Why Bother with a Business Instagram?

For most marketers Instagram is an elusive concept. It’s kind of like Facebook and kind of like Twitter and all about photos. With no paid post options and as the newest social media tool, it’s understandable that most companies have shied away from a business Instagram in the past.

Even though Instagram is the newest social media hub on the block, it’s a force to be reckoned with. With more than 200 million monthly users, Instagram recently surpassed Twitter in mobile users. It was also reported that Instagram delivers more engagement than any other social network. In the study, the photo sharing app delivered 58% more shares, comments, and likes per follower than Facebook and 120% more per follower than Twitter.

Instagram is without a doubt an influential tool, but brands struggle using it to its full potential. Follow these three Instagram tips so you can win at Instagram too.

Instagram Tip 1: Have the Proper Analytics Tools
Like any other channel, you should always be analyzing data from your Instagram to better target customers. Since Instagram’s inception a few years ago, several tools have been developed to help users collect data on their content.

The most comprehensive of these tools is Iconosquare (formerly Statigram). It gathers important statistics on your content, such as engagement, timing of posts, and weekly follower loss and gain. Iconosquare also allows you to run contests through their site, a handy marketing tool worth testing.

For most people Iconosquare will do the trick for Instagram analytics, but if you have a particularly competitive edge, definitely check out Twtrland. Originally created for Twitter, but now for Facebook and Instagram, Twtrland provides useful data on competitors and influencers in your industry. You can learn how many shares, conversations, and the content distribution of any person or company with social media accounts.

Instagram Tip 2: Develop a One-of-a-Kind Hashtag
If you take a look at some of the best brands on Instagram you will notice at least one common thread: their unique hashtags. Rather than just replicating their brand name or Instagram handle in a hashtag, brands are creating brilliant phrases that are now synonymous with their brand. For example, Nike Running coined the hashtag #runfree, which promotes runners to share pictures of Nike products in action while their customers “run free.”

Hashtags are crucial to creating a successful Instagram campaign. Not only are they easy to track, but they give you access to fantastic user content. It’s simple to hand pick great customer generated content, reshare it, and delight your fans.

Instagram Tip 3: Your Bio Section is More Powerful than You Think
One of the biggest mistakes brands make is linking to their products in their posts like they would on Facebook or Twitter. A business Instagram is different. Users want genuine, sleek content, not to be bombarded with ads like on other social media sites. A link attached to an Instagram post immediately signals promotional content and will turnoff users.

The trick to generating leads to your website without being too sales pitchy is linking to your website in your profile rather than the post. When most brands feature a product in a picture, they typically mention “link in profile” or some variation in the description and a link to the product or their website in their bio. The result is cleaner content and good faith from the user. Just be sure to place accurate product information in the caption—that way your products are easy to find.

If a user frequents your feed, placing links in your profile will make them constantly check your bio, something they probably wouldn’t check up on often. Take advantage of this opportunity by updating your bio with other exciting information, like sales and events, to keep them coming back for more.

Even though Instagram is the baby of the social media world, it is clearly gaining a dedicated following with users everywhere. Just follow these Instagram tips and your company can quickly reap rewards from Facebook’s little brother.

05/15/2014 at 02:52

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