You’re likely already familiar with the social media giant, Instagram. While owned by Facebook, it offers users a different experience. Instagram was made to be an app, rather than a browser-based site, and its design reflects that. It is clean, well-organized, and simple. The focus, of course, is on the images. Instagram champions the “a picture is worth a thousand words” adage by hiding a good portion of the text for a post, making those first few lines essential for capturing a user’s attention.
So how can Instagram help your business grow? One very obvious answer is that it offers one more channel for exposing your business to potential clients (and helps you establish a loyal following of current clients, too). But oh, there is so much more.
Benefits of Instagram
Let’s take a look at what makes Instagram such a social media powerhouse for your business.
- The Facebook-Instagram connection. Let’s say you’ve developed a fantastic ad for Facebook that you know will have an impact. Well, you can share that same ad on Instagram with the click of a button. What’s more, is the connection goes both ways—anything you post on Instagram can also be posted on Facebook. This extends your reach and offers a greater chance for conversion. Yet, keep in mind that not ALL things should be shared. Continue reading for more details on that topic!
- Over 1 billion active users. You heard us right. And over 500 million of those are daily active users (source, Instagram Press). That’s a lot of potential reach.
- Perfect for any-sized business. No matter if you’re a multi-million dollar corporation or a mom-and-pop shop, you have the potential to thrive on Instagram. It doesn’t take a month’s work of revenue to develop a successful campaign. With only a few resources such as an email database, a solid branding message, and a beautiful visual, you have the potential to knock it out of the park and generate a huge success rate.
- Instagram Insights. With a business account, you get access to Instagram Insights which allows you to access detailed data on your audience. You can target niche sectors, discover what posts had the highest impact, and so much more.
- The potential to generate revenue. The “shoppable post” allows businesses to add tags to photos that include a product description, price, and the ability to “shop now.” This takes users directly to your site where they can make a purchase, learn more about you, or contact you.
Tips for a Successful Instagram
Now that you know some of the benefits (yes, there’s more, but for the sake of brevity, let’s move on), you can start enacting your own successful Instagram strategy.
- As mentioned above, not ALL things are shareable between Facebook and Instagram. Instagram accounts thrive on more personal content, not reposted memes or gifs which can have a large impact on Facebook. Authentic, original content is the best way to build your Instagram following.
- Pay attention to your health rating. When you first create an Instagram business account, your health rating is at its peak, but your actions can either keep it level or cause it to drop. It drops when you lose followers, people report your account as spam, you change your username, and other such behaviors. With consistent, high-quality images and messaging, you should stay golden.
- Post at least once a week to remain active and make your brand appear current and relevant. Remember, you can share posts and ads between Facebook and Instagram so it’s really only one post per week for both platforms.
- Make posts interactive. And reply back (or at least react) to comments! Instagram has a 1.6% interaction rate per post. It sounds small, but compare that to other social media giants like Facebook with 0.09% and Twitter at a measly 0.048%, and you more clearly see the value (according to Rival IQ’s 2019 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report).
- Don’t expect overnight success. It takes time to perfectly curate a successful Instagram business account. Start with a three-month or six-month strategy to spark engagement and build your following. Set checkmarks along the way to reevaluate your impact and make changes as necessary.
- Use hashtags effectively. Since people can follow certain hashtags, it’s important to choose relevant words or phrases that people are likely to follow, but don’t overdo it. Posting similar content over and over again is a big Instagram no-no, so mix it up and choose hashtags that work for each individual post. You can use hashtags that influencers in your industry are using, your most loyal clients are using, and even check out what your competitors are using.
- Harness the power of lookalike audiences. A key tool to use, especially when you’re just starting out, is the “lookalike audience” tool which helps your post reach those with similar interests to your current clients.
- Make sure every photo is photo-worthy. You don’t need a fancy camera to take a great picture — your smartphone will do. Yet, to make them really stand out, use filters. Filters can help your photo pop so users stop and look as they’re scrolling through their feed.
Business Account Vs. Personal Account
The main difference between these two accounts is the number of features. Business accounts have loads of useful insights and tools that can help your business thrive. The best part? A business account is free. With a business account, you’ll be able to access Instagram Insights, add a “contact” button to your profile, run paid ads, and maybe even get Instagram-verified. The more followers you have for your account, the more features you’ll be able to access, too, such as the ability to add links to your Instagram stories when you reach 10,000 followers. The real question here is why would you not choose a business account?
How to Set Up Your Instagram Business Account & Connect Your Facebook
It’s pretty easy. Here are the steps.
- To have a business account, you have to start with a personal account.
- After you’ve created a personal account, go to Settings>Account>Switch to Business Account.
- To link your business account with your Facebook page (which we highly recommend you do), go to your Instagram profile, and tap Settings>Account>Linked Accounts>Facebook, and then enter your Facebook login information.
For more tips on setting up your account, visit Instagram’s help center here.
How We Can Help
If you’re interested in bolstering your practice, business, or establishment-of-whatever-sort with Instagram, we can help. Our social media guru, Amanda, who was instrumental in creating this post, knows the ins and outs of Instagram like no other. You know what to do. Get InTouch.
Reviewed by: Mary B. on Nov. 18, 2019