How to make your business thrive on Instagram

7th July 2017 Small Business

Did you know that Instagram, currently a subsidiary of social behemoth Facebook, has over 500 million monthly users? Or that this number is growing steadily?

This may seem small when compared to Facebook’s recently touted 2 billion users, but it is a significant milestone. For Gen Y and Z, and a fair swathe of Gen X this platform is gaining considerable importance in terms of aspiration, socialisation and even career progression.

For business owners this means you cannot dismiss the platform or write it off by casually duplicating your existing successes. Let’s breakdown the process, importance and benefits of putting your best foot forward on ‘Insta’.

Instagram as a Human Resources Portal

As essential as LinkedIn and Seek are for building your talent pool, they should not carry all the weight of your digital HR efforts. An increasing number of younger professionals are using Instagram as window into the brand identity and corporate culture of preferred employers. 

Not every company can be as socially showy as Google, Facebook or Flight Centre, but you can nevertheless build a feeling of desirability and aspiration around your business with strategically planned Instagram content.

Facebook fun meets Twitter Immediacy

Leading marketing and advertising publication Ad Age tells us,

“According to Instagram, 60% of its users familiarize themselves with products and services on the platform. Then, 75% take direct action after being inspired by a branded post. (Instagram only launched direct response formats in 2015.) In November 2016, Instagram introduced shopping tags in posts, not ads, for select retailers, with the program expanding in March 2017.”

Of signifigance is the way in which the platform blends the fun of Facebook (and rival Snapchat) with the long heralded immediacy of Twitter. You can share products, promotions, events, campaigns and more on the go with varied levels and styles of visuals, text and hashtags. This in turn gives your core audience and potential consumers something to like, look into and eventually buy.

Increased Integration

As we mentioned at the start, Instagram is owned by Facebook. In your space, this means reasonable spend on one can translate across both platforms.  The benefit of Facebook’s Business Manager suite is the increased capacity to monitor, schedule and promote through Instagram.

Play your cards right when using such tools and you can effectively hit multiple age demographics where and when they choose to casually scrawl through their social feeds.

How do I do this?

Basic steps include:

  • Streamline your existing social profiles down to their simplest terms and port them to your Instagram
  • Connect your Instagram to your Facebook business page
  • Appropriately plan a monthly content suite that considers ad-hoc posts, regular promotions, and key campaigns
  • Talk to a business mentor about how to properly integrate the platform into existing marketing plans

Added Things to Consider

  • Instagram is currently working to an engagement-first algorithm when it comes to user feeds; in simple terms, like Facebook, it is becoming increasingly necessary to boost your posts (via payment) or to draw attention to them via other means (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Stories).
  • This is the one platform where empowering influencers and everyday advocates can truly help your brand flourish, especially if you can build momentum on your own hashtag. The more you can get people involved with your brand in this space, the more you can build a positive image online.
  • Never post too frequently and be strategic with which of the general hashtags you use to draw people in. Always diversify your content between single image, image groups, boomerangs and normal video to keep your potential consumers engaged. 

We’re here to help

TAFE Queensland can help you make those first tentative steps towards Instagram success. Our Business Mentors and marketing workshops can aid you in mapping out a clear multichannel approach that considers Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and all your other key channels.

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