Starting Your Business on Instagram – Where to Start
A picture is worth a thousand words – and the success of social media platforms such as Instagram is a living proof of this. And it’s not the best way to engage for individuals only; it is proving to be one of the best choices for businesses too.
If you are yet to use Instagram for your business, it is high time you take the step. Why? Simple – your customers are out there. And so are your competitors. And if you want to engage the former and outbid the latter, you need to be there too.
But where do you start? Let’s try to make it easier for you.
Step 1: Create your account the right way
Use your email or Facebook account to sign up with Instagram. Choose the same username as your other social media accounts and add the logo, details and website URL. This will help in branding your business.
Next, connect your Instagram account with your other social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare and Tumblr. This will ensure that you can share content simultaneously on all channels.
Step 2: Vary your content to make it attractive
You can post images and videos (up to 15 seconds long) here. But don’t stick to pictures of your products and services only. Take a cue from the businesses that do it right.
Vogue gave a sneak peek into the day of an editor. It offered a glimpse of the human side of this top fashion magazine. Post images of your office, or your team involved in a task, an event you attended, a teaser of an upcoming product, and so on to keep things interesting.
Step 3: Focus on the use of hashtags
You cannot ignore the importance of this if you wish to be successful on Instagram. Whether it’s your industry, your expertise or your location, you need to keep it relevant though.
Do it right and you will be able to attract attention from the right audience. Contiki Tours requests travelers to add #contiki to their images. They track and re-gram these images. This simple step ensures that the business gains more from this platform.
Step 4: Learn how to engage
It can be a delicious image with a question – such as Ben & Jerry’s “Did we leave anything out?” or a dare – such as Lancôme’s #bareselfie campaign. You have to experiment to identify what works for your brand and its audience.
Also, keep track of what works well at which times. While a simple image may have best results during the low hours, a question or contest may work best at the peak times. Again, experimenting is the best way of finding this out.
Step 5: Monitor your Instagram analytics
You cannot assess the success of your efforts unless you keep track of the metrics. How do you do it? Well, you need to use analytics tools such as BlitzMetrics or Curalate for this purpose.
You have to pay for the services, but it’s worth it if you take social media marketing for your business seriously. And not only do they help you track data; they also help with Instagram management, generate revenue from ads, and so on.
It’s possible to achieve success on Instagram; but you will need a plan for it.
Decide what you want to post, when you want to post, and how you want to engage your audience. Start on it as soon as you have planned out these details. And go on experimenting with ideas to identify which steps contribute to its success.