The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram for Businesses
Why do you choose to use Instagram for business?
Generally, companies use it to connect with and reach new audiences, “like” and engage with the content of prospective customers and show them some genuine interest in the hopes that they will contact us or stop in for a discussion about their challenges and how we may be able to help.
While this is possible, the result often requires much more than auto followers and crafty content posting service offerings. Here are some of “The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram for Businesses,” and how businesses can and should be using them.
Do NOT begin Instagram engagement with prospects without a proper marketing roadmap or plan.
Often, you start thinking about how your website and online presence could be used to better harness more customers or leads. If you are in the wellness, medical, chiropractic, dental industries, you’re thinking about how you can leverage social media and Instagram to get more patients. First, you want to have a firm plan in place and make sure you define your target audience. Once you identify them, you want to know where exactly they “hang out” online. What hashtags is your audience searching for on a daily basis? There are more questions, of course, to ask so that you can properly execute on a plan but ultimately, you need to know what direction you are going to take and how much you plan on spending as well. Don’t just sign up for services. Do your homework first.
Do educate yourself on what your audience is interested and learn to provide it
What are their interests? How do they use Instagram? What locations and influencers do they follow? What posts get the most engagement from your audience? These are all questions you want to ask yourself when you are trying to define what your audience is interested in so that you can better equip yourself. To better fit yourself with the right methods and tools, you want to learn your follower’s specific interests and provide them value up front. This approach will ensure that when you are targeting material to your audience, the message is well received and appreciated versus neglected or worse, reported as spam or inappropriate content.
DO NOT hire any firm that emails guaranteeing you they will get you more followers
This action is a big mistake that many firms make. They get an email from a social media agency, promising 300, 500 or whatever number of likes, followers and posts on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Perhaps the cost is so low that it seems hard to resist, right? Wrong! Don’t do this. Doing so is causing more harm than good. Instagram pays attention to login data and types of tools accessing its services. Many of these services use third party tools which appear as bots to Instagram. As such, your rankings could drop and cause your posts to get less reach and less appearance over time. It is essential to provide value after learning your audience and engage with them in a more meaningful way instead.
Do use hashtags to search for locations and trendy topics
Hashtags are a smart way to find out more about your audience and what interests them. This action can be done by learning what they like and searching for hashtags that match their interests. From there you can get into a chain of research in learning your audience. Click and swipe through the various pictures, view the comments, and be sure to consider the posts with the highest engagement ratings at the top in order to best learn about awareness and exposure.
Do NOT DM without a goal in mind
Direct Messaging seems like a harmless thing but to be honest, it is starting to compete with email and receive similar levels of neglect and spam content. Do not be someone that appears desperate. Don’t “auto-message” when people signup. This approach seems too sales-oriented and spammy. Instead, give it some time. Review the person’s content and manually engage with them in a meaningful way. Look for something in their content that you can complement them on in a unique way so that they know you took the time and looked carefully at the image or read through the entire caption and hashtags. Be meaningful and engaging before you DM. Have a goal and most importantly, try to provide meaningful engagement and valuable content.
Do use insights to learn your audience better
Instagram accounts when signed up for as a business page, give you additional analytical tools and tracking metrics called Insights. You will want to use this to learn many things about your followers over time. What time do they engage with the most on your posts, for example, or what state or country do they represent? Use insights to gain a more profound, rich understanding of your audience so that you can post better.
DO NOT post tons of content daily or weekly
It’s true; you don’t want to bombard your followers with tons of material. Instead, you want to post maybe once a day (at max) on Instagram, and you want to provide valuable “thumb-stopping” content. This method is something that makes a follower stop in their feed, click your post and view the photo and caption. You want to provide a valuable caption that is compelling, perhaps by asking a question, or to act on a call to action on something. For every call to action-oriented post, you want to have about 70% more value-oriented content that is meaningful versus asking the follower to do something to buy something – which again appears sales-oriented.
Do provide value in your post captions
Do not forget to keep your post captions clean and sprinkle in an emoji that is relevant here and there
People do stop to read the captions you write. So make them stick, make them meaningful and make the user want to stop and read them. There’s nothing worse than a beautiful photo with a short and subtle caption. The point of the caption is to describe or inspire your followers to feel or act a certain way. Make the captions clean and visually appealing. Some methods are to separate sections with emojis or incorporate them into your post in a story-telling format somehow.
DO NOT use meaningless hashtags in your bio page
Several months ago Instagram sent out a promotion regarding a new feature they enabled to allow users to incorporate hashtags (#) in their bio page. Many users seen this and jumped right in and flooded their bio pages with hashtags. Some even took this further by regularly updating them to hit trends. Creative, one would likely think. Although this may be true, the situation does have to warrant the action. First, you want to pick one or two meaningful hashtags if you do this. Second, you want to make sure they match your target audience. If you are a chiropractor having #chiropractor or #backpainremedies in your profile may make some sense. This proper use of the hashtag could make your profile more searchable and even come up in search results when audiences are searching for the respective hashtags.
Do use a trackable URL in your bio page
It is fantastic that we can incorporate a clickable link in our bio page. It is the only clickable link we can provide in Instagram at the moment which will take followers outside of the platform. We can bring people to specific pages, content pages, and even signup forms to take action and learn more about what we can provide to them. While all this is great, you will want to employ a method to track that the URL is unique to Instagram so that you know if it has been clicked on, the users did come from Instagram. This capability will help ensure accuracy and
Do NOT share others content without permission or proper credit
While others may have the great content you aspire to post and create, sharing their content out with your followers without adequately addressing credit to the creator or requesting permission is a sure way to get a contact from someone who is upset or even worse, fined for copyright violations. You want to make sure you have the proper legal checks and balances in place before you blanketly share stuff out. The checks and balances we are talking about could vary from post to post or from picture to picture.
Do hire an excellent agency if you don’t know what you’re doing
Blindly posting whatever content out there and hoping someone will like and follow is a foolish thought. Especially in today’s world where Instagram has been around for some years and has matured beyond motivational posts and into something more valuable to audiences alike. If you aren’t sure about what type of content to post or when to post, there are some excellent agencies out there that not only understand the platforms well but also the approaches and methods to posting content for a given industry. Be sure to look around and find one that is suitable to your liking and business objectives, budget and needs.
Social Media Marketing, Management, and Advertising Services are available
If you aren’t using Instagram to grow your business, you are missing out tremendously. Having an experienced agency such as Bizkey Hub, can help you hit your objectives on time, and under budget. To start learning more about our services or to schedule a call, please click here.