognizable with your name and photo.
Including an informative, alluring, amusing and refreshing bio content Keep your bio light and interesting and avoid using a salesy tone. You can always change some information in your bio to publish your latest campaign.
Create a bio that is appealing to the IG community and reflects your products. Be clear about your brand and craft content your customers love.
Instagram only allows 150 characters in the bio section this means you don’t have the chance of using plenty of words but the few you are going to use should do a lot of weight lifting. Confused about how you this is going to be possible? Use Emoji, Add hashtags, use your brand voice it’s not your personal account.
Also, take advantage of Instagram’s business profile features, include your contact information like your email, phone number, address. Fill out the category section by letting people see at a glimpse what you do. Add your Call-To-Action buttons so customers can buy, make reservations and more right there on your Instagram profile.
Know your target audience
Before you decide what kind of content to post, you should put yourself in the potential customer’s shoe and ask yourself what you’d like to see. Instagram has a lot of active users that’s why you need to define your target audience that is exclusive to your brand. Put in some serious work into your competitors to study what makes them unique and what makes their customers loyal to their brand. After understanding your target audience and what they will like to see, now it’s time to set goals and objectives because it’s important to know what you want to achieve, you can use the SMART framework which means
There are four stages in every customer’s relationship journey with a brand which are Awareness, Engagement, Conversion, and Customer. And they can be measured with
Awareness can be measured with the follower growth rate, post reach
Engagement can be measured with a number of likes, comments, shares
Conversion can be measured with the number of people that actually bought your product
Customer: this is based on customers views like testimonials.
As soon as you start building your followers on Instagram, they will want to see beautiful content from you regularly. You should keep them engaged with your brand without turning them off to the point that they back out or give up on your brand.
You will need to run some test to determine the best time for you to post because the key factor is to know when your target audience is online. Instagram Insights can always show when your audience is online.
To access this information, click the three bars in the top right of your business profile. Then click insights click on the Audience tab and scroll down to see active times.
When you’ve determined the best time to post for your target audience, create a content calendar to plan and schedule your Instagram content in advance to make your work easier. And while you are thinking of post regularly, something at the back of your mind should also consider sharing great content. Instagram is all about visuals so it’s important that you post great visuals.
First, you will need to showcase your products in your post. When you want to post, decide on a consistent filter, colours to help your fans easily spot your post while scrolling through their feed. Take stunning photos, use natural light, avoid harsh unnecessary lights, and take pictures from different angles. Edit your photos like a pro, remember it’s a business account and not your personal account. Tell awesome stories of your brand and products with the Instagram stories and end your stories with a strong call to action. Posting great stories will get your viewers in the habit of watching your stories consistently. Because Instagram is mainly visual doesn’t mean you should neglect your caption. Captions can bring a form of connection to your brand with your audience
Grow and Engage with your audience
Even if you are posting fantastic images, you still need to come up with a great strategy to get more people to start following and seeing you because more followers mean more potential customers. One of the many ways to grow your followers is to use hashtags to broaden your discoverability. Using hashtags to increase the lifespan of your post because Instagram feeds change fast and your post can get buried quickly. To get hashtags, you can,
- Research popular and trending hashtags
- Use data analysis apps or software like Iconosquare to research popular, trending hashtags
- Use a mix of big hit hashtags
- Create your own unique hashtag
- Use at least 5 hashtags on each post
- Work with Instagram Ambassadors and Influencers in your industry. It has been discovered that 78% of customers make purchases influenced by a brand social media
- Respond to comments and mentions
- Publicize your account on other channels
- Run an Instagram Specific campaign
Engaging with your audience as they grow is very important as it makes them feel important. You can reach a lot of young audience on Instagram if you are equipped with the right information. Branding is very easy on Instagram that’s why a lot of brands take their Instagram business account serious. Engagement rates on Instagram 15 times higher than Facebook and 20 higher than Twitter.
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