Instagram is a competitive social media platform but it is not impossible to gain traction…if you do it right!
With an active audience of 1.16 billion people, it is no shock that Instagram can be an amazing place for businesses to gain followers and traffic.
The potential reach of Instagram is only set to grow and did you know that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business?
It isn’t only businesses marketing to consumers that can benefit though, over 36% of businesses use Instagram when researching new services and products.
Think of this as a cheat sheet to use for your business so that you can get your Instagram strategy up there with the best.
Setting Up An Instagram Account
If you already have an Instagram account, then you may not need this section but before you can set up a strategy, you need an Instagram Business account.
Skip ahead if you have a business account already, or look at step 3 if you already have a personal account.
Step 1: Download the Instagram app
Step 2: Sign Up
Open the app
Tap either Create New Account (iOS) or Sign Up With Email or Phone (Android)
Enter your email/phone number and click Next
Choose your username and password
Fill out your profile information and click Next
Step 3: Switch to a Business Account
Go to your profile and tap the three lines at the top right
Click Settings, then Account
Scroll down and click Switch to professional account
Tap Business and follow the prompts!
Best Instagram Marketing Strategies for 2023
Now that you have your Instagram account set up, it is time to look into how you should be using your account and why.
1: Choose Your Goals
Before you start posting, you need to decide why you are posting. You can’t use your Instagram account effectively until you know what you are trying to do.
Instagram marketing isn’t one size fits all, it can mean different things to different businesses.
Do you want to:
Improve your brand awareness?
Drive traffic to your website?
Get new leads?
Establish brand authority?
You can even use multiple of these goals to build a strategy unique to you. If you are unsure of what your strategy goals are then get in touch now to see how we can help you.
2: Understand Your Audience
Once you decide your goals, you need to understand your audience on Instagram.
In the UK, Instagram statistics show that:
30.36 million people in the UK use Instagram
Instagram reaches 60% of the online population in the UK
25-34 year olds make up the largest user group
76% of 15-25 year olds use Instagram
42.5% of users are male and 57.5% are female
From these statistics, you may want to market towards these demographics however this does not mean you have to.
Whatever audience you want to market to, you need to make sure your content is speaking directly to your audience.
3: Optimise your Profile
The dreaded Instagram bio, with only 150 characters, it can seem impossible to make a good first impression and convey your businesses personality.
Those 150 characters really have their work cut out for them!
However, there is a shining light, you also have some other fields on your profile which allow you to showcase your brand such as:
Name: up to 30 characters
Username: up to 30 characters
Website: a clickable URL
Category: A business feature where you can tell people what your business is about without using precious bio characters
Contact information: A way to show people how to contact you
Make sure that all of these features are being utilised and showcase your brand in the best light. Many people will form opinions about your brand from your social media profiles.
4: Create Content
Instagram is a very visual platform and therefore your posts need to look the part.
You don’t need professional photographs or fancy cameras to take good pictures. Just make sure that they are clear, well-lit and in focus. If you are photographing a product then it needs to be well-composed with a simple backdrop reflecting the product.
If you are using other images such as infographics then make sure that your text is easy to read and not too small, that your colours are cohesive and that they are crisp.
Once you have some amazing images, you need to make suer that they are serving a purpose. You wouldn’t cook a 5* dinner if no one is hungry!
Your images need to tell a story, get people engaged or excite people. You need quality posts to make the most out of your images.
If you are stuck on what content to create then don’t fear! Check out this list of content ideas to get your started:
Share blog content
5: Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to increase your visibility and get your profile found by new users. When you use a hashtag, your post will appear on the page for that hashtag. People can also choose to follow hashtags which means you could shows up on users feeds even if they don’t follow you (yet!)
You are able to use up to 30 hashtags in a post however we would recommend using around 11 per post.
Make sure that your hashtags are relevant to your business and specific to your niche.
6: Use Instagram Stories
Video is quickly becoming a large focus of social media strategies and over half of business use stories.
A third of the most viewed stories on Instagram are posted by businesses!
Stories are a great way to be open and raw with your audience as they disappear after 24 hours. It allows you to post whatever content you want without it clogging up your social media profile.
There are a few uses for stories which we think all businesses should make use of:
Show behind-the-scenes clips of people at work
Link out to your website or useful resources
Tell a story
Talk to other people
Let’s Summarise Instagram Marketing
In your social media strategy, you should:
Use a business account
Choose your goals
Understand your audience
Optimise your profile
Create valuable content
And use Instagram stories
Do you need help creating an Instagram marketing strategy for your business? Get in touch now to see how we can help your business to flourish on Instagram.
Social media has come to the forefront of most business’ marketing strategies, but does that mean that everyone knows how to use it? Spoiler alert…it doesn’t!!
