Instagram is quickly becoming a go-to social tool for businesses. With 70 million photos shared on the site every day and higher engagement rates than Twitter, it’s not surprising to see businesses flock to this visual platform to market their goods and services.
There’s a lot of information out there for Instagram beginners, but advice for businesses already using the platform is limited. For those looking to get more out of their Instagram efforts, here are four tips you can use:
1. Use trending tags
You’re probably already using hashtags in your Instagram posts, but are you using trending hashtags?
Hashtags provide a way for users to search for specific content. It’s like adding keywords to your post.
Instagram started using hashtags as a search feature back in 2011, but they made some big improvements last year. When you log into your Instagram account, you automatically see Trending Hashtags. Think of it as a list of what Instagram users are searching for right now.
Before posting to your account, swipe through the Trending Hashtags and see if any of them are relevant to your brand. If they are, consider adding the hashtag to your description to give your post a traffic boost. Or, flip through the trending hashtags and let the hashtags inspire a post.
By using trending hashtags, you not only increase your traffic, but your reach. An Instagram user that has never heard of your brand could run a search for the hashtag and find your post.
2. Use emoji hashtags
Trending hashtags won’t always fit your brand, so here’s another hashtag suggestion: use emojis.
Instagram users can actually filter posts by Emoji Hashtags. Take a look at the picture below. Here’s a search for an emoji hashtag, in this case a hamburger, and the results.
If you own a restaurant and you’re running a Friday night burger special, consider adding a hamburger emoji as a hashtag.
There are a ton of emojis that are available on your mobile device, so flip through, find one that fits your brand and use it in your post.
By using this feature you’ll add your post to a smaller group of results. For example, the hashtag with the hamburger emoji is part of 81,000 results, but if you search for #hamburger you get more than a million results. Being part of a smaller group increases the likelihood of being found.
3. Include more people in your photos
You might feel compelled to share pictures of your products on Instagram. After all, if you’re using Instagram as a marketing channel, it makes sense to show off your merchandise, right? Of course, but there’s a better way to do it that snapping a photo of a shirt hanging on a sales rack or a cheesy pizza sitting on a dinning room table.
If you want to share a product picture, include people in the photo. Photos showing faces get 38 percent more likes on Instagram than pictures without faces.
Adding real people to your Instagram feed, not only increases engagement, but it also makes your brand more relatable.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t ever post a picture of a product alone, just make sure it’s not the norm.
4. Include specific links in your profile
You can’t add links to a photo’s description on Instagram, but you can add a link to your profile. Most brands link to the main page of their website. It makes sense to direct traffic to your site, but a lot of visitors will get to your website and leave.
Your website’s home page has a lot of options, which usually causes the visitor to say, Adios.
Rather than provide the main website as a link, try providing a link to more specific content.
Revamp your profile when you’re running a specific campaign. For example, let’s say you’re running a social contest, or plan to feature followers in some way. Explain the campaign in your profile, and provide a link that offers more information for the visitor to get involved.
Mashable, for example, is featuring some of its followers. The company explains the campaign in its profile and provides a link to a full article that highlights one of its users. Take a look:
When you’re not running a specific campaign, create a bio that talks about the variety of services you offer and provide a link to the Services page on your site. The point is to provide a link to your website that’s more specific than the main page.
Are you using Instagram to market your business? What tips would you add to our list? Share them in the comment section below.