When it comes to doing business on social media, Facebook is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s the most versatile of all social media sites. Companies do advertising, content promotion, influencer marketing, and other forms of digital marketing.
No one thinks of Instagram in the same light, at least not the entrepreneurs and sellers you know. We keep telling people to adapt. Just because Instagram doesn’t allow you to post albums or put hyperlinks in captions doesn’t mean any hopes of doing business on it is unthinkable.
The truth is, more people are selling their brand on Instagram. Why not? It is the visual site that is not only a suitable but also an effective platform for business and marketing. The reason many businesses don’t think it’s viable for brand promotion is because they don’t know how to use it.
The good thing about Instagram right now is it’s still not crowded with companies unlike Facebook or Twitter. You have fewer competition on a site that has a large number of users, which continues to grow. The large pool of potential audience also gives you ripe opportunity for smart influencer marketing tactics.
Another great thing about Instagram that we have observed is that it doesn’t change its rules as often as the social media giant that bought it does. It also has fewer restrictions, owing to its simpler algorithm.
The first thing you can do is to create a business page, not a personal page. Your business page on Instagram should act like a product catalog. In other words, let your followers see your products when they go to your profile. What you really want to do is create a digital storefront, and you can do that easily on photo-sharing social sites.
Just like you do on a regular catalog, you can put descriptions and prices in the captions of the photos you share. Link the payment page on your profile, the only place on Instagram where hyperlinks work. If you’re clever enough, you can exploit this avenue to monetize your page to the fullest.
Hashtags are still a thing. It’s how people make topics known. If search engines have keywords, then social media has hashtags. They were a thing on Twitter. Now large social networks have incorporated them.
On Instagram, you can use hashtags to look for someone or something. How can you exploit this fact? Well, you use hashtags relevant to your brand. Better yet, utilize generic as well as specific hashtags for each of your product. But choose your hashtags properly. Avoid the hashtag frenzy. Don’t fill your posts with too many hashtags.
Sharing posts is obviously one of the everyday things we do in the name of social media marketing. Sharing should be done with an objective in mind. Refrain from sharing photos out of your whim. You can share posts during key moments in your business.
Do you have an upcoming event you want your followers to know about? Are you hosting a contest? Are you launching a new product you want people to watch out for? Is there a new trend you can latch your brand on?
Of course, you have to share posts regularly. That’s your basic responsibility as your own marketer. However, pay attention to special dates that you can use as a leverage. Pay attention to your brand anniversary dates and important holidays. These are days when you can push your brand out there and call people’s attention through promos or discounts.
To post regularly is a generic advice. It’s true. But when should you post? How often should you post images? These are questions that only you can definitely answer. Know the demographics of your audience. Determine when your posts get the most engagement.
Nonetheless, the sheer importance of posting regularly can be explained by the diversity of your audience. While majority of your audience belong to a specific demographic, a substantial number of them belong to another age bracket or professional background. Such differences mean varied Instagram behavior. Some of them check the site in the morning. Others are late night lurkers. How can you cater to evening users if you only post in the morning?
Investing in photo editing is what you should do. You may not be a marketer, but you can at least think like one and use your Instagram like one. Your business account is not a place for your selfies. Visit your page and see how it looks like. Look at your product photos the way a consumer would. Do the pictures look appealing? Did you call-to-action texts in your images?
Image quality matters. Sure, it’s not Flickr. It’s not a hub for professional photographers. But you’re marketing for consumers. Good images work for your advantage. People trust clear and sharp images in good lighting more than blurry and noisy ones.
Remember that there are a wide variety for people on Instagram. You don’t know who might stumble on the content you share. For instance, potential influencers may stumble on a post of yours and be impressed by your product and the way you presented it. That is true whether you are actively implementing influencer marketing or not.
Contests are a wonderful way to attract people, followers and non-followers alike. We love contests that are fun and engaging. We especially like freebies, gifts, and prizes that come with them. We also love being featured as winners. Contests are a great way to pull in more followers and spread your brand’s message across bigger audiences.
Giving us a glimpse of how you do business is one of the interesting things to see. Most of your followers have no idea how entrepreneurs go about their everyday business life. We think it’s a privilege to let us a bit into the processes you’re doing. For instance, create demos of your services. Or let us see how you bake your cakes or do your homemade hand soap.
In the last two years, companies have gravitated towards finding key people on social media, including Instagram. We’re looking for people who can help us put our brands in front of their own audiences, becoming our voice and expanding our network. We call this influencer marketing. We do this organically or through other means. You can do it too.
You begin by building your pool of quality posts, essentially following the pieces of advice we gave earlier. Keep building your audience, and let it do the work for you. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.