HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Instagram is possibly one of the fastest growing social networks on the planet. It offers a powerful platform for businesses to connect with potential and current customers and other industry experts.

Did you know that with more than 75 million people using the popular smartphone photo sharing app, Instagram, on a daily basis, it is the fastest growing social network on the planet?

Instagram enables its users to take photos and videos to share not only to fellow Instagramers but on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.

Now, while the number of monthly users falls short to that of the likes other social networks, such as Facebook which has more than 1 billion active users, it is Instagram’s percentage of engaged users that sets it above the rest.

An example of this comes from a study conducted by Forrester Research. After posting the same image across the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts of a number of popular consumer brands, the study  found that Instagram had an engagement rate 58 times higher than Facebook and 120 times higher than Twitter.

While those results may shock you, it is the next sentence that will truly astound you.

It all comes down to how the networks are structured.

Instagram keeps things simple to avoid the user experiencing a sensory overload.

There are a number of features that rank Instagram above other social media networks, including:

  • The colour tones. Blue is often considered soothing and calm to the eye. The Instagram colour tones of blue, white and black keep things simple for the user’s eyes.
  • The number of buttons available. Users are given the option to like or comment on a photo, along with searching for users, posting their own photo, reviewing notifications and accessing their profile.
  • The home feed. The fact there is only one photo on the screen at a time presents the opportunity for the account holder to grab the follower’s attention to communicate the message.

 

MY BUSINESS ALREADY HAS A FACEBOOK PAGE, WHY SHOULD I GET INSTRAGRAM?

Instagram offers a powerful platform for businesses, yet there is the common misconception that if the business doesn’t have as physical product to sell, the network isn’t applicable.

Wrong.

The true power of Instagram lies in the ability of the account holder to connect with users.

Unlike Facebook and Pinterest, Instagram doesn’t distinguish between businesses and individual users. All the accounts are the same. The account holder has 150 characters in the profile blurb to explain what their business is.

#HASHTAGS

Hashtags are words, or groups of words, following a # symbol (such as #SmallBusiness and #DigitalStrategy) which help users find photos by grouping them with other photos using the same hashtag. They connect like-minded Instagram users to your content and can also be strategically used to increase the visibility of your posts.
Businesses can not only use existing hashtags but create a brand hashtag specific to your business. This can be a short phrase or even just the name of your business.

8 SIMPLE WAYS TO MEASURE YOUR INSTAGRAM MARKETING SUCCESS

Likes
This is the most obvious metric for your business’s Instagram account. The number of likes on a post can reveal how much your followers enjoyed the content.

Comments
The account holder should monitor the posts that followers comment on – be it tagging another account user or simply offering their thoughts – the posts that attract the comments are the ones an account holder should aim to post more of.

Followers
The more an account holder posts on their Instagram account, the more followers they will steadily get.  Recording your weekly following is a great way to monitor your followers to see if the numbers are rising or falling.

Engagement
Instagram engagement can be measured by working out what percentage of followers engage with your post. This can be done by dividing the number of likes and comments by the number of followers.

Mentions
Users can search for different Instagram hashtags, both industry related and exact-match. These can reveal a lot about what users are saying about your business online.

Photos
At Big Blue Digital, we use a tool called Iconosquare which helps us track the top performing images based on the number of comments and likes. It is important when planning your photos to create a style which ties in with your business’s brand strategy for all marketing content.

Times
Every audience is different and you must think about who you are targeting in your posts. What is your target audience doing? Are they at work? Lunch break? At home? Do they use their phone for work? These, and many more factors must be considered.

Sales
Do your followers on Instagram buy your product or service? If you offer a product or service, make sure you are always pushing it in your posts – link to your sales page through your bio, and tell all your followers every time you post, how to buy what you’re offering. Do keep your offer super-simple!

HOW WE CAN HELP YOU

At Big Blue Digital, we see the importance of measuring success to record and report on numbers that are important to your business goals.
We tend to view platforms like Instagram not so much as a social media, but a social economy – it’s your new marketplace. So get onboard!
Our Client Relationship Managers will be able to take you through the steps of boosting your business’ Instagram, and presence on other platforms, to set you apart from your competitors.

Here at Big Blue Digital, we want to work with you to develop your own Digital Ecosystem to achieve your business goals. We can help you find the numbers that tell the real story of your Social Media Strategy.

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