Instagram for Business: Tips and Tools

12 October 2016

Instagram for Business: Tips and Tools

Instagram has a massive 500 million active users, 80% of whom live outside of the United States. 300 million are active every single day, which shows how important Instagram can be as a platform for businesses as well as individuals.

Making a success of a business Instagram account does involve more than just sharing the odd snap and hoping for the best. Like with all forms of social media, the more attention you pay to it and the more effort you put in, the better your results will be. There are tools that can help you to streamline your processes and understand your results, and important tips to bear in mind when managing your account, too.

1. Know what you want to achieve. Setting goals helps you to focus your attention and get where you want to be, whereas ignoring this vital part of the process will mean that you have no idea how far you have come or whether you are succeeding with your Instagram account. Do you want to build your follower numbers? Showcase your products? Create a brand your customers can relate to? Don’t try to achieve everything at once, choose one or two goals that you can stick to.

2. Be consistent. Sporadic postings will never build a dedicated audience, so commit to posting a certain number of images per day or per week.

3. Use your captions and profile info. The opportunities to input text into your Instagram account should be used as a way to both compel your audience to engage and also to make your images and your profile searchable (and findable). Make the most of hashtags on your images and create captions that make people want to see more from you.

4. Think visually. It seems obvious, but make sure any images you share are visually appealing and suited to your branding. Whether you’re showing behind-the-scenes snapshots, image quotes or product photos, don’t just shoot and share. Don’t forget to look at your profile page from time to time, too, to check that your images complement each other when on show together.

5. Consider your analytics. Instagram analytics can show you patterns and trends in how people are responding to your images. If you ignore this data, you may continue with unpopular approaches and fail to make the progress you are hoping for.

6. Use tools. Services like Buffer and Hootsuite provide a way to schedule Instagram posts without breaking the site’s ToS (by scheduling reminders to post, rather than the posts themselves), while tools like Iconosquare and Simply Measured will enhance your analytics and make them more accessible.