Easy Ways to Use Instagram for Business.
From an early start as a trendy iOS app, Instagram has morphed into a powerful social media platform. With 300 million active monthly users it’s not surprising that growing numbers of people are wondering how they can use Instagram for business.
The good news is that Instagram can help promote your business.
Indeed for the incredibly photogenic world of greeting cards and gifts Instagram is a great fit.
With this in mind I wanted to share 8 simple ways you can start using Instagram today. Methods currently being used by some of the biggest companies in the world that you can easily replicate for your own business.
Let’s get started.
1. Tell the Story of Your Business.
Marketers love the power of storytelling. A good story can draw people in and is often remembered long after facts and figures have been forgotten. Nike have used their Instagram account to tell stories about product development and shared a never-seen-before concept drawing of their Air Max line.
Using Instagram to tell the story of your business is a great way to find like minded people that will become your customers and fans.
2. Promote an Upcoming Launch.
Letterpress printers Blush have used their Instagram feed to give sneak peeks of new projects. Teasing information on new products or services is a great way to get people interested in what you do.
Use a string of Instagram posts during concept and development to spark the interest of your customers. Several sneak peeks will keep people interested and make them eager to see the finished product.
3. Sell Your Products.
While it’s never a good idea to be constantly promoting and selling via social media you can get away with adding some promotional posts to your Instagram mix.
Ikea USA use lifestyle shots of their products show how you might use their products. As a photo-based channel it’s important to use high-quality images and well-styled shots are a great way to tempt people and turn them into customers.
4. Build Awareness.
Unless you’re a huge, global business there will often be times when you have to build awareness for what you do. This might take the form of showcasing your business, the people behind your brand or even introducing products.
While Starbucks might not have to tell people who they are, they do use their Instagram account to build awareness for their products. By posting seasonal images they constantly have new ways to showcase their products in a timely and relevant manner.
5. Engage with Your Customers.
As the name suggests all social media channels do require you to be sociable. When using Instagram for business this can often mean using the photographs you post and the captions you include as a way to engage with your customers.
Benefit Cosmetics use their Instagram feed to ask their fans questions. This not only stimulates conversation about their products and brand but can also provide valuable customer feedback.
6. Run Competitions & Giveaways.
Competitions and giveaways are a great way to engage fans on social media and Instagram is no exception. By utilising the caption and comments section fashion retailer ASOS have created a Friday giveaway.
Giveaways or promotions are a great way to increase loyalty to your business with existing fans and encourage new people to follow what you do.
7. Educate Your Audience.
Most card and gift businesses might not see themselves as teachers but I would encourage any business to think about how they might educate their audience. Using Instagram posts to educate is a great way to place yourself as an expert in your field. A position that could result in people wanting to work with you.
If you’re not sure where to start, think about any questions customers have or could have about your products. Use your Instagram feed as a way to answer questions about your products, your designs or your industry in general. People are always seeking experts and social media is a great way to showcase your wisdom.
NASA’s account is a great example of education done well on Instagram. Their feed uses amazing photographs and long captions to showcase the expertise and engage their audience.
8. Showcase Your Blog or Social Media Accounts.
No social media channel has to work independently of all the others. Instagram is a great way to promote your blog or other social media channels. By sharing what you’re doing elsewhere you can grow your fans on other platforms as you update Instagram.
The official Instagram account uses their feed to showcase their blog and raise interest for all their marketing efforts.
Instagram offers great potential to reach existing and new customers. Whether you use it to build awareness, answer questions or engage with your customers there’s lots of potential to showcase what you do. Think about what you want to communicate and which of today’s methods suits your aim. Using a combination of any of the ideas will ensure you have a varied and interesting Instagram feed for your business.
Not sure if Instagram is the right social media channel for you?
Read ‘Which Social Media Platform is Best for Your Business‘ to find the answer.