The do’s and don’ts of being a business on Instagram
Instagram is big business, particularly if you’re a business on Instagram. It’s one of the fastest growing social media networks and one not to be ignored! If you’re thinking of creating a business profile here are a few do’s and don’ts to help get you started…
Perhaps the biggest sin of all Instagram sins is the purchasing of followers. Just don’t. It looks terribly obvious as engagement rates are poor compared to follower numbers. Six likes to one photo and ten thousand followers… Oh dear. You want real followers engaged in what you’re posting about, after all it’s quality not quantity and the end goal is to turn followers into customers. Purchased followers are just not interested.
…just promote what you do, use the 80:20 rule
80% of your content should be focused on educating, enlightening and engaging your audience; 20% should be self-promotional. So don’t just push product, have a bit of fun – encourage user-generated content, use competitions, tell a story. Followers will not engage or keep following you if it’s all me, me, me.
…unfollow once you’ve been followed
We see this often. People follow you, wait for you to follow them, then unfollow. They’re hoping no one will notice so that their follower base will grow whilst their following list doesn’t. The goal here is to look super popular; however, they will always be found out and followers will unfollow once they realise, meaning they’ll have high turn over of followers, poor engagement and poor chances of converting a follower into a customer.
…post personal photos if you have a business account
There is nothing worse than heading over to what you thought was a business profile but all of their pictures are of dogs and what they had for breakfast. Ok the former isn’t so bad if you’re a dog lover, but still, not what you had in mind when you visited their profile. If you’re a business, start a business account from fresh, don’t turn your personal profile into one.
…put links in your captions
Links in captions don’t work and no one will want to take the time to type a link out. The only place that a link is clickable is in your profile so that’s where you will put it. Use photo captions to tell your story, include relevant hashtags and your call to actions. Always send them to the link in your profile.
It’s really important to know what you are going to post about, how often you’re going to post and whether you’re going to use images or videos. It’s also important to know what theme the images will have such as colours and fonts, which should really complement or match your branding. Ideally you will create a content calendar for your posts so you know what you’re going to post when, it makes life so much easier and will provide you with a consistent brand message and image.
…tell a story
Think of your Instagram profile as a micro-blogging site where you can tell your story. You need to engage with your audience so the photo caption needs to have more than a few words to keep their attention. Include hashtags so your posts are searchable but don’t #hashtag within the text, do it at the end like this… #instagramtips #instagramlessons
…research relevant hashtags
It’s important to go for popular hashtags that are relevant to your business and it’s super easy to find out what hashtags you should be using.
- You can check out the competition and see what kind of engagement they are getting.
- Use a third party tool to see what is big in your industry
- Check out Instagram’s own suggestions when you start to type in a hashtag. They will give you an idea on how many times they have been used. Although don’t just go for the most popular. Hashtags with the biggest number of uses also means you’re up against a lot of competition to be seen.
Don’t forget you have 30 hashtags to play with. We’re not saying use all 30, but definitely make the most of them.
…switch up hashtags
It is just a rumour but it has been said that using the same hashtags over and over again in the same pattern can make Instagram think you are spamming or a bot meaning you could be banned or penalised. Variety is the spice of life so change it up every now and then.
…be authentic, be real
You need to separate yourself from the spam and bot comments of Instagram by being authentic. You can generally spot a bot or spammer a mile off as they will generally reply with a cliche phrase like ‘love it’ or ‘this is great’… Snore! Make sure people know you’re real by being real, in turn you’re more likely to get a response or a follow back.
So that’s just a little taster on the do’s and don’ts of Instagram for business. however there’s so much more to think about on how to be successful on Instagram. If you’re not sure where to begin then give us a call on 01435 817226 or drop us an email and we can give you some guidance on how to get started!