Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites. There are more than 800 million active users, and 8 million of those accounts are registered to businesses, making it a highly effective tool for marketing and branding.
There are more than 800 million active monthly Instagram users worldwide, and 500 million users actively use their accounts on a daily basis. With more than 250 million pieces of content shared each day, it is safe to say that this social media site is a highly effective way to reach a large audience. That is why so many businesses owners have decided to tap into the power of Instagram as a way to market and build their brands.
If you are new to Instagram marketing and you aren’t sure where to get started, this guide will help get you set up so you can start reaching a huge audience.
Why Use Instagram for Marketing?
There are so many different online marketing tools and strategies, so why should you add Instagram to the mix? As mentioned above, more than 300 million people use the social media site on a daily basis. Numbers like that alone offer serious potential for marketers. However, there’s more to the effectiveness of marketing on Instagram than the numbers. The real benefit of using this social media site as a marketing tool lies in the fact that those who use Instagram really enjoy connecting with brands. Some of the benefits businesses enjoy through Instagram include the following:
- More than 60 percent of Instagrammers follow at least one brand on the social media site.
- Companies engage with about 4 percent of their followers on a regular basis, whereas on Facebook and Twitter, regular engagement between brands and followers is less than 1 percent.
- Less than 40 percent of businesses market on Instagram, whereas more than 90 percent market on Facebook.
- Approximately 70 percent of those who use Instagram have searched for brands on the social media site.
In summary, there’s less competition for marketers on Instagram and an immense audience reach. Moreover, a large percentage of those who use the social media site follow brands and interact with them on a daily basis. In other words, Instagram is an excellent marketing tool, and it doesn’t involve pushy sales pitches other marketing tactics that consumers tend to despise and/or ignore.
Setting Up an Instagram Business Account
If you are interested in taking advantage of the proven benefits of using Instagram for marketing, the first thing you need to do is set yourself up with a business account.
To set up an Instagram account for business, follow the steps below:
- Download the Instagram app on your device – the Google Play Store for Android users, the App Store for iOS users, and the Windows Phone Store for Windows users).
- When the app has been installed on your device, tap on it to open.
- Select “sign up” and then input your email address. Alternatively, you can sign up with your Facebook business account.
- Once you are logged in, locate the settings and select the “switch to Business Account” setting.
- Input important information about your business, such as the address, the phone number, and your hours of operation.
Optimizing Your Instagram Business Profile
In order to make the most of your Instagram business profile and reach your audience, here are some tips to help you optimize your profile.
- Make sure your username is the same as your username on other social media profiles, such as Facebook and Twitter. Doing so will make it easier for your audience to find you.
- Describe what your business is about in your bio, as well as what others will be able to see when the follow you. You should also consider including branded hashtags that you would like your followers to use.
- Choose a profile picture that relates to your company and is instantly recognizable. Your company logo, the logomark (your logo without words), or a mascot are all great choices for your profile picture. The photo will display in a circle, so ensure that the image you choose will display well in this shape.
Follow Users and Promote Your Account
Once your account is setup and you have taken steps to optimize it, start following other Instagram users. Locate users who are relevant to your brand, such as customers who follow you on other social media sites and other brands in your industry.
Determine what audience you are trying to target and search hashtags that are related to your industry to find people to follow. Establish your presence by commenting on photos that are shared by the accounts you are following and start following people who also comment on photos.
Develop a Branded Hashtag
Hashtags help to link other people to your Instagram account and establish your presence. Creating a branded hashtag that directly relates to your business can help you reach a huge audience.
Your branded hashtag should embody your brand and invite others to share content that relate to it. Examples of effective branded hashtags include #thesweatlife from Lululemon Athletica and #campvibes from Poler Stuff. These hashtags directly relate to these brands and encourage others to share content that matches their message using those hashtags.
Instagram is a highly effective, free, and easy-to-use tool for marketers. Tapping into it can prove to be extremely beneficial for your business.