Instagram for business: A guide for beginners
If your business isn’t on Instagram these days, you’d better start today. If you sell any kind of product, if you own a shop or if you want people to recognize your brand, it’s time to get an account on the ‘Gram’. The social network is too popular to ignore. It’s in the hands of your buyers – via their phones – wherever they go.
We’ve compiled some practical tips to get you started on Instagram like a pro.
Set goals and objectives
Before you can decide what kind of content to post on Instagram, you need to define your target audience and think about who is going to see it. Most Instagram users are under the age of 35, with a fairly close split between male and female users. Check the analytics on your other social media channels to learn who follows you there.
Knowing what you want to accomplish by using Instagram for your business is the first stage in creating an effective Instagram strategy. As you build your Instagram presence, it’s okay to have metrics goals based on likes, follows, and comments. But make sure you also set goals that relate to real business objectives.
What and when to post?
Once you start using Instagram, your audience will expect to see posts from you on a regular basis. You want to keep them aware of your brand and engaged with your content.
What time of the day should you post? Well, there is no right or wrong answer; it varies depending on your industry. If you are in the food and drinks industry, Hootsuite has worked out that your most successful posts will occur around midday. You’ll need to do some testing to determine what times seem to create the most engagement for your posts.
First impression counts!
Instagram is all about visuals and impressions so make sure you optimize your profile picture and even more importantly, don’t neglect your bio. You could for example use emojis and hashtags to stand out. It is also the only spot on Instagram where you can post an organic clickable link, so be sure to include one! Link to your website, your latest blog post, a current campaign, or a special Instagram landing page – don’t waste the opportunity.
Create a visual aesthetic for your brand
Instagram is image-based social media, so it’s important to publish polished visuals. First, think about what you will showcase in your posts. In some cases, the content will be obvious if you sell a product or own a shop but try to also publish behind the scenes posts or showcase some customer stories.
Once you decide on a content theme, go for a consistent visual look. That means consistent colours and filters and an overall aesthetic that is easy to spot as your fans scroll through their Instagram feed.
You will obviously need to take good photos! Your mobile phone is your best friend when it comes to Instagram photography; use natural light, avoid harsh light, try different angles and take a few pictures to pick the right one. Instagram influencers are well known for taking 100s of pictures in order to pick the right one.
That’s it for now, time to put these tips to use and give us a follow!
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