Why Your Business Needs to be on Instagram
Why Use Instagram
Around the world, there are over 500 million Instagrammers — more than 300 million of whom use this Instagram every single day, sharing an average of 95 million photos and videos per day.
With more than 300 million monthly active users, Instagram has now surpassed Twitter (286M). (Iconosquare)
Because Instagram has over 300 million daily active users, there is a huge potential for marketers. But the potential in Instagram lies more in how people behave than the large number of people using Instagram.
Besides young adults, women are particularly likely to be on Instagram, along with Hispanics and African-Americans, and those who live in urban or suburban environments. (Pew Research)
This graph by Pew Research gives you a CLEAR picture of exactly who is uses Instagram and should greatly assist you in deciding on if Instagram is the one of the two platforms you should be using to market your business:
Those are huge numbers. And no matter who your audience is — age, gender, income, whatever — you’ll be sure to reach them through Instagram.
Where do you get started with Instagram?
Glad you asked!
How to Use Instagram
So the question becomes …First of all, the four (4) things you need to be successful on Instagram are:
- Clear vision and strategy
- Consistent frequency
- Familiarity with your audience
- Clear visual style
So the first thing you want to do is to set a goal. In other words, ask yourself this question, “What do I want my Instagram marketing to do for my company or brand?”
Answering this one question on all social media platforms will keep you focused and is the key to effectively marketing your business using social media.
Here are some goals for you to consider:
- Showcase your product or services. If you sell event planning, showcase gorgeous events pictures from the wedding or birthday party you just coordinated. If you are a health, career or business coach, share one (1) valuable tip. If you sell jewelry or clothes, share pictures of your beautiful products. If you are an author, share snippets of your fiction book or tips from a non-fiction book.
- Build your community. This is great for a membership community.
- Increase awareness of your brand. Help people know who you are just by seeing your logo.
- Advertise to potential customers. Sell your goods and services.
- Increase brand loyalty. This could lead to repeat sales.
- Share company news and updates. This establishes your business as a credible company.
Choose only two (2) of the above goals.
Once you’ve chosen your two (2) goals, to help you focus on exactly what you should post, you must ask yourself the following questions:
- Why are you using Instagram?
- How can Instagram assist you in achieving your overall marketing goals?
- How much time or budget can you commit to Instagram?
- How does Instagram offer you something different to other platforms?
My goals for Instagram are:
- Building community.
- Advertising services by offering life and business coaching tips and some inspiration.
Your Instagram Profile
The second thing you want to do is make sure your profile is tight. You can elect a personal or business profile. If you choose a business profile, a “Contact” button is added to your profile which you can link to either an email or a phone number!
Your profile is actually your homepage on the platform. It provides you with space to share a little information about your business and also helps drive traffic back to your website.
The keys to a great Instagram profile are your picture, bio, and link.
Picture – This is where a logo becomes VERY handy. Your brand becomes instantly recognizable because of your logo.
Bio – Your description is unique to your brand and what you share here should represent the uniqueness of your business. You could include your company:
- Tag line or slogan
- An outline of what services you offer
Link – Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram only allow you to use one link and that is the link in your bio; obviously, this link to should be to your website or blog.
When I run a specific campaign, I change my link. For example if you have created a new product or service or want to promote a product or service, change you link so that people will go directly to the page on your website of the product or service you are promoting.
The third thing you want to do is make sure you have a content strategy. In other words, decide WHAT you are going to post. A business coaching session is a great way to create a strategic Instagram marketing plan.
Some brands focus on products (think Nike,)
Other brands focus on culture. For example, Toyota’s TV commercials reveal their tagline is “Let’s Go Places” so their posts feature people or Toyota products in different scenes.
I focus on products/services and motivation to help women live the life of their dreams, authentically and on their own terms!
You can certainly break your content up into different themes such as:
- Customer stories
- Behind the scenes at your company
- Event pictures
- Educational (think useful tips)
When Should You Post?
Research from Track Maven shows that the most competitive time to post to Instagram occurs between 9 a.m. through 9 p.m. EST with the peak occurring between 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and then again at 5 p.m.
The fourth thing you want to do is make sure you use hashtags (#) in your posts!
Hashtags have become THE way to categorize content on social media platforms. Hashtags allow Instagram users to discover content and accounts to follow. Research from Track Maven found that posts with over 11 hashtags tend to get more engagement.
Some hashtags I consistently (mostly) use are:
#lifecoach, #lifecoaching, #businesscoach, #businesscoaching, #coachcarminwharton #femaleentrepreneurs, #entrepreneurship, #wealth, #abundance
Some final thoughts …
- Keep the feel of your brand in mind when you post. This means that you should pay attention to style, color and your company values.
- Be consistent in your posting.
- Mix things up; don’t always sell but DO sell. Offer helpful tips and advice and inspiration too (if applicable to your particular business).