Photo from Stock That Rocks
There’s no doubt that Instagram is a powerful brand-building tool. Whether you’re selling Acai bowls, posting your daily workouts, or marketing your creative services, Instagram is one of the most important ways you can make an impact on your prospective audience and future clients. With several tools available for businesses (some that you may not even know about), Instagram is practically giving you opportunities to sell your goods or peddle your expertise.
Instagram is one of the most successful apps in the world, with over 500 million active monthly users. Today, its users are more engaged than ever–they’ve shared over 40 billion photos to date and share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day! Plus, they “like” 4.2 billion posts per day. If engagement around your brand is what you’re looking for, Instagram is the place to be!
Now, here are some specific ways Instagram can benefit your business!
You’ll Get More Exposure
From a business viewpoint, exposure is one of the keys to building a brand that people want to be a part of. Industry giants like Lulu Lemon, The Standard Hotel, and ELLE Décor all have one thing in common: lots of exposure. Because Instagram is a visual platform, you should be taking advantage of all of the ways you can show off your goods, services, or company for added exposure. Some ways to increase exposure include:
Using high-performing hashtags: Did you know that posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement? To find hashtags to use, simply type a keyword in Instagram’s Search tool (the magnifying glass), and swipe over to the ‘Tag’ option. Once you type in a hashtag that Instagram recognizes, it auto-populates with other tags that are popular or similar to it. This is a great way to find inspiration for on-brand hashtags to make it easier for people to find you on the Discover page!
Bonus tip– Did you know there’s a way to auto-populate your brand’s hashtags with a simple keyword shortcut? Learn how here!
Tag ‘fan’ accounts: A great way to get seen by your target audience on Instagram is by tagging accounts that tout (i.e. regram) brands. Do a search for accounts that post pictures of something you sell or do and tag them when you post a picture. This way, you’ll be on the top of their mind when they’re looking for new accounts to feature.
Get engaged: Not literally (but if so, congratulations!). Instagram users pay attention to authenticity and engagement, two strategies that are hard to fake. While it may seem like a great idea to generically leave a ‘Great post!’ comment on a picture, it probably won’t get you noticed. Instead, brainstorm some ideas of comments you would want to get on your pictures and spend time everyday responding and engaging with brands and members of your audience in a tailored and authentic way.
It Highlights Company Culture
People love brands that show you the things that they aren’t necessarily supposed to. The quirk, the charm, the inside jokes between employees—it’s a very ‘We’re just like you!’ approach. And it totally works. The reason that audiences love actors that seem relatable or music that just ‘gets’ them is because everyone is looking for that relatability factor. Before you go splaying your company secrets on Instagram, though, there are a few methods of being tactically authentic that you should try:
Take people behind-the-scenes: There is some back and forth in the marketing world about if people really want to see how the sausage is made. Many people love the idea of strategically showing how the magic happens. Whether that’s packing your homemade subscription box, employees lounging on a couch writing articles, or when you bring the dog to the office, these little snapshots help tell the story of your brand and showcase your relatability.
Use the stream of consciousness approach: Have a lot to say but don’t care that it lives for more than 24 hours? Instagram Stories is the perfect outlet for, well, stories about you and your brand! Give a product review, share a touching client story, or host a Q+A with your employees on Instagram Stories and watch the view count tick up, up, and up. A few pointers, though—don’t curse, talk badly about another company or brand, or unveil something you shouldn’t be. Karma is real for marketing, too. Some accounts that we think do a great job of showing company culture through Stories are Colour Pop, Away, and Hootsuite.
Bonus Tip– Did you know you can schedule your Instagram Stories in advance? Find out how here!
It Builds Community
Finally, marrying the exposure and company culture factors is the added benefit of a well-built community. As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. Attract your brand’s flock through strategies that pull together branded hashtags, authentic engagement, behind-the-scenes snaps, fireside chats, and, of course, pretty pictures.
Instagram is the perfect platform for creating an intentionally crafted community, from a hashtag that users can plug in to be mentioned or showcased by your account, to a way for you to give away product or launch a new service to your favorite people first.
It Can Drive Sales
Instagram is so much more than just a place to share pretty pictures–it can drive sales for your biz! With new features like shoppable posts, video ads, and swipe-up links for Stories, you can drive traffic back to your site and turn followers into loyal customers!
Studies show that 60% of Instagram users say they learn about products and services on the platform, and 75% of them take action, such as visiting a website after looking at an Instagram post! With these stats, it’s undeniable that Instagram is working wonders for businesses of all kinds. More and more brands are turning to the app to sell their products and promote themselves, and we think this trend will continue!
Overall, when your business has a strong presence on Instagram, the possibilities are endless!
What are some of your tried and true tips for success on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below! While you’re at it, be sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin’!
The first step in making it big on Instagram is having a great strategy in place! If you’re looking to craft the perfect Insta strategy for your business, sign up for our online class Branding Your Instagram and Perfecting Your Grid! Your brand will be Insta-famous in no time!