Originally created as a platform for people to share photos of their personal lives, Instagram has grown into one of the top social media platforms and the go-to network for influencers, bloggers and businesses, with more than one billion active users each month.
Used strategically and creatively, Instagram helps businesses connect with new and existing target audiences as well as with consumers on a more personal level.
As a PR and communications agency specialising in raising brand awareness and getting businesses noticed for the right reasons, we understand how to best engage your audience on social media and to create a loyal and engaged online community.
In this blog, we provide insight on how to make the most of Instagram for your business.
Capture your audience
The reason businesses have been flocking to Instagram since its inception is because they realised that not only were existing customers using the platform, but there were untapped markets and target audiences that could be reached.
But what’s the best way to interact with these audiences?
To start, ask yourself: who do I want to reach? Once you’ve answered this, research this audience and see what sort of content they’re engaging with – who are they ‘following’, what are they ‘liking’, what are they talking about?
Use this knowledge to help craft your posts.
Opposed to a more formal social media platform like LinkedIn, Instagram allows businesses to interact with customers on a more personal level thanks to the heavy emphasis on visuals which allows brands’ personalities to shine through.
As the saying goes, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, so what makes a good photo is subjective; however, it’s safe to say you want to consider factors such as lighting, angle and clarity. For starters, make sure your photo is in focus and isn’t blurry, and crop out any unwanted details that may take attention away from the main image.
Another factor to consider is colour. Colours have emotional connections and connotations, and many of the most successful Instagram users theme their posts with colours, subtly linking all photos posted to their grid to create a streamlined, cohesive look.
By incorporating this strategy into your content creation, audiences will begin to associate colours and themes with your brand identity – just think of Tiffany & Co’s association with light blue.
Although photos are the main attraction on Instagram, captions are equally important as they allow you to get key messages across and also help users find your post.
Your captions should be succinct so users can see the most important information without having to click ‘more’. Try crafting multiple captions before settling on the perfect one and don’t be afraid to use puns or incorporate humour into your posts as these tend to do especially well on Instagram.
If you’re trying to get noticed by new audiences, you should be using relevant hashtags so your targets can find you in their feed. For example, if you’re targeting people looking for new homes in London, you’ll want to use #newhomes #London. If you’re launching a book, try tagging #bookstagram and other related book hashtags.
To keep posts streamlined as previously mentioned, it’s best to use an organised approach for hashtags. Don’t just use 10 hashtags at the front of your caption – try to limit the number of hashtags you’re using if possible, as overusing hashtags or misplacing them can make your post appear as spam. If you want to use more than three of four, be sure to separate these from the main caption by using multiple full stops as paragraph breaks or by placing all hashtags in a comment on your own post.
Simply put, the more social media platforms you actively use the more likely your business is to be noticed. Instagram is a powerful tool; it can act as a portfolio to get your brand out there and help users discover what you do and the services you provide.
Using these tips can help your business stand out on Instagram, but if you want help getting started, improving your existing platforms or would like your platforms fully managed to utilise the opportunities they present for your business, we can help.