14 ways to build your biz with Instagram
Every social media platform has applications for business – but each one has different dos and don’ts for connecting with people in an authentic way. Here are 14 tips to build a following that will build your business.
- Be visual. Learn to take great pictures, play with colours and filters, shoot at interesting angles, and show fun, visually interesting things. Be creative. This is the place to play. Instagram is about being cool, creative, inspiring and beautiful.
- Be consistent with your brand. Make sure your posts work with your company identity; show your values, not just your products. Make your feed about the lifestyle your brand promotes, about your employees and about the way you look at the world. People love that.
- Be authentic. Everything you post needs to be real, relatable and interesting. The minute something feels like an ad, people will drop off. Balance business content with fun stuff– all work and no play makes for a boring feed.
- #usehashtags. It’s the best way for users to find you. Come up with specific ones for your brand, look at what the competition is using, and jump on trending hashtags when they make sense. Try popular tags like #TBT and #frugalfriday, too. Don’t use too many in a single post, though. Things end up looking cluttered and unreadable.
- Showcase your peeps. Followers love behind-the-scenes stuff. Show day-to-day details like meetings and company lunches, post tradeshow pics, social events and more to make your brand people-focused and relatable, and show your company’s unique culture. Plus, celebrating your staff shows them they’re valued, which can do wonders for employee engagement.
- Be responsive. Keep track of your brand hashtags and respond to comments and concerns quickly to build trust and loyalty.
- Follow your followers. Like and comment on their posts, especially if it includes your product or reflects your brand. Mention them when you have a chance – calling out followers is a great way to engage. But be selective. If you like every post you see, it becomes less meaningful.
- Share your followers’ photos. Spread the love and show your appreciation by sharing their cool pics, especially ones you can associate with your business. Just be sure to ask for permission first.
- Ask questions. Want to boost engagement? Ask people stuff that requires something more than a yes or no answer. What’s your favourite thing about x? How do you use x? What’s your best memory of x?
- Run contests to get user-generated content. Make a hashtag for your contest, and challenge people to post pics to win a prize. It’s a great way to crowdsource photos – and really get your brand noticed.
- Share live events. Posting live is immediate, interesting and fun. Promote a hashtag at the event so everyone who’s there can easily share their photos in a way that’s associated with your business.
- Cross-post. Connect your Instagram account to Facebook to make it easier for your followers to find you.
- Don’t post too often. Avoid irritating your followers by saturating their feeds. Create a schedule that makes sense.
- Promote the heck out of it. Add your Instagram handle to your email signature, put in on your business card, on your site and your promotional materials.
Want to know more about social media as a tool for your business? Talk to us – we can help.