How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Business
No social media strategy is complete without an effective Instagram page. Whether you’re promoting your product, service, brand, or creative content, Instagram, when used correctly, yields a high conversion rate and brings an active stream of users to your website and business.
The key thing here is “when used correctly” – it’s easy to create an Instagram page that goes nowhere, wasting your company’s time and resources. With so much content, Instagram is a competitive place to sell yourself, unless you know what you’re doing. Luckily, we do. Follow these five steps to crafting an Instagram presence, and you’ll learn why Insta is key to your company’s success.
Create a strategy
You need to have a game plan in place before you start posting to your Instagram. This plan needs to take a couple of different factors into account.
First of all, you need to know who your target audience is. What demographics do they likely fall under? Consider things like age group, gender, profession, education, and any other relevant factors that could influence the content you post and the needs your business meets.
Once you’ve got an idea of your target audience, keep this audience in mind for all the content you produce. Then you need to think about what your posts are actually accomplishing. Are you trying to sell a product? Increase web traffic? Create awareness? Your posts should all redirect towards whatever your goal is.?
Finally, keep in mind the necessity of aesthetics. An Instagram account that uses great design, with strong typography, an effective color scheme, and great photos will always garner more interest.
Engage your audience
Social media allows businesses to interact with their customers instantly, publicly, in real time. Use this to your advantage! Accounts that are active with their followers generate more interest, convert more customers, and create a stronger brand and brand identity. You can engage your audience by:
– Liking and commenting on your followers’ posts
– Liking and commenting on posts from potential followers (think: target audience)
– Responding quickly to comments, mentions, Instagram stories, etc.
– Asking open ended questions that your followers can respond to, and participate in discussion
– Showcasing loyal followers to your story
Use Instagram’s algorithms to your advantage
Instagram’s algorithms have created a lot of confusion – they change a lot, they’re tricky to navigate, and they’re notoriously complicated. While that makes it a bit harder to create a successful page, it also makes it easier to get ahead of the competition.
The algorithm has three main components:
– Relationships: the content someone sees is based on their relationships, not chronology, so accounts that they interact with more will show up at the top of their feed. This is why engaging your audience is so essential, because it ranks you higher whenever your followers scroll through the app.
– Interest: Instagram prioritizes content based on how much a viewer will potentially like the post. You are more likely to show up on the explore page of new customers if your content is targeted to specific demographics, so not only does strategic content engage your followers, it also brings in new ones.
– Timeliness: Instagram shows users the most recent content first, so post when your audience is online, and post regularly. The more timely posts, the more engagement and interest, yielding more conversions and new follows.
Use Instagram Insights
How do you know when the best posting time is? And is my content engaging my audience? This brings us to the next, and possibly most important feature, of Instagram: insights. All business accounts have free access to data from the previous week, broken up into three key aspects of social media analytics:
– Activity: how many people saw your content? Where did they see it? How frequently did they interact with it? This helps you know if your content is working for your audience, or if you need to refine your strategy.
– Content: similarly, you can view data on your posts, stories, and ads, looking at the analytics post by post to identify what’s best engaging your audience.
– Audience: where does your audience live? When are they online? What’s their average age range and gender breakdown? This helps you know if you’re targeting the right audience, who’s actually interested in your company, and if you need to further refine your content.
Other tips & tricks
Instagram has several other notable features that helps you get in more searches and show up on more user feeds.
– Location tags: you can place a location at the top of your posts, and users who search for posts under that location will see you on their feed.
– Tag relevant users: you can tag people your photos themselves, and this will put your post under their “tagged” section.
– Use relevant hashtags. This is another way to place your post in additional search feeds, just don’t overload your post with hashtags, because that could annoy your followers more than engage them. There are free hashtag generators, like All Hashtags, that can help you identify tags that will work.
– Ask followers to tag friends. Whether you’re running a giveaway or posting a funny meme, encouraging followers to tag their friends will likely get more people from similar demographics to view your content.
A word of caution: try not to use all of these tricks all the time. Bombarding your followers with tags, locations, and Instagram users will distract from the content you’re pushing, reducing the effectiveness of your account and turning potential customers away.
Looking for more help with running your Instagram page? Not sure how to optimize your content? We can help! Summit Collaborations has the knowhow on all things social media marketing. Read more about all of our services here, or schedule a call with our CEO Ashlee to improve your Insta presence today.