As a business owner you obviously want to cash in on this gold mine, but if you don’t know how to do it properly you can do more harm than good!
Did you know that 54% of internet users use social media to research products?
Well, you want to make the most of that, right? To make the most of social media you need to draw in new customers and ensure that your current customers stay interested.
Providing the right content to engage both old and new customers is vital to growing your social media presence.
Here are a few simple dos and don’ts for you to follow to get you started with your social media marketing.
The DOs of social media
DO Use the Right Platforms for Your Business, Not All of Them
Don’t get on every social media site ‘just cuz’, you don’t need to be active on every single platform.
Look at your business, your products, and your intended customers to find out which platforms are right for you, and more importantly which are right for them.
You don’t want to be wasting your valuable time on the wrong social media, do you?
DO Post Regularly AND Create a Posting Schedule
WARNING! This may BLOW your mind! Did you know that you can schedule your social media posts?!
Long gone are the days of painstakingly posting every day manually, using a scheduling tool enables you to schedule posts weeks in advance! This may be a revelation to business owners trying to do it all.
Managing and creating a schedule for posting will benefit both you as the business owner running a social media page AND for your followers who want consistency, but not an overload of content.
DO engage with others AND encourage engagement
Engagement is a two-way street, businesses should be making efforts to engage with followers and other companies whenever the opportunity arises.
Engaging on your socials demonstrates involvement and personability in the social media community. But remember…MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO ENGAGE WITH YOUR CONTENT!
Put up some polls or fun quizzes on your Instagram stories or Twitter. This is also beneficial for gaining feedback from your followers. Or throw a social media giveaway contest for those who post the best photo using your product!
As a bonus, this can help your customers to feel valued and recognised…everyone likes to feel important, don’t they?
DO Use Video Whenever Possible
In a recent ‘Instagram LIVE‘, Head of InstagramAdam Mosseri shared that video is “driving an immense amount of growth online for all major platforms” and stated that video will be a key focus area for Instagram over the coming months.
The key takeaway from this is that if you want to grow online, YOU NEED TO START POSTING VIDEO CONTENT.
The same goes for other social media platforms. What do you see as soon as you log in to any social media platform? We’ll guess that it’s a video. This is because video content typically performs BEST with most algorithms, based on the fact it captures a viewer’s attention for longer.
Videos are growing in popularity across all channels, and it’s a fact that they get more exposure and engagement than other forms of content. We suggest that you use video wherever possible.
DO keep your branding consistent
Make sure you maintain brand consistency across all your social media channels, including logos, names and colours, to ensure your customers always know it’s you no matter where they are.
DO analyse and track activity
Social media analytics will help identify the posts that generate the most interactions. By studying posts, you can optimise your content, try to emulate the results, or even adjust them to improve the results. Cool right?!
There are multiple tools that can be used by your business to monitor your activity, but you can also use the built-in analytics tools on the individual platforms.
So now, here are some of the main areas to avoid…
The DONT’s of Social Media
DON’T fall for trolls
It’s easy to fall victim to rude or patronizing comments, but it is not worth jeopardising your business’s reputation. Keep your personal and business thoughts and ideas separate.
Treat a social media user as you would an upset customer in your business, give them excellent customer service and offer ways to resolve their issues.
Click here to learn about how our own Andrea Warner deals with trolls and negative comments.
DON’T forget to do a spelling and grammar check
When promoting your business online, brand perception is everything. You don’t want a customer’s first impression of your business to be tainted because of improper grammar and spelling.
To avoid this, re-read and edit your posts before you send them out. Even better, get a trusted colleague to proof-read posts, two sets of eyes are better than one!
If you are still on the fence about something, there are many different free online grammar and spelling checks like Grammarly for you to use to fine-tune those posts.
DON’T overdo it
Posting too often on your business social profiles can be just as harmful as not posting often enough.
According to research by Sprout Social, 46% of social media users will unfollow a brand for posting too many promotional messages on their profiles, which means you need to restrict your output or risk losing customers (by promotional we mean selling yourself rather than just creating engaging content for your target customer).
Some of the best posts from companies are informative and fun rather than promoting a product, everyone has oodles of personality…use it for good!
DON’T get hung up on numbers
And finally, you should never get too fixated on numbers when it comes to your business social media profiles.
Business owners tend to lose sleep over not having as many Facebook fans or Twitter followers as they’d like but, while these metrics are certainly important, they’re not the be-all and end-all.
This is where quality over quantity really comes into play. You could have 10,000 followers, but if half are spam accounts, then your messages will be falling on deaf ears.
Often the real value is found in the amount of engagement you’re receiving, and the type of people you’re receiving it from. These are the things that can make you the real money, so pay more attention to these instead.
Want to up your social media game but aren’t sure where to start?