By Rachel Peck
Many B2Bs, and even some B2Cs, have been slow to jump on the Instagram bandwagon. While Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn tend to be the most popular channels for many businesses, Instagram’s growth over the past few years, audience reach, and new sales opportunities have made it a social media must-have for many. However, starting an Instagram account is the easy part. It’s after you create your account that the real work starts.
Complete your bio
First up, make sure you’ve started a business account, versus a personal account. This is important because a business account will have certain features not available to personal accounts. Second, it’s not enough to just create an account on Instagram and start posting, but you should make sure the profile fields are fully filled out. Put your website online, your location or areas you serve and some brief information about your business. Just completing these simple steps can help your profile become more visible.
Set up shop
Social media is often a business’ first touch point with a potential customer and selling your product or service has only become easier in recent years – including Instagram. Organizations of all sizes and varieties can sell products visually by adding a shop to their profile and tagging products in posts. This Hubspot blog will give you step-by-step instructions on how to link your website or online shop to your Instagram account.
Social media can be fickle – changing daily with new updates, algorithms, trends, not to mention whatever social topics are the flavor of the day. This can make planning difficult and you might have to switch tactics on the fly. Approaching your Instagram strategically while allowing for some flexibility is key. Plan your content, but keep in mind that you might have to change it. Consider a social media management platform, such as Sprout Social, or Hootsuite, that will keep you updated on your analytics, as well as best practices and times to post. Here are some current best practices from Social Media Today.
Stay true to your brand
Brand guidelines exist for a reason, especially when it comes to social media. Though Instagram is a less formal channel than, say, LinkedIn is for a business, it’s no less of an important channel to showcase your brand’s message, products and mission. So, have fun with your content – sites like Easil and Canva can help create engaging graphics, but don’t treat it like a personal account. It’s still an audience touchpoint, and if you’re utilizing it correctly, it can become a conversion driver as well.
Instagram is a fun social media tool that can drive new business if used correctly. Overall, business owners and social media managers should mix informal content with branded and informational posts, track the account’s performance on Insights and consider promoted posts. It will definitely take some work, but a little strategy and good social media sense will go a long way towards making it a successful social media channel.