How to Use Instagram for Your Business

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We know you’re not supposed to pick favourites… but Instagram is definitely our number one love. It’s our favourite social media platform for sharing pretty pictures and getting endless outfit/homeware/food/makeup inspo, but it’s also an amazing tool for our clients.

If you’re not on Instagram already, you probably should be. Using Instagram (and doing it well) is a brilliant way to build your brand identity, reach new audiences and connect with key influencers. If you’re currently using Instagram to share your holiday snaps and not much else, here’s our guide on how to use the platform for your business.

Show your style and personality

Instagram is a very visual app, so it’s great for creating a strong style and brand identity that really represents what you’re all about. Your photos should look beautiful and showcase your brand – whether that’s by showing your actual products or physical business, or in a wider sense by showing the sort of lifestyle your brand represents.

The main reason people visit Instagram is to see pretty, inspirational or interesting photos so you need to make sure your photos will grab their attention. Forget blurry phone photos or personal snaps mixed in with product shots. It’s often worth doing a photoshoot or working with a professional to get a bank of high quality images you can use on Instagram. Mix these in with more spontaneous photos (using your phone is totally fine, as long as your photos are still good quality!) to show both the personality and style of your business.

Reach a new audience

Each social media platform has a slightly different audience, and the majority of people on Instagram are millennials. This means it’s a great platform to use if your target audience is in their twenties. But don’t dismiss Instagram if your target market is older than this – you just have to make sure you find the right niche and get your posts seen by the right people. Instagram is currently the fastest growing social media platform, so it’s definitely worth getting set up and seeking out your perfect customers.

You can also make use of Instagram’s core feature, hashtags, to reach new people. Pop a few relevant hashtags on your posts (be specific and think about what kind of hashtags your audience will be searching for, rather than adding lots of generic hashtags) and users who aren’t already following you will be much more likely to stumble across your profile.

Create a community

Don’t forget that the whole point of social media is to be sociable! It’s fine putting up lots of lovely photos of your products, but if you’re not taking the time to interact with your community, will anyone bother to follow you? Always take time to engage with other people, so they in turn will engage with you.

Reply to comments on your own posts, as well as liking and commenting on posts from people you follow. Seek out new people to follow by checking key hashtags related to your business and your target audience. Connect with people who tag your profile, check in at your location or mention your products. However you engage, just make sure you do it authentically and thoughtfully. There’s nothing more annoying than receiving a spammy thumbs up emoji comment from someone who’s clearly just trying to increase their follower number!

Work with influencers

Influencer marketing should be a part of any brand’s marketing strategy. Bloggers and Instagrammers have a huge amount of influence in today’s market, and they can have a big impact on brand awareness and sales. Make sure you do your research and find influencers who are the right fit for your brand. Don’t just look at how many followers they have – check how good their engagement rate is, and think about who their main audience is. Small businesses often get great results from working with local micro-influencers, whereas global brands may want to work on international campaigns with big influencers who embody the brand’s ethos.

Working with influencers is also a great way to get some fresh content to share on your Instagram grid. Being able to show your products being used by real people will help potential customers connect with your brand. Just make sure you get permission from any influencers or Instagram users before reposting their content.

Be creative

As Instagram is such a visual platform, it gives you the opportunity to be really creative with your social media marketing. Don’t just post boring, bland product shots. Introduce your team, show your workspace, give people ideas of unusual ways to use your products, tell people what’s happening in your local area. Although your content should always be brand focused, that doesn’t mean it always has to feature products. If a beautifully styled picture of flowers, candles and books fits in with your brand identity… go for it!

Keep an eye out for new trends and features too. Instagram Stories are a great way to connect with your audience even more. Posts here are usually less planned and more spur of the moment, so use Stories to show more of your brand’s personality.

Still not sure? Read our post about what social media can do for your business and embrace the 'gram.