Top tips for utilising Instagram for your business

Every month, we hold a free Technical Tuesday workshop at our studio in Escrick. This event gives us the opportunity to educate our clients around a variety of topics in digital, design, branding and strategy. Last month, we heard from Henry and Laura about how to get the most from the fastest growing social media platform, Instagram. 

Launched in 2010, Instagram now has over 1billion users worldwide, with users generating over 100 million posts a day. In 2012, it was bought by Facebook, bringing on board a huge range of advanced targeting capabilities that help businesses embrace Instagram to generate leads, broaden their reach and engage their audiences.

A huge 71% of businesses are now using the platform, and over 80% of Instagram users are following at least one brand from their personal account. Shopping and research on Instagram is growing rapidly, with 60% of audiences using the platform to discover new products.

How do I use the platform as a brand?

For our event, we gathered a range of top tips to help you get the most out of using Instagram for your business.

  • Post anything from 3-10 times a week. Frequency is key, it’s a noisy platform so as long as you are posting high-quality content, feel free to do this up to twice a day.
  • Remember who your audience are, and focus your content around their interests and when they are likely to be active on the platform. For example, targeting new mums would benefit from 3am fun posts whilst they are up with their baby and flicking through the phones; whereas targeting the London commuter would be a 7am post whilst they are on the train to work.
  • Don’t post the same thing twice, even if you are promoting the same thing – think of a different angle, use different copy and even more importantly – use different imagery.
  • Always post with meaning, ensure that every bit of content is consistent with your brand, tone of voice and has a purpose. Even if that purpose is just to make your audience smile.
  • Use between 5-10 hashtags per post. You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, but industry best practice is to use less than that. Make sure you are using the best hashtags for your audience though, so spend time researching which ones to use.

What do I write on my Instagram post?

It’s true that images are the most important part of your Instagram post, however, you have the space and ability to add text to your images to give them more meaning and context. Use them wisely.

One tip is to write out the caption using your notes section first, this gives you the ability to add paragraphs, and to give it a bit of a proof before popping it into the Instagram platform and pressing publish.

Keep an eye on your following numbers

A great way of letting people know that you are on Instagram is by following them, so they get a notification with a link to your profile. However, you need to be conscious of your follower numbers in comparison to your following stats – as a brand account following 5,000 accounts but with only 4 followers won’t look legitimate.

Don’t be tempted to buy followers to make your account look more active or popular. It’s been proven that fake followers decrease your engagement rate, leading to a lack of credibility. It’s also going to make it more difficult for you to get genuine data from your Instagram account, as you won’t be able to separate the true audiences from the ones you’ve bought.

What does success look like?

Success is all completely relative to what your business objectives are, and your reasons for using the Instagram platform in the first place. If you are wanting to drive sales, then we need to measure the conversion rate from your Instagram activity. If it’s about brand awareness, then using the reach and engagement metrics are more relevant. Likewise, if you are wanting to push a specific campaign or blog through a link in your profile page, then click-through rate is the measurement for you.

If you would like any help with your Instagram or social media success, contact us to find out how we can help with bespoke training packages, strategy and advice.

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