It’s no surprise that social media has become a cost-effective tool for reaching a business or organization’s target audiences.
For many companies with visual presentation components, Instagram has become the go-to platform for sharing key messages and displaying photos and videos that drive business and engagement.
Courtesy / Marshall Communications
Whitney Raymond of Marshall Communications
There are various ways to successfully use a business account on Instagram and encourage engagement, some of which are simple and do not take up much valuable time.
Here are ways to make a big impact with Instagram business accounts and generate engagement:
Optimize your account
Although it seems obvious, one of the obvious missed opportunities on Instagram is leaving a profile incomplete. This gives the impression that the Instagram account is inactive and can make it difficult for people to easily find contact information.
Complete the business bio with a brief description of what the business is or does, add the correct URL and contact information. Make sure the profile is set to a business account to access important information and metrics.
Choose visuals that represent the brand
Choosing attractive, interesting visuals is the most important step in creating content that drives engagement. The great news is that photos and videos perform well on the platform. All posts must represent or be applicable to the business or organization and include the basics. Add locations, tag relevant people or businesses, and a few relevant hashtags to reach a larger audience and show up more often when people search on Instagram.
Be sure to engage with others by liking and replying to their comments and engaging with others’ posts and content related to your business or industry.
Try different Instagram features
While traditional photo and video posts still perform well, the ever-changing algorithm has made it more challenging to show them in people’s feeds. One of the best ways to combat this is to change the method. Here are some ideas:
- Post a series of Instagram stories featuring a behind-the-scenes look at a business-related event, experience or activity, or an inside look at a new product or service. Video content, especially less polished, more in-the-moment content, works well as a story. Since they disappear after 24 hours, be sure to save the content as an Instagram Highlight before it does!
- To tap into trending topics or music in the social media world (as long as it’s relevant to your business or brand), try creating a Reel. These are often more polished and produced videos or a compilation of images. Using popular topics viewable from the Reels icon allows Instagram to deliver content to more people. Unlike Stories, which disappear unless saved as a Highlight, Reels live on the Instagram profile.
- If a business has mostly images to work with, replace regular posts by choosing the multi-post feature, allowing 10 photos or videos to be shared in one post, which provides an opportunity to go deeper and showcase more about a specific product, service, event or offer.
Determine what is working and revise the strategy
As with any other marketing initiative, pay close attention to what resonates with followers and what doesn’t, then adjust the plan of action continuously. Instagram’s Insight tool has a wealth of analytics information, ranging from the number of accounts reached to more detailed information such as how many times the most popular post of the month was shared or what time of day people interacted with the profile the most.
Trying new approaches to content, replicating high-performing post types, and adapting your strategy along the way are key to generating meaningful engagement on Instagram.