With so many social media platforms to choose from, we have often wondered on the best platform to start on. But that really depends on the type of person you want to reach.
Having focused on Facebook which has the largest number of social media accounts, Instagram is still growing in popularity. So we have been taking time over the last couple of months to explore our Instagram account and see how we can improve our profile. Here is what we have learnt about Instagram:
Mobile phone vs desktop
Instagram was created to be a platform to share photos, so it is designed to be accessed from your mobile phone. You can access your Instagram account on a computer, but there are different options on the settings menus. There are more options on your mobile app, so it is best to use this to make changes to your account.
Set up a Business Account
When you first set up an Instagram account it is defaulted to a personal account. You need to switch it to a business account, this way you will be able to add additional information and see the insights on each post.
To switch to a business account, you need to go to your profile and tap the menu in the top right corner. Then go to the settings, account and at the bottom switch from personal to a professional account and choose Business.
Once you have done this, any posts you make after this date will provide you with the insights for the impressions, reach etc. so you know how well your social media content is performing.
Making your profile stand out
In our ‘putting your brand on social media blog’, we told you the importance of branding your social media accounts. Make sure you use your logo as your profile image, so people will recognise your business profile.
On your profile, hit the edit profile button. This is where you add the information that is shown on the top of your Instagram profile. You can only list one website here, so it best to start with your main website address. But you can also use other apps like Linktree to optimise your links.
With Linktree you can then add multiple website links with one website link in your profile. Sign up for a free Linktree account and you can create links to your website, blogs pages, email sign up and other social media accounts.
Next update your Bio info, you don’t have much space here so it is important to include a statement about your business and what you offer. Add your location if relevant, a contact number and your business tag line/USP.
How often to post
As we mentioned in our putting your brand on social media blog, it is all about quality not quantity with most social media platforms. Your followers want to see something interesting that they will want to engage with. They don’t want to be bombarded with new posts from you every five minutes, this will only push them to unfollow your account.
We have found the best method is to choose five or six types of posts and schedule them throughout the week. You can then share the content across your social media platforms using a social media scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer. There are several tools to choose from, some offering free basic accounts which are a great way to start your social media journey.
Think about the content your followers would like to see from you, the obvious choice is sharing information about your products and services. But it is important to not just push sales posts, find out what else your followers are interested in. Share something fun; maybe start looking at the popular hashtags like #motivationalmonday or #throwbackthursday. Or find the most relevant hashtags to your business. Search the hashtag to see how many interactions it has, also checking the type of posts that are being shared. Don’t choose a hashtag that does not fit well with your business or your customers. Also share posts about what you are up to, show the human side of your business.
When to post
When you have been sharing some posts on your account, you will be able to see your followers grow. By looking at the insights tab on your account you will be able to see information about your audience. This will give you information about the location, age and gender range of your audience. It will also show you which days of the week your followers are interacting with Instagram, so you can choose the right time to schedule your posts.
Once you start posting regular content, you can also look at creating stories. You can share existing content to your story to increase your post impressions. As your stories pop up at the top of your followers news feed, they are more likely to interact with it then scrolling down the page.
The great thing we have discovered about stories, is that you can create highlights folders at the top of your profile page. Use these to store your stories in categories, so your followers can choose to see the type of posts that interests them. You can choose images for the highlight cover, or get creative with branded icons.
They are a great way of keeping important information at the top of your page, and they also give you the opportunity to make categories for your products/services. Make your page easy for your followers to follow.
Growing your followers
You can create lots of great content for your account, but you need followers to see the content and share it for you.
One way of growing your followers is to follow people and businesses that would be interested in what your business has to offer. If you have done your homework and you know who your competition is, that is a great place to start.
Take a look at their profile and look at who follows them. You can then choose to follow people who follow their account. When you follow them, their account will tell them and they will likely check out your profile. If they like what they see they will follow you back. This is a great place to start a conversation, remember to thank them for following you.
We hope these tips help you improve and grow your Instagram account. As have had fun learning more about Instagram and we know there is so much more to discover. We hope to start looking at producing more video content to share, and we look forward to learning more about IGTV and other ways of optimising our Instagram account.
Read more of our top tips by taking a look at our blogs page. Or get in contact to find out how we can support your business when creating, scheduling and managing your social media accounts.
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash