Having an Instagram business page is so useful within the digital marketing world, particularly with businesses whose target audience includes the younger generation.
So, you’ve created a basic business page. Now, you need to learn how to make yours the best it can possibly be and add some meat to the foundations you’ve started. Within this blog, you should learn how to optimise your Instagram page to gain more of those precious followers. You could even say that your goal might be to be more like Selena…
Fun Fact: The most followed person on Instagram is Selena Gomez – She has 132.51 million followers! Isn’t that crazy?!
Content to put on Instagram
Instagram is an online social media page based around uploading pictures and videos instead of text. It’s almost completely reliant on visuals. So, your pictures and videos need to be good.
Pictures and videos
The main feature of Instagram is the easy-to-use photo and video editing software. But, before you start to edit, you need good quality photos and videos. Keeping your uploads of a good quality makes your page look more professional and legitimate. Having uploads that are poor quality would be an instant turn-off for people viewing your page; it looks unprofessional and sloppy. This doesn’t mean you need to buy a top-of-the-range £5000 camera. Using a simple, good quality camera is great. As long as your pictures look good, it really doesn’t matter.
Your uploads can be of anything related to your business. Some ideas can include pictures of the product/services you offer, your business lifestyle itself or you and your team. It’s completely up to you. Be creative!
Although, one thing to keep in mind when uploading pictures and videos is don’t go crazy with editing them. If they are overly edited, they look a bit stupid. Here’s an example;
This is the first picture, with a little editing. Looks good right? I’d ‘like’ that photo.
Here’s the second that I have overly edited. Clearly, this looks ridiculous. Nobody wants to drink coffee that looks like lava. The first picture looks so much clearer and more aesthetically pleasing – which is what you want!
Quick Tip: Your Instagram public profile picture should too relate to your business. The business logo is a great image to use.
You’ve got your quality picture or video. Now you need to get in a few extras to improve the findability of your beautifully crafted media. First of all, your upload needs a caption.
The caption will give your image/video context and helps to explain what it’s about. Make your caption fun and engaging, a dull caption will probably cause users to scroll past your post. Say your upload is a picture of your product (let’s pretend it’s a type of cheese). Rather than having a caption being something monotone like ‘here is my cheese product’ you could have something like ‘Say CHEESE!’.
Cheesy, I know…
Using hashtags in your upload’s caption is something you want to be doing regularly. Adding relevant hashtags to your caption links your upload with every other upload Instagram has with that same hashtag. Meaning, if someone searched the tag ‘#Cheese’, your upload would come up even though the user isn’t following you. Hashtags are an absolute necessity for helping to improve the findability of your page. Here’s an example from the BAK Digital Instagram page using 7 different hashtags in its upload caption;
When uploading to your Instagram page, you need to make sure you are consistent. Having a running theme throughout your page ties it all together well and gives it structure. Your should find that your theme will be centred around the products/services which your business offers. Although the majority of your content should be showcasing what it is that you do and what makes your brand special, you still need to remember to mix it up. For example, have some posts about your audience’s interest or little personal touches from you and your employees. People enjoy and engage with relatable content!
Another branch of consistency is also how often you’re posting. According to a study by Simply Measured, 73% of brands post at least one photo or video per week. That means their pages will be constantly updated with new content. If you want your Instagram page to beat the competition and gain followers, this should be a priority.
Quick Tip: A recent poll found that the best time to post your content is between 7-9pm. That’s when posts are getting the most engagement from users. You should post between this time. Similarly, the poll also found that the worst time for engagement is 3-4pm. Avoid 3-4pm!
With consistency, there comes a ‘but’. Something called ‘blanket posting’. Be consistent, but not too consistent. You don’t want to be posting the same thing, not only on your Instagram page, but on other social media pages too. If you have the same uploads on every social media site, this makes your content become boring. Plus, it takes away the uniqueness of each site. What would be the point in having a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest if their content is word-for-word or picture-to-picture the same?
If there is something that needs the same information on every platform, like an event or competition, to make the posts differ you could change features like the graphics and presentation. Some sites like Facebook and Twitter could have more information than others as they are more text heavy.
Share the love
Instagram is huge. There are 200 million active members. This means, there are a LOT of pages out there. To kick start your Instagram business page, I would advise following others first. Follow other pages like inspirational figures or successful brands and companies you can learn from. This shows people that your page exists, and what it’s about.
Since there’s so much on Instagram, why not share the love? ‘Like’ and share other page’s content; this not only spreads awareness of your own but puts your page in a positive light. People appreciate shares and likes. This could encourage them to follow you and engage with your posts too. Join in with any discussions you find relevant to your page as well, it helps get you noticed.
Once you’ve gained a few followers, respond back to any comments on your uploads. Even if it’s just a ‘thank you’. Simply ignoring comments comes across as rude and could cause followers to lose interest in your page and click the dreaded ‘unfollow’ button. No one likes that.
Having a positive, healthy social media presence is great for your business.
Follow the trends
Social media is all about trends, Instagram especially. To keep your content relevant, and to get more views on your uploads, you want to be following trends. These can include holiday trends (i.e. Christmas, New Year, Halloween, Easter etc), trends in the news and local events. Having your content relating to a trend gives your page a higher chance of getting viewed and gaining followers. Bringing back those hashtags, they are a great use of linking to trends as there are usually specific hashtags relating to them (i.e. #Christmas).
When keeping up with the trends, you need to be careful. Steer clear of relating your uploads to any tragic or controversial news. It’s not worth causing viewers any upset or grief and damaging your business’ reputation by using touchy subjects.
It’s not all pictures
Like I said before, Instagram is mostly pictures and videos. Mostly. There are other features your business page can use.
If you’re wishing to speak with a follower personally, there is a Direct Messaging feature. This message will appear as a message request in their account and if accepted, you can have conversations. You can also include links into your Direct Messages (DM’s, if you want to be down with the kids) to your other web pages you have.
There is a feature that lets you record and upload live videos to Instagram. This is called Instagram Live. Reasons you would use this could include;
- Answering Q&A’s (Questions and Answers)
- Launches and announcements of your product
- Behind the scenes sneak peeks
- Interviews and collaborations with other companies
Not only is this feature a great way of making your page a bit more fun and stand out, but it also lets you see how many people are viewing your video. If your live videos get a lot of views, you know to keep doing them.
Instagram Stories is a popular aspect of Instagram too. It doubled its audience from 150 million daily users in January last year to over 300 million by November. Stories is where you can upload little snippets of images or videos all in one place, which stay there for 24 hours.
Bear in mind that these features would be more useful more business pages with a larger following.
To finish with
I’ll end this post with my last two pieces of advice for Instagram. Stick with it, everyone has to start somewhere, and analyse your success to see how well you’re doing. Social media accounts take time, you just need to be patient and work at it. Hopefully this post has given you some pointers direction, and given you the know-how to go back and make your Instagram business page so much better!