Using Instagram for business and hashtag tips

 

Our social media marketing course includes a whole lesson dedicated to Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Tumblr – these are all visual based platforms. Meaning images or videos are a must!

If you’ve been sleeping on Instagram, now is the perfect time to act! There are over a billion active users and counting.

However, just like Facebook, Instagram’s algorithm is always changing, and it can be a challenge for businesses looking to maximise their engagement. You must make sure that you are following Instagram’s best practices.

That’s why we have put together this short list of Instagram tips to help you stay up to date.

Optimise your bio

A bio can often be overlooked, as people tend to focus on their photos and captions, however, the bio is the most important part of an Instagram profile!

An Instagram bio represents some seriously valuable real estate. From funneling visitors to your promotions to serving as a call to action, there’s a lot you can do in just a few words.

Here’s a quick checklist of what you can include in your bio:

  • A branded hashtag to encourage tagging and sharing.
  • A slogan or brief description that speaks to your brand voice
  • An Instagram-specific relevant bio link pointing to your homepage or a promotion.

Don’t ignore Stories

Among our most pressing Instagram tips for brands, this is a big one for your content strategy.

If you’re looking for a boost in engagement, look no further than running regular Stories.

The best thing about Stories is that there’s no expectation for them to be perfect. Snapshots, selfies and bite-sized posts that show off your business in the real world can be put together in no time.

Figure out your publishing frequency

If you’re looking for tips to raise your reach, start by looking at how you time your posts. In other words, how often you’re posting and at what time your content is going live.

Do you stick to a schedule? Do you post at random? Don’t worry if your answer is “no.”

But there are optimal times to post on social media. Although trends change and this doesn’t guarantee new followers, anything you can do to set yourself up for more engagement is a win.

Include a call-to-action in captions

Much like a bio, there’s much more to an Instagram caption than meets the eye.

Rather than post passively, captions serve as an opportunity to not only show off your creative side but also encourage engagement.

Here are some examples of how you can drive fans and followers to take action via captions:

  • Asking questions.
  • Encourage sharing via hashtags.
  • Publish “tag-a-friend” posts that encourage conversations between users.
  • Point people to your bio link.

In other words, putting a little bit of extra effort into your captions can help increase your engagement rate.

Make your presence more human

Beyond comments, anything you can do to show off the human side of your business through your Instagram content is a major high-five.

Not everything needs to be explicitly product-focused. In fact, the occasional personal photo is actually a smart move when in doubt.

Keep up with a content calendar

Obviously there is no shortage of options in terms of what you can post. Product and customer photos. Text overlays and memes. Selfies and snapshots out and about.

In order to organise what you’re posting, a content calendar is a MUST.

Monitor your Instagram analytics

You need to know which types of content are top-performers and where to improve in terms of your reach.

Check them on a weekly basis and write down which posts are doing well, and which aren’t.

Hashtags

When used correctly, Instagram hashtags can help you grow your reach, get more engagement, and attract more followers.

But in order to be successful with hashtags, you need to be strategic about what hashtags you use and when you use them.

While the most popular hashtags on Instagram have been used millions of times, that doesn’t mean you’re going to get a ton of likes and comments simply by adding them to your posts.

Instead of using the most popular hashtags, it’s better to find and use hashtags that are smaller, more specific, and have a truly engaged audience that’s relevant to your industry.

How can you find these cool, creative, and industry-oriented hashtags?

The best way is to look and see what hashtags your audience, competitors, and industry leaders are already using.

See our social media marketing course