Time-Tested Methods of Using Instagram for Business

Any marketer who would reduce Instagram to simply a photo sharing app will be losing out on incredible opportunities that only this social media networking site can offer. Today, this platform has more than a billion active users, and the numbers keep growing, often exceeding expert projections. Compared to Facebook, Instagram users are 10 times more engaged with the content of the brands they follow. What’s more, as much as 70% of users on Instagram are potential buyers because they will have bought something else online. Compare these statistics to this one: almost 70% of all the posts that people and brands publish on Instagram will go unnoticed. This clearly shows that simple posting on the platform will not help your business to grow. While the opportunity to grow using Instagram for business is real, only the marketers willing to think outside the box will find workable ways to stand out. The following are time-tested methods that businesses can use to stand out on Instagram.

Show your Product

Showcasing your products on Instagram is one of the obvious yet important way of using Instagram for business and getting people to learn about them and about your brand. Doing this serves two purposes: firstly, you engage more with your audience, allowing you to get a deeper understanding of their core needs and secondly, you get valuable feedback about your brand.  You can also use Instagram Stories to showcase your product. Instagram Stories creates a platform where you keep your brand alive and active in the minds of your followers.

[Showing a product on Instagram. Doing this serves two purposes: engagement and feedback]

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is the most fun way for brands to connect with their followers. Soon after it was introduced this feature quickly attracted an average of 250 million daily users, with some calling it the direct competitor of Snapchat Stories. Today, Instagram Stories is one of the most efficient ways that you can use to increase your brand awareness. It allows you to directly reach out to your target audience by simply posting a creative narrative, a video or an image on your timeline. The content remains visible to your followers for 24 hours. Therefore, to keep using Stories and attract more and more viewers, you must keep your creative juices running. Other benefits of using Instagram Stories for brands include the following:

  • Your stories will be displayed at the top of your followers’ timelines
  • Instagram Stories makes it easy for you to experiment with different types of content like photos, short videos, GIFs, live videos, etc.
  • You can tag other accounts with Instagram Stories
  • The feature includes other fun additions like face filters, text, and strikers
  • In addition, the availability of Instagram Stories adverts makes it possible for businesses to target new audiences for brand promotions.

Learn how you can make money on Instagram with this resource: The Ultimate Guide on How to Make Money on Instagram 2018 + Infographic

Or use these Crazy Easy Ways to Get Real Followers on Instagram

Use Hashtags

Unlike Facebook that depends on a mutual friend or sharing to discover new content from other people, Instagram uses hashtags (#) to reach new audiences. This is how it works: if for instance I use #health in my post, my post will not only be seen by my followers, but also people who will type #health on their Instagram search bar, regardless of whether they are searching for my post or not.

If you want to get the most with hashtags, be specific. The more specific you are, the more you can attract the right kind of people who are interested in your posts. Set up your company’s main hashtag to make it easier for people to find content are related to your brand. To increase your company’s discoverability, It is advisable to add popular hashtags to your post. A good example is when you post an image then add a hashtag like #tbt. The maximum number of hashtags allowed is 30 per post. However, the best approach is to use fewer hashtags. The following are some of the tools that can help you make the most out of hashtags:

Webstagram – This tool helps you know the trending hashtags at a specific time. You can also use it to find the perfect hashtags to use to increase exposure for your content.

Hashtagify.me– This tool will help track the right hashtag for you. The tool is known to provide comprehensive and high quality hashtag results.

Run Instagram contests

Running contests on your Instagram for business is pretty easy yet it can give you some noteworthy results. Not only will an Instagram contest get you more engagement for your posts, it also has the potential to increase your following as well as brand visibility on the platform. Typically, you just post an image with a unique hashtag, and in the caption area, tell users to like your Instagram account, like the post, and repost the image with the unique hashtag for a chance to win a product giveaway. You also should include in the caption the rules of the contest including eligibility and how you will choose the winner. Some of the most common contest ideas include:

  • Tag Us To Win
  • Like And Tag To Win
  • Comment To Win
  • Type Your Email ID To Win

Instagram contests don’t do very well with Instagram brand accounts that don’t have many followers. Therefore, this tactic will give you the best results after accumulating a significant following.

[Instagram Contests: Typically, you just post an image with a unique hashtag, and in the caption area, tell users to like your Instagram account, like the post, and repost the image with the unique hashtag for a chance to win a product giveaway.]

Network with other pages

When it comes to raising buzz and getting the initial momentum for your brand, networking would be the best catalyst. What networking means is connecting with other accounts in the same field as you. The whole concept includes exchanging engagement. You like, comment and share on each other’s posts. For starters without a large number of followers, you can use this platform to expand your brand awareness. If for example, Company A has 10,000 active followers, and the Company engages with your post, then that means that all their 10,000 active followers could see your post. When it comes to networking with other pages, be sure to engage with companies that have a large active fan base, as your message will be conveyed to a wider audience compared to companies with a smaller fan base.

Influencers

Influencers are trendsetters in different fields or industries who have the power to direct end users to particular products. These people have huge exposure, meaning that collaborating with them will have a big impact on boosting your brand. Knowing and connecting with influencers in your niche is essential as this will make sure your product is displayed to your target consumers. Tools like BuzzSumo have made it easier for brands to locate and find key influencers in any field. Additionally, this tool will help you identify which products are getting your consumer’s attention at any particular time.
When choosing the influencers to collaborate with, make sure you hire influencers who have at least 10,000 followers and get at least 1,000 likes on each post they publish. Remember, the goal is to drive sales by reaching out to as many potential customers as possible.

[Instagram Influencer Chiara Ferragni — New York-based  fashion designer and blogger.]

Offer discounts

Give back to your Instagram community by allowing exclusive deals to your followers.  You can do this by sharing instructions with mouth watering deals like free delivery services, or you can offer a one month free subscription to your services. Another way is to lure them with irresistible discounts that will arouse interest in your brand. For example, if you want to introduce a new product to your consumers, you may offer a discount exclusively to your Instagram followers of say, 50% for the first ten clients who buy the product. Alternatively, you can make the deal interesting by attaching a gift to certain products. Remember to clearly outline the terms and conditions, be honest and hold up your end of the bargain. Not only will this make your followers feel special and appreciated, but it will get them to share the benefits the benefits of following your brand on Instagram with their friends.

[Lure your Instagram followers with irresistible discounts that will arouse their interest in your brand.]

Conclusion

If you are planning to start a business, or if you already have one that is running, social media marketing is key to building a successful audience. Instagram is an easy tool to use to start marketing. If you are only getting started, take heart: you can get started today and quickly pick up the pace. Create a strategy, a schedule, and a timeline. You can review your results every few months to see how well you are working towards transforming your brand through Instagram. Do this for a year or more and see your brand transform from a little known enterprise to a household name in your locality.