Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms with over 1 billion monthly users. While Instagram is largely seen as a place for social discourse, the platform is also a powerful tool for businesses. Over 25 million companies use Instagram for business and Instagram has been labeled as the “new home for brands.” Brands have found great success on Instagram as the platform boasts a high engagement rate, brand-loyal users, the ability to utilize APIs, and insights that make tracking business goals simple. When used effectively, Instagram marketing can be wonderous for businesses. Below are a few tips and tricks that will allow you to reap the most benefits of marketing your business on Instagram.
The first step in marketing your business on Instagram is to create an Instagram business account. You can convert an existing personal account if that account has a history suitable for your business or you can create a business account from scratch. If you convert an existing personal account to a business account, the transition is seamless as all your followers and posts carry over. However, carrying over past posts to a business account can be a blessing and a curse. If the account has posted content that is unsuitable for your business, then those problematic posts will be fully visible even after converting to a business account. Be careful not to tarnish your business’s image right out of the gate by converting an account that is not brand-appropriate.
API stands for Application Program Interface and they allow one program to work with a different program. APIs are invaluable tools businesses use to utilize data and new features that would be inaccessible otherwise.
In 2018, Instagram shut down its public API. This meant that third-party apps could no longer access the Instagram API without permission. The loss of the public Instagram API was a tough pill to swallow, but thankfully, Graph API was introduced as a replacement. However, the death of the public API also brought about the end of bots on Instagram. Marketers can take solace in knowing that engagement is now largely authentic and organic.
Graph API is more restrictive than the original public API, but Graph API is the only way for Instagram business accounts to collect valuable data. With Graph API, business accounts can track hashtags, among other metrics, but there are some limitations. You are limited to 30 tracked hashtags across seven days. If you want to swap one tracked hashtag for another, you are forced to wait seven days. This restriction means you must choose your tracked tags carefully, so monitor the hashtags that generate the largest impact.
Many developers have adapted to Graph API and have built Instagram approved apps that bring long-loved features to businesses on Instagram. These third-party apps allow you to post pictures from other websites, validate customer addresses, moderate comments, and analyze performance metrics.
Instagram is primarily a visual platform as the majority of posts on Instagram are images rather than text. The first thing people generally see when they open their Instagram feed is a picture, so it is paramount that your business only posts professional quality pictures. Take the time to shoot unique high-quality pictures and edit them to suit your needs. A picture alone is not enough as a professional photo must be accompanied by a caption and appropriate hashtags for the post to be effective. It is important to note that links don’t work in captions; the only place you can share a link is in your profile.
Engagement is key to companies on Instagram. Every company wants their customers to interact and engage with their posts. There are a few ways to generate engagement, but the core principle is talking with your customers rather than talking at your customers. Bring your customers into the fold by hosting contests for user-created content. Offer a prize for the best picture of someone wearing your brand’s jacket or invite customers to caption an image with the best reply receiving a discount. People enjoy friendly creative competition, so use it to your advantage by having the competition double as marketing. Use a unique hashtag for these competitions so you can easily track responses and analyze the data after the contest.
It can be hard to make your business stand out on Instagram, but with the proper marketing techniques, you can elevate your business above the rest. By utilizing a business account and the accompanying Graph API, you gain access to invaluable data and API capabilities. Put your best foot forward by posting high-quality images with captions and strategic hashtags. Encourage your customers to interact with your brand by hosting fun and creative contests.
Social media has changed the face of online marketing, with Instagram being among the top sites enabling marketing professionals to reach vast audiences. What sets Instagram apart from other social media platforms is its focus on images and videos.
To be an effective Instagram marketer, you need to develop your skills for creating visual content. It is imperative that you come up with very interesting posts because you’re competing for attention with a multitude of highly talented content creators. In highly competitive industries, such as fashion, it takes a lot of creativity to make it to the top.
That is not to say that it’s not possible to gain a strong footing on the platform. By coming up with unique content and doubling in on areas that your competitors commonly ignore, you’re destined to succeed. Here are two areas of your Instagram marketing strategy you need to work on.
Posting photos on Instagram is not the same as posting photos on Facebook or Twitter; you need to make each one count. A lot more thought and creativity goes into Instagram posts because the aim is to impress. But what would be the point of creating the perfect Instagram post if only a few people see it?
That’s where captions and hashtags come in handy. Used correctly, they can vastly increase the size of the audience that views your posts. Remember the following when using them.
This may sound like a no-brainer but far too many brands use Instagram as a primitive broadcast tool or simple catalog for their products and services. Such brands end up missing out on opportunities to truly connect with their audience and build lasting relationships with existing and prospective customers.
It’s called social media because you’re meant to have conversations, i.e., two-way interactions with your audience. As such, you should encourage your followers to interact with you through calls to action asking them to like and comment on your posts. Respond in kind by commenting and liking posts relating to your brand.
