Social media is so much fun to use, and it’s no wonder that it’s so popular. But when you’re an entrepreneur, or you’re trying to set up your own business, you need to look at it with notably different lenses. Sure it’s fun, easy to use, and very interactive for your customers. But for you it can mean more traffic, higher engagement for your audience, and better customer support. And to top it all off, there’s not a lot of overhead expenses to take into consideration. What’s not to like about it?
It’s so useful, in fact, that it’s quite impossible to separate social media when thinking of your overall digital marketing strategies. There are quite a lot of platforms to choose from, however, that it can be overwhelming to decide which ones will fit your business best. If you want to start off with mainstream channels – and it’s always a sensible idea that you do – Instagram should definitely be on your list of social media platforms to utilize. Here’s how you can make the most out of it to help your business get to the next level.
- Highlight solutions creatively.
This is the rule of thumb to follow in social media: put the focus on the solutions you can provide, not on the products and services you offer. And while you’re at it, do so creatively and with a dose of flair. Given that Instagram primarily relies on visual content, how well you use it can determine how much – or how little – you succeed. For example, if your business offers services, you can take creative shots on the behind-the-scenes of your team working. You can showcase your company culture, or how your team decides to have fun in the office. You can also share quick how-to guides and tips. The point is to consistently add value to your audience while being visually creative about it.
Try using Instagram Stories; it allows you to share slideshow-format photos and videos that are live for 24 hours. This feature is particularly helpful if you have something that is time-sensitive and potentially interesting for your followers. For example, you’re counting down the last few days before you launch a new product or open a new store. You can use Instagram stories to share the last-minute preparations you’re doing.
- Make your profile stand out.
As an entrepreneur, of course you want to say as much as you can about your business. That’s only natural. What’s not logical is trying to fit everything in 150 characters. So what do you focus on? To answer that, ask yourself what your company is working on at the moment. Is it an event? A collaboration? A product launch? That is what you highlight in your profile.
You have a clickable bio section, so take advantage of it by updating it often. Don’t just put the link to your website or blog. You can have app downloads or webinar registrations there. And because you’re using Instagram for business, take the time to create a business profile so you can conveniently add your phone number and have access to analytics data.
- Use hashtags to extend your reach.
Think relevance. That’s what hashtags are for. You can use a hashtag for a specific campaign you’re currently running or something more general, like your company tagline. What you need to remember is that you need to use it appropriately. Well used hashtags allow people to easily find your content without needing to scroll through hundreds of uploads in their feed. It’s a good practice to aim at three to five hashtags. You can have until 30, actually, but overpopulating your post with too many hashtags can be confusing and downright overwhelming for your audience. You can try combining your own unique hashtags and those that are viral across the Internet or popular in your specific industry. You can also experiment on the different ways to incorporate hashtags; you can place them in a comment, right in your actual post, or at the end of your post.
- Collaborate with others.
Do you like to learn from others and work well with them? Does the notion of exchanging insights and expertise to arrive at mutually beneficial arrangements excite you? Then you’ll fit right in at Instagram. This social media channel is popular for collaborations and success stories – so why not ride on it? You don’t have to officially become a partner of a local non-profit organization in your city right off the bat. Instead, to begin with, you can hold a fundraising event and schedule it at an opportune time – say, the anniversary date of your company or a holiday like Christmas or Valentine’s. Just make sure that the cause matches your company culture and the brand values you want to promote. And since it’s a fairly safe bet to assume that not everyone pays particular attention to hashtags, you can directly tag an account to make sure it gets noticed.
- Learn to build anticipation.
Don’t you find yourself eagerly keeping track of the days when you have something you’re waiting for? Your customers are the same. That’s why keeping them interested and anticipating whatever you’re offering is a great digital marketing strategy to learn and apply. So how will you manage to accomplish that? Well, for starters, you can give your followers exclusive content. This can be the first dibs on your new products or services, or updates on an event you’re organizing before you release it to the public. Try uploading teaser photos or sneak preview videos; this kind of content creates anticipation and heightens the curiosity of your followers.
Visual content plays a major role in your digital marketing strategies. With Instagram, you can maximize it to help you promote your business, reach more people, and collaborate with other companies. And yes, it can also help you have more leads and sales.
How do you use Instagram for your business? Share with us in the comments.