Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service. It is considered to be one of the fastest growing social media channels and is increasingly being used by businesses as a marketing tool.
Instagram currently has over 400 million accounts compared to 316 million on Twitter. More than 70 million photos and videos are being shared through the channel every day.
Read our six tips to help make Instagram work for your business.
1. Set clear goals
It is very important to consider how Instagram fits into your overall marketing strategy. Think about what your objectives are, do you want to: increase awareness; change perception; or reach a new audience.
2. Build a following
There are a number of ways you can build your Instagram following. These include: linking your Facebook account and cross-sharing photos; engaging with others by following and liking their photos; and using relevant hashtags. You should consider cross-sharing selected images to your Facebook page with an appropriate hashtag or brand image. This will help people who don’t know you’re on Instagram to find you there.
3. Balance business images with fun images
You should aim to use both images related to your business as well as fun images. Make sure to track the engagement on your images to find out what your followers like the most. It is generally recommended that you use the 80/20 rule, use just 20 per cent of your content to promote your brand and dedicate the other 80 per cent to interesting and engaging content that will interest your audience.
4. Use industry-related hashtags
Adding hashtags will mean that people searching for these terms will come across your photos. If you’re at an event or location that is using a specific hashtag (like #DigitalDNA) you can add it to your photos so that event coordinators and other attendees can find them and join in the conversation.
5. Consider paid advertising
Instagram has recently offered paid advertising to businesses. There are three different ad formats you can use – photo ads, video ads and carousel ads. You can use ads to get people to click through to your website, download your app or simply to raise brand awareness.
6. Don't just advertise
You can use Instagram to showcase photos of your products and services, but be careful - you don’t want to turn your feed into a list of display ads. Look to find a creative way to incorporate your products and brand into images that people will want to view and share.