Instagram as a rule is one of the harder social media outlets to master for small businesses and businesses in more difficult to market sectors like accounting and legal. But, despite this it’s still worth having a go, or even putting in a bit of effort, to market your business using Instagram anyway, especially if you’re inclined to think outside the box or post interesting content.
At any rate, the site gives your business a great platform to market itself and show off photos of your staff hard at work or some of the things you get done around the office – and with a bit of creativity and savvy people might just find this endearing enough to give you a follow. It’s important to note that as of January 2020, Instagram has reached over a billion users – so without an account you may be limiting your exposure.
IG History and Uses
Instagram was originally a small startup from local developers in San Francisco California as a mobile check in app, but the creators soon focused on photo sharing instead as users seemed to enjoy that aspect the most. After a while of upward trending interest the company was bought out by Facebook and is now the social media giant that we know today
Instagram is famous first and foremost for image, lifestyle, people and places photography, and especially famous users are the upper class of influencers who use the site in the most profitable and notable ways. Famous folks on Instagram are often responsible for hyping new products, fashion lines, health supplements and more – never without their share of controversy, but always attracting big interest regardless.
For small businesses Instagram may seem a tough nut to crack – and while the coveted status of influencers is fairly difficult for ‘corporate’ accounts to achieve, a linked in Instagram page rounds out your social media appearance, plus lets you upload content in a different way, and potentially exposes your business to new and exciting audiences.
Instagram is also one of the few social media outlets that has large amount of young people using the site, as well as a high percentage of female users – so businesses looking to show their history of equal employment and high perception of the needs and interests of female customers potentially have a better chance to show these off on the platform.
How To ‘Sell’ Your Business Via IG
If you’re planning on using an Instagram account to help your business sell itself online, there are a few things you may want to consider. First and foremost, it’s very likely that the bulk of visits to your account will come from people who have already visited a page for your business previously. That might be your company website, your blog, your Facebook or other social media pages. It’s more difficult to go viral via Instagram if you’re a small professional firm, so plan accordingly and make sure to provide a lot of links to the account from your other pages. Bear in mind also that Instagram audiences come from all parts of the world – 89% of users are from outside the United States where the app originated.
This linking through should also be done on your posts, if possible – either on every post or from time to time. It’s important to establish a two way link between your Instagram account and your business’s website and other social media pages, to avoid potential or existing customers getting stuck down a ‘one way street’. You can easily do this by providing the links you need in the posts as you make them, and you can make links less cluttered by using link shortener URLs if you desire.
As for what you’ll actually post on Instagram, that’s up to you – but bear in mind if you’re trying to sell your firm as modern and professional, you’re going to need modern professional help. That means using the best camera equipment you can find, and choosing the best shots and locations for shots. If you want to show off your fancy modern office, or shoot photos of staff hard at work, it may be best to ‘set up’ these shots a little instead of always going candid.
With ongoing content in mind, think about how often you want to post, and what you want to say. Is your business located in a small idyllic market town? Take some photos of a serene morning vista. Keeping the content relevant, interesting and regular, shows that you care and are trying to create a small portfolio, not to just increase sales, but prove your business has a human side. It might not be your biggest main driving force behind sales, but customers who do end up taking a look might well appreciate you’re going that small extra mile.
It’s also important to note that Instagram allows businesses to set up an account dedicated to marketing and posting their information through the site. As an up and comer in the world of digital marketing the people at Instagram are well aware that businesses will want to use their service as much as the rest of us. Fortunately it’s easy enough to start an account of this nature and you can find out a lot more about it via the Facebook help center.
Why Facebook though? It’s because the two companies are owned by the same group – and this is very useful because it means you can directly link the two business pages on Facebook and Instagram together and even cross posts over from one to the other. It’s one of the most handy aspects about the platform if you’re in the mood to mix in your promotional images with your Facebook offers and text posts.
The main feature that sets Instagram business accounts apart from normal accounts is better access to statistics that help your business gauge how well images are doing on the platform. An additional menu is offered with detailed info on what is going on with your account, such as the audience and the posts which get the most hits. Another way to use business accounts on Instagram is to create and upload graphical posts which show what offers or services you are currently serving to customers. These can be created in Photoshop and can be combined with images for a more professional look.
What’s The Next Step?
If you’re interested in getting an Instagram presence for your business we’re always here to help. As per usual, take a look at our end of article checklist of what you can do to get started.
- Review some other business accounts on Instagram, to check out the competition
- Examine the posts and videos being made, and note down which get the most hits.
- Start a Business Account on Instagram, or link your existing Facebook account in.
- Find the camera, video editing equipment, and other hardware you need to get started.
- Take some test shots and upload them. Learn the software. You can delete these later.
- Create and upload some graphics that can serve as advertisements – these are allowed.
- Access the statistics page of your business account and learn how this works.
We hope these bullet points will give you a rough guide on how to get started on Instagram, and if you’re in the mood to deep-dive into the world of digital marketing, feel free to contact our company now for more information. We can help you even further into the process.