The popularity of Instagram has exploded since its launch in 2010, with more than 800 million monthly active users and more than 500 million daily active users. Over a third of users have made an online purchase through the app – making it one of the best platforms for businesses to attract new customers. Due to the sheer volume of potential customers, an Instagram account is now an essential part of any business’s online presence. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your account.
Encourage Followers to Promote Your Business
A great way to keep your followers engaged is to ask them to post their own images about your product or service. An excellent example of this is the Swiss watchmaker SEVENFRIDAY, who asked their followers to post photos of themselves wearing SEVENFRIDAY watches, resulting in a steady stream of unique – and free – marketing images.
Keep an Eye on Instagram Insights
Instagram Insights provides valuable data on who is following you and interacting with your account. Use it to find out how many times a piece of content has been viewed, how often your followers are on Instagram, how many times the link in your business profile has been clicked and how many times your posts have been saved. Insights also gives you demographic information about where your followers are from, their age, gender and other key details.
Holding contests is a fun way to interact with your audience. The nature of your business is likely to determine the kind of competition that will work for you, but if you’re stuck for an idea, a search for the funniest caption for an image is a good bet. Don’t forget to make the prize something related to your business – an excellent opportunity to draw attention to what you have to offer.
Use Branded Hashtags
If you’re holding a contest or asking your followers to post images related to your business, it’s important to use a branded hashtag to connect all your followers’ posts. This could be your brand name, or a more specific name for your campaign. You can then see how many people use the hashtag to assess the success of your campaign.
Include a Call to Action
Including a call to click on a link or make an order can be a bit of a challenge on Instagram, which doesn’t allow you to add links to an image, caption or comments. The simplest way to overcome this hurdle is to tell your followers where they can get more information – the link in your biography (which happens to be the only link you’re allowed on Instagram).
Tell a Story
Don’t forget to use Instagram’s Stories feature. It appears right at the top of a user’s feed, and can include a series of images, rather than just one. The images flow from one to the next, in a slideshow that disappears 24 hours after publication. Instagram Stories is the perfect opportunity for you to show the world the human side of your brand, with a glimpse into the day-to-day running of your business, or something funny that happened in the office.
Learn About Your Target Market on Instagram
Instagram is a powerful tool for improving your understanding of your target market. Pay attention to which of your posts get a positive response, and which other accounts your target customers follow. Then use this information to decide what content to share to get the best results.
Improve Your Ad Targeting on Social Media
Social media platforms can also be used to improve the targeting of your ads. Using tools such as Purpli, you can shorten the URL of a piece of content you want to share. When you post it on your social media page, anyone who clicks on it will be added to a remarketing list you have created. You can then use that list to target them with ads. They have already shown that they’re interested – so they’re far more likely to become customers.