In early 2012, Facebook bought the social media application Instagram for $1 billion. In February of 2016, Facebook surpassed one of the largest gas companies in the world, Exxon, with an estimated value of $328 billion. Clearly, Instagram has contributed to that. So how does a business take advantage of an exponentially growing outlet? Here are 11 ways that brand managers can leverage the power of Instagram for business growth.
It is important to start off with a comprehensive understanding of the brand image that the business wishes to portray. Your Instagram business profile should represent your brand. Understand what your brand image is and make sure it’s unified; this makes it a lot easier when expressing your company values to customers. A clear brand image establishes expectations from your business, and starts to develop a relationship with the customer on the right foot. A few questions to keep in the back of your mind should be: What is my company about? What are my business’s values? Why should a customer trust me? Once you have established a clear approach to your brand image, you can explore these top 11 ways to optimize your Instagram profile.
Your username should be the first step to developing your brand. This is going to be how people find and search for your business, and a vital part of your online image. If your business name is unavailable as your handle, try using an extension or even a phrase associated with your business that will do the job. It’s important to note that you should try to keep your username consistent between all social media platforms. Businesses should try to keep this consistently so that if users search for your business, they are easily able to locate you on Instagram.
Your bio is the first thing that a customer is going to see on your page, so accordingly, this is your introduction. Create a light, interesting, and catchy bio that’ll make people want to follow your brand. It’s important to be consistent with your culture and values since this is where you’re showcasing your brand. Avoid sounding like a sales pitch; Instagram has its own exclusive culture. Just be honest and stick to what your business believes in!
There are an ever increasing number of social media platforms to choose from today. Each platform has different image restrictions and resolution size. On Instagram, you’re given 180x180 pixels for your profile picture, so be sure to use a correctly sized image. Having an eye-catching and brand consistent profile picture is an easy way to score points with potential customers. A great tool in your digital marketing arsenal is the website Canva. Here, you can optimize your images for whatever platform it might be. For simplicity and to further strengthen your brand, use your company logo as a profile picture when you first start your Instagram account. You can make variations of the logo for different seasons, holidays, or special offers.
Your name is displayed in two different places on Instagram, on your profile and in search results. If you already have your business name in your handle, write your slogan or a catch phrase that your business uses. Instead of repeating your name twice, try to include something different that can help users find the right profile and lead to organic, free followers on Instagram.
#5. Linking To Your Website In Your Bio
Including a link to your website will help drive customers to your website. This increases web traffic and could also lead to a point of sale. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram does not allow links in photo captions and comments. Including a link within your bio may be your only chance to direct a customer off of Instagram and onto your website. You can also use this spot to link to your Twitter, Facebook or any other social platform that you want to show the customers.