As a visual social media platform, Instagram presents unique challenges to businesses. To be successful, you must figure out how to present your business on this channel. After you’ve decided how to present your brand – your voice, your style, your presentation strategies – do some research into what your followers find interesting and decide how you can use that information to promote your business in a way that’s meaningful and engaging to grab the attention of your audience and other Instagrammers.
When establishing your Instagram presence, ask yourself what your goals are. Do you want to reach a new audience, gain brand awareness, or increase your visibility? Instagram has 4 features to help you make the most of it:
1. People Tab. Found on the Explore page, this feature highlights interesting accounts to follow. Discover other businesses in your industry and see what they’re presenting. Research Instagram’s high-rollers and take cues from images and videos their creative teams produce; see if you can adapt some of their strategies for your brand.
2. Verified Badges. These are Instagram’s stamps of approval to ensure the authenticity of the brand you’re following. No posers here. In fact, Instagram participates in an ongoing removal of spam accounts to improve the experience of its users.
3. Themes. Discover what’s trending and create strong visual content tying your brand, product, or service to the theme in relevant, creative ways. For brand recognition, find a consistent look that works for you. Whether you use the same filter, the same subject, or the same background, pick something that says “this is my brand” in your posts – then play around with the other elements of your content to keep things fresh.
4. #Hashtags. We’re all familiar with what the pound sign has become since the advent of social media, are you taking advantage of this great search feature? Tie your content to themes, make your pictures easier to find, create contests, use trending ones. By using hashtags, especially trending ones, you’re able to put your content in front of people who maybe wouldn’t have seen it before – even if they are not already followers of your brand.
Instagram’s visual nature may be challenging, but the rewards are great when it comes to brand presentation and audience engagement. The platform is mindful of this and has created features to help you make the most of it.