How To Boost Your Business With Instagram
I am a huge supporter of using Instagram for social media marketing, I get a lot of questions about “Why?” Why should you use Instagram? Why is it beneficial? Why is it so popular? And I can answer all those questions with one simple answer: Because it can boost your business!
When used correctly, Instagram can help you can drive traffic to your website, grow your audience, generate sales, and do all of it while having fun!
It might sound crazy, but I promise you it can be done and many companies are doing it successfully.
It is imperative that your Instagram account is set up properly. Make sure that your name and username are easy to find and recognize (Instagram’s search function is very picky). I recommend you use the same handle you use on Twitter for your Instagram username. The only place you can put a live hyperlink is in your bio so take advantage of this! Most of the time this link should connect to your website home page or specified landing page. Fill in your bio with relevant information and a healthy description of you and your brand. And, your profile photo is a must! I recommend using the same profile pic that you use on other sites so people recognize you immediately.
Now that your account is all ready to go, here are some ways that you can target Instagram to help boost your business.
This is one of the latest buzzwords floating around and for good reason. Visual marketing is the future of social media marketing. People LOVE images. Look at Facebook and their updates to put prominent attention on images in the newsfeed. Look at the popularity of Pinterest – a whole site dedicated to sharing images of favorite products. And, have you noticed that one of the biggest selling features on mobile devices these days is the camera? Watch the ads for smartphones, they always showcase the camera functions. Why? Because that’s what people care about! And Instagram is, in my opinion, the best tool to really take advantage of visual marketing. In fact, many of the photos you see shared on other sites were actually created on Instagram.
You want to spice up your next blog post? You want to feature your Instagram videos on your website? Draw real attention to your site by embedding your stunning Instagram posts into your website or blog. Instagram provides real tools to generate great marketing content that would otherwise cost you a lot of money to outsource. Instead, save that money, edit your photos and videos in Instagram and then embed the posts on your site. And, if people click on those posts, it takes them right back to your Instagram account to help grow your audience there too!
The whole point of social media is to be social. And Instagram is one of the best platforms for real engagement. Most Instagram posts get higher numbers of likes and comments than similar or identical posts on any other social media site. Take advantage of this level of engagement to ask questions in your posts or comments and open up the dialogue. Make sure to respond to followers comments in order to keep the conversation going. You’ll be amazed at the brand advocates that you can cultivate using Instagram when you engage genuinely.
Reach a New Audience
The average demographic of Instagram users tends to be younger than those using Pinterest and Facebook, giving you the opportunity to connect with and develop an audience within the millennial generation. These consumers are active online and hungry for online communication. Connecting with them gives you the opportunity to put your business in front of the largest demographic of all time.
Yes, those dreaded hashtags, when used properly, can skyrocket your post reach, introducing your posts and brand to hundreds and even thousands of new consumers. I recommend using an average of 5-8 hashtags per post (and no I do NOT recommend this same tactic on any other site!). Use relevant keyword hashtags related to your business, product, industry, post, etc. Don’t hashjack just to get into popular searches – it won’t help you, it will hurt you.
Offer Exclusive Coupons
You want to create sales from Instagram? Offer exclusive coupons and discounts for products or services on your site. Create vivid photos and overlay text (many 3rd party apps can help you with this) advertising the special. Always list the promotion in the photo, in case people skip the comments. In order to make sure people can take full advantage of the promotion, change the link in your bio to a specified landing page or product page to easily take advantage of the promotion or discount.
Reveal New Products
Providing exclusive content to advertise product launches or events is a great way to generate buzz. Use Instagram posts (photos or videos) to showcase these products and events to their fullest. Again, editing the link in your bio to a set landing page or product page on your website helps connect users with your products easily.
Drive Traffic to Your Site
As you can see from some of the examples above, it’s easy to drive traffic to your site. But there are even more ways to do this. Advertise new blog posts, announce new services, promote regular features (employee of the month, customer appreciation, tip of the month, holiday celebrations, and other features) on your site through Instagram.
I hope you can now see many of the ways in which Instagram can help you boost your business. It really is a viable and efficient tool. And, in the near future, ads will be made available to businesses to promote their posts to new and/or existing followers. The reach and functionality of Instagram is only going to continue to grow. As the site becomes more popular (hey, it’s already reached 150 million users faster than any other social media site), more users will join as will more businesses. Give yourself the advantage and start growing your audience now!