Have you just finished your marketing degree? Do you now find yourself sitting at a desk in an office with no idea how to turn the last 3 years of late nights and too many coffees into a prosperous business Instagram account?
Not long ago I found myself in a similar position. Sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen, with no idea where to begin.
Instagram is one of the more recent ways businesses are interacting with their customer base and involves a perfectly curated feed that aims to engage, educate and excite. Though I have spent many hours mindlessly scrolling through the app, I had little concept of how to use it to succeed in business. With this in mind I felt it time to dive deeper into the mechanics of the platform.
Some key takeaways:
- Instagram provides businesses with all the tools needed to successfully share the business with a wider community (you just have to know how to use it!)
- Setting a business account up well and establishing a presence is vital for success
- Insights allow businesses to more effectively engage with a target audience
Considering these factors and spending some time playing around with the aforementioned tools, it became clear to me quickly how easy it is to be successful with Instagram. If you are however not so well versed in the platform… let me share with you what I learnt.
The set up
When setting up your business Instagram account there are a few key things you should consider to get the most out of the apps features. Firstly, Instagram has two modes, business or personal. The business mode:
- Allows more insights
- Identifies followers and patterns of engagement
- Allows for paid advertising
- Offers extensive promotional tools
An account can be set up in business mode or it can be switched at any time. If you have already set up a business account as a personal account, it is easy to switch modes from your account dashboard. Alternatively, if you are opening a business Instagram account for the first time be sure to select business during set up to allow access to all the business features.
When setting up your account you want it to reflect your business in a way that is simple and easy to access. With this in mind there are 4 main things to consider:
1. Account name
When choosing an account name, you should choose something that is obviously tied to your brand. Ideally the business name. It is best to keep it short and concise as there is a character limit. Consider what words people would use to search for your business. Ultimately, you want it to be as easy as possible for potential customers to find the business.
2. Profile photo
When choosing a profile photo simplicity is best. Using the business logo supports greater brand recognition and makes it easier for customers to identify the business. The more branding components you use during set up, the better. Keep in mind however, that all profile pictures are cropped to a round frame, so make sure your image will not be cropped accordingly.
Your bio is a great place to tell potential followers about your business and grab their attention! Include a short description about the business as well as relevant hashtags. This is also a great place to include your opening hours if this is relevant to your business.
4. Contact information
Instagram business mode accommodates business contact details, including website, email address, phone number and physical address, making it far easier for customers to get in contact with your business.
When initially establishing your business Instagram account, we recommend creating a grid of 9 posts to give customers a feel of who you are. This can be done through engaging visuals and brief compelling captions. A call to action is always great for engagement, as well as including many relevant hashtags and interacting with your online community.
Remember when creating content for your business, consider showcasing your business’ unique identity and tell a story through posts.
An Instagram business mode provides you with an insights feature which is very helpful. You can access insights via individual posts or the business account backend.
Insights information is categorised into the key sections:
- Activity – see what actions followers take from posts
- Content – learn how far your content is reaching and filter content by metric
- Audience – learn more about who your followers are (ie. gender, age, location) and see when your audience is most active on your page
Instagram business offers the ability to pay to promote your posts. Paid posts extend the reach of posts, meaning they are more likely to get to the reach your ideal target audience at the right time. All paid promotions are customisable, with the option to choose the spend and who you want to reach. It also allows the option to draw your customers to three key places, your profile, website or direct messages.
Instagram provides businesses with all the tools needed to build a popular business account and gain better understanding of who your followers are and how best to reach them. Think of it of as a fun way to interact with your customers online and if you are ever unsure, get in contact with Purple Giraffe and we’d be happy to support your business.