Instagram is growing in popularity for businesses, as it has become one of the most popular social networks with more than 400 million active users. If you want to increase your following and improve branding, or even make sales through Instagram, you will need an effective strategy.
Find a Niche
No one likes an account that is neither here nor there, and that’s where too many businesses fall. If you’re trying to make a name for your company, you can’t expect people to follow you by seeing random pictures of employees and spreadsheets.
B2B doesn’t have to be boring. Mailchimp, for example, is rocking Instagram with their high quality quirky photos.
Find a way for your brand to stand out on Instagram and commit.
Don’t Make a Dreary Profile
Your followers are following you because they like your brand or the topic you’re posting on, and expect interesting, quality posts. If you give them completely unrelated posts time and time again, or worse, post the same thing over and over, like a picture of employees smiling in the kitchen, then a picture of employees smiling in the board room, your fans will get bored and may even unfollow you. Quality is key when you want to get new Instagram followers or when maintaining a social media presence. Ask yourself if you would want to follow your company’s account…seriously! If your corporate Instagram bores you, keep that in mind next time you post something and consider spicing things up.
Upload Good Quality Pictures
Your Instagram followers expect quality content. This means that you can’t randomly upload every picture you take at the company barbecue. Learn some focus, figure out what lighting works and plan out your images or videos in advance so they represent the brand. You don’t necessarily have to use a DSLR camera, but these images should be something that show a fun side of your business without the sloppy selfie style.
There are quite a few basic photography tutorials available online as well, which your company may consider investing in if Instagram is really an avenue of interest. Also, while Instagram comes with a few pre-set filters, you’d be better off using other apps to make your pictures stand out. You get a wider range of better quality filters in apps like Pixlr Express, Afterlight, Snapseed and VSCO CAM. If you sell products and can sell some of your inventory through Instagram, these steps are extremely beneficial.
Mind Your Hashtags
Hashtags are magical- they’re essentially words or pieces of text designed specifically to make your post visible to people searching for those exact keywords. The thing is, if you use hashtags like #work or #office, you’ll find millions of posts. While these are fine for getting the odd follower here or there, your photos will likely get lost. Your post needs something else to stand out. The best thing you can do, after amassing a good number of followers, is to come up with a distinctive hashtag which isn’t used by anyone else, and then encourage your fans and users to tag their own photos using that corporate hashtag.
Remember, people hate it when someone uses too many hashtags on a caption. They are distracting, irritating to scroll through and often quite pointless. This practice gives the impression that you are desperately fishing for likes. Lay off the very popular hashtags too, as they don’t really serve your purpose. Go for two to five hashtags, which accurately describe the post and add maybe one or two distinct hashtags (containing your company name, maybe).
Timing is Everything
Last but not least, it is a good idea to be fairly regular. If you post weekly or twice a week, stick to that schedule so that even if your posts don’t show up on a user’s feed, they know when to check your profile for new posts. And don’t forget about your account. Because it can take time, and is associated with an individual mobile which can be tricky as a corporate account, it’s easy to abandon Instagram or forget about it for a while. Don’t abandon your Instagram for too long, the more consistent you are the better.
On the other hand, don’t post a slew of photos one after the other. People get very irritated when their feed is filled with the same account, and unless you’re a celebrity no one will put up with you posting 12 photos in a row.
These simple methods, once adopted, will go a long way in attracting more followers, and potentially growing your business.