Social basics: Instagram for business

It goes without saying that Social Media is a ‘must have’ tool in your marketing mix.  But with so many platforms available, and not all of them right for your business, which ones should you spent time on and which should you ignore?

We’ll take a look at several of the key platforms over our forthcoming emails, but today the focus is on Instagram.

So what can Instagram offer your business?

  • Active users: 400m
  • Common themes: Food, art, travel, fashion, lifestyle – but by no means restricted to these!  Remember you don’t have to be a lifestyle brand to post lifestyle content.

It’s all about human psychology:

We are 40% more responsive to images than to words, which is what makes Instagram so powerful as a marketing tool.  It’s worth noting that photos posted on Twitter get 5 x higher engagement than text posts; and that 93% of the most engaged-with posts on Facebook are visual.

Throw video in the mix, along with Instagram’s latest offering – Instagram Stories (which enables you to share a whole series of posts, separate from your main feed, which are live for 24 hours and then disappear), and you have a platform which is utterly dynamic and relevant to modern marketers.

But be wary of desktop limitations:

Based on photo and video posts, the network is operated entirely on mobile (but can be viewed on desktop). If you’re not comfortable posting from your smartphone, then Instagram is not the platform for you.

Thinking Instagram might be right for your business? Ensure you do the following before you start:

  • Your photos and videos must clear and of good quality (you don’t have to be a pro though!)
  • Play around with the filters – come up with a look and feel that fits your brand and keep it consistent
  • Utilise #hashtags, and tell a story in your descriptions.  This will ensure you’re found amongst similar topics by those searching (much like on Twitter)
  • Establish your Instagram goals. These goals should tie back to your business goals. They might include increasing traffic to your website, raising your brand awareness, and getting mentions from customers or other likeminded brands

Make it personal

Instagram is great for products, pictures of staff and developments within your business, and using this social media channel can add the ‘we’re just human’ factor to your business – especially if yours is a largely ‘faceless’ company.

Here are a few of our favourite business Instagram accounts…

You can see how these brands are using the platform to inspire, engage and tell a story.  Even if your product isn’t visually inspiring, the story you tell around it can be.

Instagram for business
Great inspiration for any business getting to grips with the Instagram

Sir Richard Branson
Aspirational content from the Virgin founder – a reflection of his corporate persona

Penguin Books
Proof that having essentially one product type doesn’t mean you can’t successfully embrace social media

Beyond Bread
A gluten-free cafe with personality

Angela Steel / Superwellness
Health and wellbeing expert, (and our lovely client!) Angela Steel – making healthy foods beautiful and enticing!

Nearly 40k followers, and a great example of Instagram working for a B2B organisation.

Modern marketers can’t afford to ignore social media – but we agree it can seem like a minefield.  We’re here to help you make sense of it all and come away with a plan that works.  

Let’s discuss over coffee and cake… call me on 01256 335662 or email me and let’s get a date in the diary!

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