Getting started with Instagram

Social media is a great tool for reaching your target audience and sharing your business’ story. Do it well, and you can create a strong connection between you and consumers. Do it badly, and you risk putting off or losing potential customers. So how do you grab attention and keep followers engaged as they scroll a newsfeed full of content?

Start off right with a clear and catchy bio

As well as your business name, username, and website URL, you have 150 characters for writing a bio. Your bio should be clear and concise; conveying what your business does and representing your brand. Your business’ tagline may even be enough to communicate what you do while encouraging followers to find out more.

As well as standard characters, you can use emojis, if appropriate, to illustrate your business and what it does. You may also want to include a call-to-action in your bio, for example: ‘get in touch for a quote’ or ‘read our story on the website’.

The website link on your profile can and should be updated to specific pages and new content as it is added. This is because any links you include in Instagram posts are not clickable. So whenever you share details of your latest blog post or launch a new product, for example, update the link in your profile and direct followers to click the ‘link in bio’.

Create a brand ‘look’

Your Instagram profile can often be a consumer’s first sight of your business. By creating a ‘look’ for your brand, you can create visual consistency on Instagram. This should reflect your company’s overall branding, for example using your brand colours or appealing to your target market.

Ways you can create a consistent look include:

  • Using the same filter or colour palette in all posts, e.g. a company selling candles with a fresh, clean fragrance and simple white branding, may want to use a clean white colour palette
  • Ensure photography is well lit and keep it consistent across posts
  • Use your house font in any text used on visuals or videos
  • Use your house colours in any visuals
  • Also remember to keep language in post captions consistent and ‘on-brand’

Create content that makes people stop and look

In addition to sharing visually appealing content, it must also be compelling.

  • A business selling products should showcase the benefits owning that product has, not just the product itself – try showing the product in context or try to create the feeling through visuals
  • Show the people behind the business. Followers relate to people so try to create a connection between you and them. This could be through sharing behind the scenes photos, meet the team features or photos of the office dog!
  • Create interesting visuals and posters to display information such as customer/client testimonials, quotes from influencers in your industry/from your team or interesting facts
  • Share an interesting mix of content, such as videos, graphics and carousel posts (multiple images)

#Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to reach appropriate audiences. You can also create a dedicated hashtag for your brand – keep them short, catchy and easy to remember.

When using hashtags, remember:

  • Don’t use irrelevant hashtags
  • Don’t overdo hashtags – maximum of 30 per post, and experiment to see which ones get the results you want
  • Use specific or niche hashtags for your business – but you can still use some popular hashtags if relevant, such as #picoftheday, #TBT (Throwback Thursday)
  • Make sure the hashtag means what you think it means – browse through previous posts using the hashtag to check it’s the right one
  • Save hashtags for future use by saving them as a note on your phone
  • You can hide hashtags so the focus is on your caption, by either posting them as a comment or by inserting line breaks after your caption

Tell Stories

Make use of Instagram Stories to stay connected with your audience and give them an insight into your brand and what goes on behind the scenes. Instagram Stories are also great for teasing new products, giving reminders about events, promoting sales or conducting Q&As. From adding GIFs to creating your own template for Stories, get creative and see how followers respond.

That’s just the beginning…

From Instagram Live to influencer marketing, there are so many more ways to reach your target audience and build your brand on Instagram.

If you would like to develop your Instagram strategy, get in touch to see how we could help on hello@whalelikefish.co.uk or 01463 830390.

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