Instagram still has the fastest growing daily user numbers within the key social media platforms we’re familiar with. There are nearly 22 million users in the UK with a pretty even split of male & female users (female users slightly tip the balance).
The largest single group by age are the 25-34yrs olds, however the over 35yrs make up over 34% of all users on Instagram.
Why would we want to use Instagram? Firstly Instagram might not be right for all your businesses BUT here are some compelling reasons to be there:
- It’s a top place to build brand
- Your fans may expect you to be there
- You can show off your business creatively
- Engagement tends to be high
- It will link in with your Facebook page
- It isn’t just for youngsters
- Stories are a powerful tool
- You can sell direct using shoppable posts
- It is super easy to tag your favourite brands
So, here are some top tips to help you improve your Instagram for your business and help you lift it to the next level.
- Upgrade your bio: make sure that your bio focusses on the solution you provide or your key mission. Try to introduce personality with emojis or human language. Don’t list you products! You only have one stab at a link on your bio. Either change that link regularly to relate to your recent content e.g. competition entry, latest blog etc OR use an app like lin.ktree which will allow you to have multiple buttons from your single bio link.
- Mix up your content: The type of images you share varies for the type of business but you can be sure that they need to be good quality, with good lighting and have an impact. For those of you selling products, you may choose to go for a beautifully styled ‘grid’ of images which have a colour/style theme. However, there is also a real move to mixing content between the styled and ‘real’ e.g. impromptu images of you, behind the scenes images etc. Which ever way you decide to go – STICK to it!
- Hashtag strategy: yes you need one! There are lots of figures that suggest the more hashtags the better (10-20 per post) and others that say just a few is ok. However, the KEY is to make them count. Use the tech feature to discover the best for your brand with a mix of super popular hashtags and some more niche. Also, use a hashtag that relates to your business to help you expand reach e.g. #simplygreatbritain. That way if some hops onto Insta looking for you, they’re more likely too find your content.
- Captions: There is a lot of evidence that the longer the caption (70+ words) the better. This gives your audience the chance to really understand your brand, processes, values or thoughts. However, mixing it up with shorter captions works for many too. Use Insights to see what works best for your business.
- Be shareable: this is a tricky one but making sure your content is ‘shareable’ or ‘share worthy’ is important. This can be posts that inspire, wow or excite or stories that share new announcements, launches or news. Tagging in your Insta friends, geo tagging places and using popular hashtags can help with this too.
- Dive into stories: Essentially posts that last 24 hours and can be fun, provide behind the scenes, share your favourite Insta accounts, say hello on video etc etc. These are prominent at the top of your followers apps and a great way for fans to flick through your latest 24hrs. READ the nest tip to upgrade this again….
- Use story highlights: you can changes the setting on your stories to ‘archive’ so that Insta keeps hold of your stories. Use these to create and categorise your stories for fans to go over at a later date. For example you may create product collections or divide up your services. You highlight badges can be branded too to make your Instagram account maintain its attractiveness.
- Try IGTV: This is Instagram’s feature for longer videos to deepen engagement and build customer relationships. These will be saved under your IGTV button and users have the chance to comment and engage with each video. This is a brilliant feature if you’re want to connect, share insight, show off your processes or build a campaign or share your values. They don’t need to be professionally filled – human, authentic and with a clear message works best.
- Use Insights: Instagram is a platform that takes work. Business providing services may find it harder BUT checking your insights regularly will hep you get better at what you do. The information you gain will help you get your timing right, your focus improved and a clear understanding of your direction.