A quick lesson for Instagram users
If you haven’t made a business account on Instagram yet then you’ll be adding it to your list of priorities after reading this. According to the leading social intelligence company, Brandwatch, Instagram now has 800 million monthly active users, and 500 million daily active users. It clocks up 3.5 billion likes every day and its usage has more than doubled in the last 2 years. Instagram is the perfect tool to create an emotional connection between your brand and its target audience so if you’re looking to inspire sales via social media then Instagram for business is the perfect place to start.
That said, the best business Instagram accounts aren’t simply a sales tool, they’re carefully curated pieces of work which encompass the brand’s beliefs, their message and their appreciation for their consumers.
We’ve put together a checklist for you to run through so that you can check your business Instagram account is made up of all the right components:
Make your followers feel something
Instead of posting images that merely showcase your products, share images to evoke the feelings, dreams and ideals you want associated with your brand. A great example of this is AirBnb’s page. They highlight some of the most beautiful places to stay across the globe but rather then it coming across to their followers like a sales pitch, it appears like one of their customers’ destination wish lists.
Another fantastic example of a brand which is nailing Instagram is Glossier. They’re beauty-product specialists and are all about ‘skin first, makeup second’, a statement which you’ll find in their Instagram bio. Glossier’s images and videos all reflect their positioning statement as they showcase healthy skin in all of its diverse forms. They also do a top-notch job of bringing their brand colours into their theme on their Instagram. The pink, which is a big part of their brand, is hard to miss! They often share engaging images of their products in use, inspiring their target audience and showing how easy it is for their followers to achieve similar looks.
Stick to a theme
The most aesthetically pleasing Instagrams tend to be the most popular so it’s not only important that the content you share is emotive but it also needs to be attractive. One of the most foolproof ways of achieving a slick page is to stick to a theme. Use your brand guidelines and main colours as a starting point and go from there. Depending on your business, you might want to share bright, happy pictures or decide to do the opposite and post dark, moody pictures and videos. Whatever you choose is best for you and your brand, make sure you stick to it. Post similar shades and, where possible,try and make sure each new row of 3 pictures you post work well together.
Photography best practice
Every time you share a post, you should be 100% happy with it and know that this could very well be the first chance you get to make an impression on somebody. Blurriness, lack of focus and unrelated shots will not help you build the brand awareness you want. Instagram images are 1080 x 1080 pixels. Instagram then resizes the images to 612 x 612 pixels, which display in users’ feeds as 510 x 510 pixels. On Instagram, quality beats quantity.
The images you choose should support your caption, whether that’s visually representing your message, or acting as an accent. Confusion and mixed messages when using Instagram for business will cost you sales. So make sure that your image / video and caption add up – if you’re posting content about a certain product then the caption should delve into what benefits it brings to a user’s life.
Don’t underestimate the power of hashtags, checkins and tagging others in your posts. They guarantee your post will be seen by a wider audience. Spend some time researching which hashtags your target audience use and then trial them on your posts. You can always put your hashtags in the first comment of the post, rather than in the caption, if you prefer a less cluttered look. They will do the same job no matter where they’re posted.
Give and take
Another way of using Instagram to sell is by encouraging people to share their own photos and videos with your product (or service) and post them online. You can then repost (regram) them on your feed or via your story. Give them a unique hashtag to use and then you can easily find their pictures. This is a simple way to grow your stockpile of images for your brand and to highlight who your target audience are, too. It will also put you on the map as the kind of brand which values their customers, something which many brands don’t achieve.
Do you use Instagram for business? Link it in the comments below!
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