It’s almost a New Year, what are your resolutions for your company? 2017 was full of great changes in the industry. But one of the biggest changes that we are so excited for? Instagram. Wait a minute. Didn’t Instagram come out in 2010? This isn’t a hot new trend. Or is it? Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in history. From December 2016 to April 2017, Instagram gained 100 000 new users – that’s a lot of traffic in less than six months. In the last year we have seen a dramatic shift from Instagram being the sole domain of personal accounts. Instagram for business offers companies the same self-promotion opportunities that are the staple of the current market. By combining curated images, call-to-action content and strategic hashtags, Instagram is the perfect forum for small businesses.
Instagram by Numbers
- 500 million accounts worldwide are active every day
- 80% of accounts follow a business on Instagram
- 300 million accounts use Instagram stories every day
- 37% of people use social media to research services, products and brands before buying an item
- In 2014, 92% of businesses said social media was essential to their organizations
What makes Instagram for Business so great?
Instagram is an amazing tool for posting both curated content with the use of a social media calendar, and for giving followers up-to-the-minute access to company news. There are two major types of content: scheduled content and impromptu content.
With the use of a social media calendar you can schedule routine posts that link to your website, inform users of upcoming sales or just engage with them based on their interests. A strong campaign has a combination of advertising and appeal to your followers as the unique cohort it is. If you care about a specific cause, use Instagram for business to highlight it. If you want to produce inspirational quotes or humorous content – add it into the calendar. This simple tool will free up your time so you don’t need to worry about creating original content every day.
Unless something big happens. Even the best social media manager can’t plan for everything. If there is big industry news or you want to announce a flash sale this is where dynamic, impromptu posting comes in. Consumers expect companies to reach out to them and engage all their senses (especially their sense of community or desire to be kept current.)
Tell your story
Forbes predicted that one of the biggest marketing trends to come this year would be live streaming. Facebook responded with Facebook Live and Instagram responded by adding a live video feature to Instagram Story. Users are now posting temporary content that is made more valuable, because it’s only available for a short time. Now, businesses can use the features of Instagram Story to produce that impromptu content that is key to keeping your finger on the pulse of your followers.
So, you’ve made Instagram for business your goal for 2018.
Where to start?
- Create a user name and bio (include a link to your website or ecommerce store.) You can also use the bio to say in 10 words or less who your company is and what you do.
- Add a profile picture (your company’s logo is your best bet – just make sure it fits into the 100 pixel circle allotted.
- Follow people! Find influencers in your industry, your community and other relevant people. Following is the first type of engagement you’ll want to do. Once you’ve curated an Instagram feed you can begin targeted engagements such as liking, commenting, tagging and mentioning other users. This will drive traffic to your account and boost your ranking in Instagram’s algorithm.
For more information on creating an Instagram account for your business click here.
Of course with any good resolution, you’ll want to set clear goals for what you hope to achieve with you account. These need to be specific and measurable so you can look at your progress as the year goes on. Some great Instagram goals are: drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, establish relationships with influencers, encourage user testimonials, increase product sales, and more.
Thinkbound Marketing Solutions can help you make 2018 the best year for your business. Ask us how you can use Instagram for business to create a brand identity you can grow. Instagram gives you the opportunity to get your brand in front of your customers faster than ever before – make the most of it now, before the social media game changes again.