Determining the best Instagram for business strategy depends greatly on what your business is. A lawyer’s strategy is going to be very different from an independent ice cream maker, which is going to be very different from a hardware store. Likewise, what potential clients expect to see and what they will interact and engage with online also varies.
If you are a service-based business plagued by misconceptions (think lawyers), easily shareable Facebook content may be the way to go. People are likely to share things the find useful. If you have a visual product, make sure that you take advantage of the more visual platforms like Instagram or Snapchat. Creative and quality photos can get you a huge following on Instagram. That said, you should definitely be adding photos to Facebook and Twitter too, as it increases engagement.
Visual industries include clothing, food, accessories, furniture, fitness products, and more. Instagram may be seen as more more difficult for service-based industries, but it’s just another opportunity to be creative! It you have an aesthetically pleasing product, take advantage of it! If you don’t, now is your time to distinguish yourself from the competition.
No matter what your business is, the following Instagram tips apply:
Check Out Similar Instagram Accounts
If you’re an independent ice cream maker, check out other independent ice cream makers! It’s only smart to see what the competition is doing. Do they do themed months? Advertise freebies or giveaways on Instagram? Celebrate holidays? What hashtags are they using, and how well do they engage with their audience? You want to differentiate your business from others to stand out, but you can’t do that if you don’t know what the competition is up to. Take notes on what you like and don’t like and work from there.
Find the Right Hashtags
In order to gain a following, you need to make sure you’re using the best hashtags for your product. The website Hashtagify, combined with your research on the competition, will help you determine the best hashtags. Here’s a short list for hashtags:
- Keep It Local
- Research hashtags related to your city and industry
- Broad – But Not Too Broad
- You want to use hashtags that are popular enough to be regularly used, but not popular that your content will be drowned out in a sea of others
- Don’t Use Too Many
- Using 50 hashtags in a row can come across as spammy – keep it to 7-10 hashtags per post, and experiment with which ones work best.
- If a sponsored post, make sure you hashtag #sponsored to avoid any legal troubles. This article has more information on the legal aspects of Instagram.
You don’t need an expensive camera or lenses to start – most smart phones nowadays have amazing picture quality. In this day and age, entire films are shot on iPhones. You can certainly manage your social media with one!
What About Instagram For Business of Non-Visual Products and Services?
“What about the accounts? The lawyers? The cleaning services?” you ask.
Accountants, lawyers, and cleaning services too often ignore social media because they don’t have pre-built engaged audiences like other products. That doesn’t mean that you should forego social media entirely! If anything, that’s all the more reason to engage and stay ahead of your competition.
Professions like lawyers and realtors especially are often not immediately trusted. A solid social media presence will help potential clients associate your business name with a face and a real, normal person who wants to help them. Allowing potential clients to hear and interact with you directly is a huge advantage.
With how pervasive Google and Facebook are, social media also acts as a form of authority online. Someone can stumble onto your Facebook page, watch a video fo you answering a relevant question, and press a “Contact Now” button within seconds. This sort of ease and trust building are key in social media.
Even if you don’t have a visual product, text posts such as [examples] and photos with posts encourage much more engagement than plain text. For example, a well-designed Instagram post explaining the differences between doing taxes as an employee versus a contractor could be very useful. Set yourself up as an authority figure in your field by providing information straight from the source.
And don’t forget to have fun with it!
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