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Using Instagram for businesses

16 August, 2019

If you want to make a name for yourself in online business nowadays it can seem like a daunting idea.

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The way we all stay informed, stay connected, shop, browse and more has moved from a physical action to a much more digital one. Where once you would have gone ¨Window shopping¨ at the mall, you can now browse before buying, subscribing etc. Whilst this may seem an increasingly robotic response and removes the physical connection with people, it can open opportunities for different types of connections.

One example of this is that if you host your business in a physical location, passing trade will be just that and connections from further afar will be much more difficult to secure. On the other hand, hosting your business online and marketing through the usage of social media you can reach an audience of a much wider compass and equally your services become much more accessible to the consumer. One of the newer features of Instagram even allows business accounts to add direct links to items pictured, so that users can be forwarded to their websites where they will be able to find out more information or make a purchase.

Why this platform is for you?

This thriving platform boasts more than a billion potential customers, and with 5 million users logging in daily, of which more than 40% are under the age of 30 (and with more disposable income), stats show that around 3 in 5 go on to purchase products they have discovered or seen advertised on  social media and networking sites such as Instagram.

Instagram is the perfect platform as it offers you your own space on the market shelf free of charge and without a need to answer to anybody. Whether you´re sharing about Fashion, Politics, Comedy, Singing, Art, Poetry, Photography, Campaigns and Rights, Animal appreciation etc…. really anything goes and you can make that ¨space¨ yours.

Another undeniable pro is that you can manage your business from the comfort of your own home, or whilst traveling, at your own pace, to fit to your schedule and all without the need to worry about paying for an office space or staff etc. By managing your business on a digital platform this also allows for collaborations, mentions, and in general; publicity galore, sometimes without having even asked for it.

Where to begin?

When you´re starting out it´s important to create interest in your brand, you can do this by using a giveaway or contest. Ask potential followers to comment, tag a friend and follow your account to be in with a chance of winning. This will allow you to gain your first few followers and from there you will have it much easier. If you need a boost in followers you can find out more information about help with gaining followers or to buy followers on Instagram here.

Using Instagram as a market research tool

Since its launch in August of 2016, the feature ¨stories¨ has grown greatly in popularity for businesses. This feature for non-business accounts has become a quick-fire way to keep up to date with followers with many users reporting a preference for watching their followers’ stories as opposed to scrolling through their conventional posts. With the time limitation for videos and the ability to add polls, questions, quizzes, countdowns and more you can get to know better your audience, allowing a better understanding of your customers. You can also use stories to document less-formal ideas, thoughts and occurrences as this make makes you more relatable.

Keeping to a theme

A great way to keep customers hooked is committing to a regular upload schedule, this way clients will be on the look out for each post. An important fact to note is the new ways that the algorithm works. Nowadays if your post doesn’t receive enough interactions within the first 30-60 minutes it will disappear from the scrolling feed of your followers. For this reason, it´s a great idea to really work on your captions and compositions to try and reel in the likes. Another way to secure interaction is to pose a question. For example, posting a photograph of your favourite brand of breakfast cereals and asking other users to comment their favourites.

              

It´s also important to follow a theme, whether that be in the way you caption, edit, or the style of photos that you upload. Some great examples of this are Stella Maria Baer and Isabelle Marie Waldbach both accounts of which follow a theme of posting based around colour. The two accounts use sandy, natural tones for their images which makes for a uniform aesthetic when viewing their profiles.

Take overs and collaborations

A great way to attract more attention to your profile is inviting other successful Instagrammers to collaborate or take over your account. Takeovers give the collaborator creative freedom to post about something of their choice. This can be a great option as having your alliances in the online space is always useful, but be sure to choose someone with a similar posting genre or mantra as usually the collaborator will advise their followers of the take over and if you’re doing something similar you´ll be sure to receive some new followers as a result.

Hashtags

Hashtags are almost as important, if not more important than the caption of your photograph. Nowadays people don´t only subscribe to people, but also to hashtags. Using specific hashtags will allow users to find you when they search those hashtags. Following hashtag trends such as #photooftheday, #instagood, #instadaily, #tbt will also help your content to appear in the explore section. In addition, you can follow specific hashtags yourself to find out about your competition.

Posting times

When you’re trying to capture the attention of as many as you can its important to respect optimal posting times, these are various time slots in which there is more activity. For example, Tuesdays are the best day to post at 3pm and 9pm there tend to be more users active, on Wednesdays between 3pm and 4pm, Thursdays between 2pm and 3pm and Friday around 10am or 2pm. Posts uploaded at these times will be more likely to be seen by followers as there are more active users.

Following all of these hints we hope you will be able to secure more followers for your business accounts.


 
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