Creating and managing a Facebook page has become normalized as one of the key steps to running a business. However, other media sites are continuing to increase in popularity, and therefore are also becoming increasingly useful to entrepreneurs. The 2015 Meeker Report found that Instagram was one of the most popular social sites among younger generations, and this trend is mapped to continue as usage continues to increase.
Instagram is popular because it is completely visual, save for the short captions and hashtags that are found below images. If used correctly, a quick scroll through your Instagram profile can provide your customers with an understanding of the overall feel and aesthetic of your business.
While the interface is clean and user friendly, the methods for utilizing Instagram to connect with customers isn’t always so straightforward. The task of stacking your page with unique and quality images can be daunting. Below, we’ve outlined the first three major steps of introducing your brand to Instagram: filling out your profile, determining what kinds of images to post, and utilizing the power of captions and hashtags.
Filling out Your Instagram Bio
Instagram doesn’t provide you much space to elaborate in the “About Me” section of your profile. With only 150 characters to utilize, you’ll want to try to summarize the goals and products or services your business offers as concisely as you can.
Make sure your name and username exactly match the name of your business and set your logo as your profile picture so that your account is immediately recognizable. Add a link to your website, your email, and your phone number, and you’re good to go.
Posting Quality Content
One of the most difficult aspects of running an Instagram account for your business is coming up with ideas of what types of images you are going to post. There are two main types of images you can post to Instagram: spontaneous snapshots and planned images. Images that capture the spontaneity of daily life within your business – attendees at an event you put on or an employee hauling in coffee on a Monday morning – show your customers the human aspect of your business. Posed images or graphics that you’ve created are the main way that you will build continuity in your brand’s Instagram aesthetic. Try selecting a few filters that you will use with the majority of your photos to ensure that they all look consistent when a user is scrolling through your profile.
If you’re having trouble generating ideas that will engage your customers, check out the profiles of other industry leaders. Or, browse the images posted by some of your followers to see what types of things they seem to be interested in. Then, tie those themes back into your brand.
Using Hashtags and Captions
One of the mistakes many users make when using Instagram is not adding a caption to their images. Your caption is the place where you can elaborate more on the image you posted. Why should your customers care about it? Why is it relevant? If it isn’t immediately obvious, explain how the content of the image ties back to your business and your brand.
Hashtags are words or phrases that you can use to label your images and make them searchable to users. It’s a good idea to establish a unique hashtag that you can associate with your brand and use with all your images. At the same time, try to include hashtags that are trending, popular, or highly used. When you begin typing a hashtag (preceded by the pound symbol), Instagram provides you with information regarding how many other posts are associated with it. Hashtags with higher usage rates means that the tag will get searched more often and your content will be more likely to be seen.