18th August 2022
Instagram Marketing Best Practices
People use Instagram to talk to their friends, post about their lifestyle, and to interact with brands and creatives that they like. Viewing new collections, messaging brands for customer service advice, and seeing what new things are up and coming are all reasons why people follow businesses and brands on Instagram. As a business, you should be able to communicate with your followers to help increase engagement and brand awareness.
Today, we’re going to cover the following ways you can best use Instagram for marketing your business:
- Know the platform and how to use it
- Know your audience
- Reach new and existing audiences
Let’s dive into each of these!
Know the Instagram platform and how to use it
You need to understand everything Instagram is offering you so you can utilise each tool appropriately. Instagram will let you tag people, products and locations, and it also allows users to search and follow hashtags as well as locations. In the Advanced settings, you can also write alt text for your posts, add paid partnership labels and even push your Instagram posts to Facebook. Within the Advanced settings, you can also turn off commenting and hide your like and view counts for your post.
It’s important to consider all of your audience, and while alt text can help with SEO, it also makes your profile more user-friendly for those who are visually impaired. Although Instagram will create alt text for you, sometimes it is better to personalise this, so always check the alt text to make sure you are happy with it. Good alt text accurately describes the image in question so that people who can’t see it still understand the context of your post.
Pushing to Facebook can be useful for efficiency, but you should consider if your post is structured correctly to be pushed to Facebook, or if it would be best to create a separate Facebook post in a format better suited to that platform.
There are pros and cons when it comes to hiding like and view count on posts and this can reflect on your brand image. As a business, generally, it isn’t worth hiding these, because you want to be open and honest with your audience. Turning off commenting will restrict engagement with your post, but it is an option you can consider when posting about sensitive topics or press releases where you would rather not open the post up for discussion.
You should think about all of these features when making your Instagram post.
How to know your Instagram audience
The reason you’re posting to social media is because you have an audience that you want to reach out to. Who your audience is will depend on your business, but essentially, the people who you want to reach out to are likely to be your existing or potential new customers. Knowing the consumer of your content will help you create a strategy to help target your content towards them, but how do you know who your audience is?
Your audience will usually be your current customers, new customers that you would like to attract, as well as businesses or accounts that you want to connect with. Your audience may be in a specific area of the country, or your audience may be gardeners. There will be something about your consumer that you can focus on, and don’t forget to market towards new customers and people who don’t know who you are yet and who may need to be introduced to you. For example, you could use “Who we are and what we do” posts to summarise your business for newcomers.
Engaging in social listening can help you to get to know your audience better. This means looking at what they post on social media themselves to discover what they like and what issues they are having that your product or service may be able to help resolve. Also look at the posts they engage with and how your competitors are using the platform.
How to reach new and existing Instagram audiences
Creating a persona to represent your typical audience member will help you figure out what kind of online spaces they occupy, what hashtags they follow and use, where they may be located, and more.
You can reach your audience using the different tools that Instagram offers you. Using hashtags that are specific to your business or post will help reach people who follow and click through to that hashtag. This gathers people in a unique way and can lead to increased engagement.
Adding a location to your post, otherwise known as geotagging, works similarly to hashtags. People can click through to locations and see all the posts that are going on in that area. Instagram may also suggest your post to people in that area.
Promote your social channels on your website, flyers and advertisements. Your community may not know that you are active on social media, and one way for them to find out is to tell them via other marketing methods.
Instagram can be an extremely useful platform if you know that’s where your audience is and how to utilise the tools it provides. If you would like any help with your social media marketing, get in touch with SilverDisc.