Since, launching in 2010, Instagram has quickly taken the social media world by storm. Boasting over 1 billion monthly active users, the platform has the potential to send a wave of new customers in your direction. But for new users, it can take a little while to get your head around how Instagram works, especially from a business point of view. First things first, let’s go back to the basics.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media platform. Creating an account is free and you have the choice to switch from a personal account to a business account. This is a wise move for brands and businesses as it gives you access to real-time metrics and data for your account, including demographics on your followers.
Instagram for brands
Just like other social media platforms, Instagram is a place for you to showcase everything your business has to offer, while also giving a bit of personality and voice to your brand. While Instagram does demand high quality imagery and video content in order to attract followers, you can also have a little bit of fun with your content and captions.
At present, Instagram doesn’t have a link feature in the caption section, which can be frustrating for businesses who want to drive traffic to their website. However, you can add a link into your bio – most brands will add their website – and you can automatically link from your Instagram Stories.
Shopping on Instagram
Instagram are making changes to be more ‘brand-friendly,’ with the recent addition of Shopping on Instagram. This new feature allows you to tag up to five products per image with taglines or captions. They’ve also add a ‘Shop Now’ button which allows users to go directly to your mobile site. Unfortunately the Shopping On Instagram feature is currently in testing and has not been completely rolled out for all businesses and regions. Keep an eye out for it in the future.
Growing your Instagram audience
Starting an Instagram account from scratch can seem overwhelming, but little by little your Instagram audience can grow. And the more it grows, the faster the growth. While there is no silver bullet in amassing a large Instagram following, there are a few things you can do to grow your brand.
First, you need to come up with a content plan. Instagram relies on content that is published regularly and as time goes on, you’ll begin to see what time of day your audience is most active. And the better quality imagery and video you can use, the better. Again, as time goes on, you’ll be able to see what type of content resonates best with your audience.
There are many different scheduling tools that can help you plan ahead. Keep in mind that much of Instagram is about the look and feel of your profile, so maintain some kind of consistency throughout your posts.
And don’t forget to always engage with your audience. If people leave comments or ask questions, always reply when you can.