Guide to Using Instagram for Business - Part 3 of our How too....series
h2. Business use of Instagram
Instagram is a top site used for promotion of products and services for businesses.
There are currently 8 million registered businesses using Instagram business profiles.
In March 2017, over 120 million Instagrammers visited a website, got directions, called, emailed, or direct messaged to learn about a business based on an Instagram advertisement so it’s definitely worth looking at as a part of your digital marketing strategy. Here are some tips to get you going:
h2. Creating a Business Account on Instagram:
Creating a business account on Instagram should be different to creating a personal account.
A business email address should be used to create an account and you should not sign in with Facebook, as a business should be kept separate to your personal social media accounts.
The username should be easily recognisable, so customers can easily find the brand if they search for it.
The picture should include something easily associated with the brand such as the logo or a product.
Once your account has been created, you can edit your profile to show it is a business by putting the link to your website in the bio on your profile,
and by adding contact details for customers to access also in the bio.
You can link your business Instagram account to the other social media accounts associated with your business easily through the ‘linked accounts’ button.
Here you can link to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and any others.
Photos should generally be posted before you start following people; that way customers will have an incentive to follow the business so they can see what it is posting.
h2. Sponsorship on Instagram
Businesses often link themselves with celebrities or people who have a large following; this can show off their products and gain more customers giving a larger following for the brand.
Many people will listen to people who advertise different brands, and fans of celebrities are likely to want to use the same products or services that their favourite stars will use.
Brands will generally have to pay the people that promote their products, but it varies depending on who the people are they are asking to advertise.
For example Kim Kardashian, on average, gets over £400,000 per sponsored Instagram post – however she has 97.3million followers so that’s probably cost effective advertising assuming your produce or service is something her followers would be interested in!
However less well-known people or celebrities could get anything from just the products sent to them to £5,000. That, by the way, is how a lot of Unboxing Video Channels work as well – the unboxers get to keep the product in lieu of a salary, or only a tiny amount.
Businesses can also promote their business on Instagram by having it come up as an advertisement that everyone who is using Instagram will see.
It’s not cheap, so don’t get it mixed up with Facebook advertising; Instagram asks for £100,000 for this service, however a massive following will see the advertisement due to the 500million users. It can be used to generate a massive amount of publicity and income.
h2. 5 Instagram Tips for Businesses
1. Use a theme for all of your feed. 60% of businesses have a similar filter on each photo or a theme when posting photographs, and when new customers see the business they will associate a certain theme with it.
2. Show what you do in a creative way. Focus on the solution you provide, not the products you sell – that’s the same for any promotion business video really. On Instagram, it’s essential to add value to your customers and look pretty while you do it. Never underestimate the fact that your most important asset (and downfall) on this social media network is visual content.
3. Use your own hashtag. If you use this hashtag when posting photos, customers will associate it with your brand. Encourage customers to use your hashtag when posting about you so if they click on it, it will show the link to everything else relating to your brand, and can generate more publicity.
4. Collaborate and mention others. Instagram is one of the strongest social media channels for highlighting collaborators and sharing customer success stories. Even if you don’t officially partner with a non-profit organization, you can give to charity or do a fundraiser a couple of times a year. It’s all good as long as the cause aligns with your brand values and mission.
5. Follow your followers back. The people you follow on social networking platforms make all the difference in the world, and by following as many as you can makes potential customers feel more involved with the business. You could hold competitions for your followers to get them involved, for example a new online clothing chain ‘prettylittlething’ has recently introduced #minutemob where every time their Instagram account posts a picture, they reward one person who comments #minutemob within the first minute with vouchers, and as a result, their publicity has gone up massively. Food for thought?