Is Instagram a channel for your business?
Firstly, you need to work out whether you should be wasting time creating an account and uploading photos if it isn’t going to realistically generate new business or relevant awareness for your brand. If you’re in the service industry, for example, perhaps a solicitor or consultants of some sort – then I’d advise against using Instagram and perhaps focus on the other social media channels that have more chance of helping develop your brand and generate leads.
Instagram is the perfect channel for your business if you’re in the e-commerce sector and you know your audience uses Instagram.
Create engaging content for Instagram with these four tips:
Put time and effort into creating visually stunning photos
You need to aim for images that instantly draw the user’s eye, encouraging them to like the photo, save the photo and even come to your Instagram page to check out even more of your photos. Try and shy away from using obvious stock photography, particularly if you’re selling clothes. Stock photography can come across disingenuous when you’re trying to build a relationship with your audience, It will take some experimentation on your behalf but once you’ve created a picture you can be proud of your content will start to attract the right kind of attention.
Stay away from the split image
Just because the Instagram layout app enables you to cut up your picture so you can show off multiple clothing styles – does not mean you should do it. Cutting up your image into five different pieces will confuse the story of your image. If you see an image pop up that is split into five, which items of clothing can you see clearly? None of them. If you want to upload multiple photos, use the built-in album feature on the Instagram app.
Make use of hashtags
Instagram cap the limit at 30 hashtags – but that’s more than enough per post. Remember, unlike other social platforms you can’t add clickable links to your Instagram posts, only to your biography, so this is where hashtags can come into play. You want people to interact with your page? Well first, they’ll have to find it! Jumping on trending weekly hashtags such as #throwbackthursday can help your post gain recognition in the feed.
Make sure you utilise all 30 hashtags per post – this helps you gain maximum exposure particularly in the infancy of your profile. You can ensure your post is clutter-free by leaving a gap between your post caption and the hashtags, this can help draw the user’s eye into the photo rather than all of your hashtags!
Don’t just upload photos of your products
You need to make sure your Instagram photos tell your brand’s story whether you sell luxurious clothes or gym equipment, your photos need to reflect the lifestyle you’re promoting and appeal to the customer you’re targeting. For a user to arrive at your Instagram page only to be faced with a profile of different colour t-shirts, for example, there’s nothing interesting enough about these images to encourage the user to like a post, let alone follow your account.
Always think about how your Instagram profile looks as a whole, not just as individual photos.
Extra tip: When you do show your products off, particularly clothes, make sure your products don’t look like they’ve just come out of a bag; you need to make sure they look as desirable as possible!