As you engage with your audience, keep in mind that the comments you make depict your brand’s personality. Find the right balance between being thoughtful and professional as well as casual and relatable. Instagram users are drawn to the human aspect of your brand, so talking to them will certainly keep them watching.
Walter Moore is one of the leading editors at a budding social media marketing consulting website (https://instamacro.com/). His expertise in social media comes from leveraging Instagram followers for destination organizations.
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According to research done by Manta, only 24% of small businesses use Instagram to market their firm. The report was an online survey that was held in October, 2016 for a range of small businesses in different industries.
Small business owners, the ones who did not use Instagram for their business state that:
Have you ever wondered why Instagram is not a part of your firm’s social media marketing? For the business users who use Instagram, state that this social media is very beneficial. This is one reason why people consider hiring a digital marketing agency. They know how to work with “the business”.
Instagram has several positive effects on your customers. This includes attracting customers, displaying the company’s values, getting support to their business, engaging with existing customers, providing customer service efficiently, as well as promoting the sales.
Below are eight reasons to why small business firms should have an Instagram account now.
Since Instagram is mainly about posting pictures, people go on and search for the brand. Once they spot your organization here, they follow the page and stay updated.
For example, the page of your business would display your products and commodities. People would search within your page and may find something interesting to purchase.
Users of Instagram are gaga over hashtags and geotags. If your firm is not on Instagram, you should search the hashtag symbol and your business name.
For example, under #ClovesFashion, you will find posts of your existing customers posing for the camera. The hashtag makes it easier to establish yourself on this social media. Additionally, geotags will help users to locate the outlet of your business.
After your firm is on Instagram, you be displaying the products which will attract people to the account. Once users see your daily posts, they will know more about the products and your firm as well.
For example, users who are interested in fashion will be automatically suggested about the Cloves Fashion page. Once they open the page and view more products, they might contact you for purchase.
Geotags and hashtags have gotten popular in less time. It is very easy to create tags. All you have to do is add the hashtag symbol (#) before the minimal word content. For example, #latesttrend, #200likesplease, #ootd, etc.
If you use tags with the posts, users will be able to view your posts faster. You may come up with new words and make them the top hashtags used.
Instagram users love to keep up with the trend. New trends can be easily created with the use of this social media and hashtags. Have you heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge? It was an absurd idea, but had become popular in a short span of time.
You could get people to try out such challenges and offer prizes like a 30% discount offer on the next purchase. All you have to do is get someone to think over a challenge, enact it, and upload the video with hashtags.
Visuals are easier to interpret. It grabs the attention of several eyes. Since Instagram focuses on visuals, you just have to work out on the display of any photo or video you need to upload. Before uploading, you can scroll through various filters, and make your visual more attractive.
Visuals not only mean a photograph. Visuals can define anything. This includes words written on a vibrant colored background, without the use of any other symbol or image. Now, how cool is that?
You are aware of connecting one social account with other, right? Instagram, too, gives this option. Connecting your Instagram account with other social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, the chances of attracting followers increase. Additionally, you will get a big bang on the bucks.
It only requires a tap of a button. Then you can sit back, and watch your post being shared around the social media. This way you get people to see, comment and follow it as well.
The final reason to be on Instagram is because this social media is easy to operate. All you have to do is upload photos, make short videos, keep things precise, use several hashtags, have daily posts.
At first, I too thought that Instagram is another camera application or is all about young people posting their photos. It was later I discovered that Instagram is more than just an application. I, as a customer, made searches for the brand I shopped for. In fact, I posted photos using hashtags and geotags in the description area.
Precisely, Instagram is an easy social media application. Instagram is the new Facebook. Users like the way it operates and love seeing their favorite brands posting about the latest things they have. In fact, before any brand releases the product, they upload it on Instagram.
What are you waiting for? Go get Instagram for your business!
Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development, I have assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. I’m a thinker, communicator, marketer, competitor, people person, and all-around busy bee. I’m a relentless networker with several years of real world experience and two college degrees under my belt.
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In today’s world, more people are turning to their computer to shop for holiday gifts. Reaching out to online customers is harder than reaching out to the ones who go to the brick-and-mortar building to shop. To draw customers into stores, you can have sales, door buster, vouchers for discounts or other options that convince people they need to shop today. However, with online shoppers, they don’t have that urgency. While you can offer one-day only deals if they purchase online today, you can’t expect that to work as well as it does to bring people to the store. That is why Instagram is good tool to use.
It’s clear that Instagram is a powerful tool for retailers to use. The pictures and storytelling capabilities will ensure more people want to buy from you. If you use the site to your advantage, you will get the most online customers to search your site.
John Matthew working as digital marketing expert since 2008, he started his career as social media professional with Digital Berg. He loves exercise, yoga, cooking and travelling to new places. Connect with him Google +.