How to Make the Most Out of Instagram for Business

Social media started as a great way to stay connected to friends and loved ones, but today, we have turned it into so much more. For businesses, it can be an irreplaceable tool for advertising, customer growth, and sales. It’s a great way to reach more people for less and everyone is jumping on this trend. Facebook is now more ads and links then vacation pictures and status updates, but it doesn’t stop there. A few years ago Instagram was a fun place to share photos with friends, but now it’s the perfect express stop for not only entertainment but information. It’s now becoming a clean cut, streamlined version of what Facebook has morphed into and businesses should be taking advantage.  

Here are five tips to help you make the most of the great tool Instagram can be for your business. 

Learn about Instagram
Instagram can be extremely valuable for growing your business, but to truly make the most of it, you need to know how to use it. The basics are easy, take a picture, add a few words and post away, but that’s only the beginning. If you really want Instagram to help you, you need to put the work in first. Do some exploring, try out videos and filters and find ways to use these features to your advantage. They exist to make your content look good, so why waste them? 

Cultivate a following
The main idea of using any social media platform for your business is to reach large numbers of people with your brand and message. In order to do that, you need followers. Knowing what you’re doing is definitely a good first step, but there’s a few more to take before your content gains a following. Don’t stop at just Insta. Link it to a Facebook and a Twitter and post everything to all three. Why stick to one platform when you can triple your chances of reaching new people? Don’t be afraid to follow people and companies either, especially when you’re first starting out. Once you start gaining your own followers, follow them back and reply to comments. Show them that you appreciate their business and attention. You can’t do it without them. 

Make it worthwhile
Social media is great for advertising, but it can be so much more. You have this particular following that can see and share your posts. They have the power to make your business so much more, so show them that you appreciate it. Make it special that they follow you. Offer exclusives and awards, contests and sneak peaks. These things make your followers want to keep following you, but also to tell their friends and share your posts. It makes being a customer fun and exciting. 

Celebrate your business
Advertising is important and so is rewarding your customers, but don’t forget to celebrate yourself too. Did you reach a goal? Share it. Do you have an employee who really went above and beyond? Post their picture. Your customers are the ones driving your business, so when you win, they win. Let them celebrate with you. Show them what their business is doing for you. 

Mix it up
A good idea when starting out is to come with a posting schedule. Decide how often you’re going to post and when, but don’t be afraid to post outside your schedule too. Random surprise posts are a great time to offer exclusives. It makes it more exciting and less structured. It’s alright to stick to a schedule but don’t copy and paste. Your posts shouldn’t be the same, even if they're posted at the same time every day or week. Alternate between pictures and videos. Mix trendy content with images of your business. Keep things interesting. 

Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to find the best ways to grow your business with Instagram. Be careful, though. Don’t lose your brand trying to fit the mold. The whole point is to share your business and gain customers, so be sure that’s what you're selling. Your message should still be clear even with hashtags and share-worthy pictures. 


Kristi Lee YoungComment