Instagram for Business – When, Why and How?

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 8.03.27 AMIf you’re over the age of 50, you’re probably not on Instagram. But if your target is under 50 you should consider it for your business. Of the 32% of online adults that use Instagram, 59% are age 18 to 29 and 33% are age 33 to 49, according to the PEW Research Center as of April 2016.

Before you invest your time in yet another social media outlet to keep up with though, two other major considerations include:  1. can you communicate the value of your product or service well visually 2. is it content that’s not too complicated and something that is a quick read on mobile. Instagram is where viewers look to be inspired and intrigued. While you can view your Instagram feed on a desktop, it was created for the mobile world and where it works best.

If your product/service and target are a good match, to make the most of your Instagram presence, follow these 5 basic rules:

1. Post the Right Kind of Images

Instagram Photo ie

Instagram followers expect beautiful images. Many people make the mistake of misusing Instagram by posting infographics or advertisement images. These turn off the viewer, and they are not likely to interact with these images, and worse, unfollow you. To achieve a cohesive style, you could opt to stick to a color pallet, a particular filter or the same lighting for all images. Also, take advantage of additional filter aps like VSCO or Snapseed.

2. Post Regularly

If you sign up for Instagram and neglect your page, then you will not show up in follower’s newsfeeds. If you post too little then you will be losing out on interactions with followers and potential new followers finding your page. On the other hand, it is not wise to post too often or too close together in a small time frame. When followers scroll through and see back-to-back images, they are less likely to engage and even unfollow you to clear up their feed. Posting two times a day is a generally good maximum. To find the optimal posting and timing, test different approaches. Then, measure to see what is working or not. Finally, react to how your viewers are responding to your posts.

3. Engage

Interact with your followers and keep them engaged! Always respond to comments followers make on your post. You can start the conversation by posting a question in the caption of your image. This is a two-way street. Liking and commenting on others posts is also an important way to connect. Follow users you think are your target audience or part of your industry niche. They will be likely to follow you back, starting the connection.

1-17 GeoTagging4. Use Geo-Targeting

If your business is a location, create a geo tag so that users can tag their photos to your business. This will promote your business, letting their followers know where it was taken. These pictures will also appear when your location’s geo tag is searched. You should also geo tag photos you post to the location you take them. When others search that geo tag, they will see your image and may then click through to your Instagram page, and possibly convert to followers.

5. Use Hashtags

Hashtags are an organic way to show up in viewers searches. While using top trending hashtags will get you some views, it is not always the best practice to reach your target audience. Instead see what hashtags your audience and businesses in your industry are using. You should also create a hashtag specific to your business, whether it is simply your business name or something more creative you come up with. Ask users to use this hashtag when posting images connected with your business.