Have you ever wondered why so many important brands and small business are so focused on their Instagram profiles? Is Instagram the new way to promote yourself and your business? We might say so.
Right now, if you want to exist in the digital world, brand-depending, you need be part of the biggest and most basic social platforms: Facebook and Instagram, but this last one has revolutionized the online business world. With over 800 million active monthly users (approx.), Instagram should be a vital part of any digital marketing strategy.
(Note: Whilst Instagram is an important part of a marketing strategy, it should complement, not replace, a website or other forms of your online presence).
Years ago, you needed a website to get in touch with customers, family and followers. Now, major services like Google are requesting that websites are made more mobile friendly (considering that more people are now looking for information, products and brand by mobile apps, not desktop). And this request has been a struggle for many small businesses who lack the budget or don’t know how exactly update their websites.
The era of Googling products is ending, and now the best way to find products, brands and whatever consumers are interested in, is by using Instagram and its search feature.
Users can quickly look at your tagged photos or locations to see how other consumers are using your products, or how they look through the eyes of the customers. Instagram’s powerful search tool allows consumers to discover your content just by searching location, hashtags and trending topics, meaning brands don’t have to fight for years to get to Page 1 on Google.
These pieces of user generated content often hold more weight than a written review. People trust people, not brands. In today’s over-saturated world of high quality, polished images, consumers don’t necessarily want to see shiny brand advertising, they want real authentic content that they can connect with.
Now, let’s get to the cool part: how do I upgrade my Instagram profile to make the most out of the platforms features?
Two important elements of your Instagram profile are your photo and your biography. Your profile picture needs to be clear and it must represent who you are. Whether that be a brand logo, photo of yourself or your key product.
Your bio needs to tell the world what you do, what you like (yes, people are interested in your preferences, what makes you human and more accessible), and what they can find in your feed. Think of the 5 most important parts of your business, and think about how they can be condensed into 3-5 words each.
For example, for @creamscafeuk below, we narrowed our 5 things to:
1. Who we are
2. What we sell
3. Where we are
4. How to add us on other social platforms (Snapchat being the focus here as the two interlink)
5. The universal hashtag to use to tag us in content.
To declutter the bio, we used emojis to simplify their offering whilst avoiding reaching the maximum word count for an Instagram bio. We included 1 key hashtag that describes the brand (#desserts), and described each of our features using 7 words or less. Remember, providing it fits in with your brand tone of voice, emoji’s can be a useful way to condense information.
If you’re a fashion blogger, for example, add in your bio your experience in fashion and any website they can check on you too (website, YouTube, Facebook page, etcetera).
This last thing is a call to action: if you’ve got a business, your link will redirect people to your online store or to the site you want them to visit.
We can’t forget Stories, the ever-growing feature in the digital world which gives people a 24-hour glimpse into your life or behind the scenes of the brand. This can be useful because it allows you to diversify the content you publish: posts in your feed can be professional (but authentic!), but stories are more casual and less formal.
Besides, when the content appears in real time, the users can get the latest information of places, events, sales, and whatever you want them to know right away. With Instagram’s integrated tools for shopping and pricing, users can tap on an image to find product details and a link to purchase, without leaving the app to go to a website (this can be done in stories as well for business accounts).
Your stories will disappear after 24 hours, but you can stick them to the top of your profile by ‘Highlighting’ them. Imagine these highlights as pages of your websites. They highlight the most important pieces of information. Fashion brand @fashionnova does this well. They use highlights to convey their new products, sales, shipping details etc.
At the end of the day, stories are a way to be closer to your followers; to make polls, to let them message you and to get to know them better. Being accessible to the people who follow you is the most important part. Instagram is a social media, so you need to be social.
Did you need an extra helping hand with setting up, managing or reviewing your existing Instagram profile? Unsure as to if you’re getting the most out of your social presence? Give us a shout and we’d be happy to help.
You can follow us on Instagram @doubleupsocial for more.