The social media that began as a platform for connecting people has evolved into a powerful channel for promoting business. Today, it has almost become a norm for all businesses to have a social media presence and Instagram is fast coming up as the undisputed social platform that exclusively deals with visuals. Instagram provides high visibility and opens up enormous possibilities for businesses to create followers who can contribute to the growth of business. In a short span of time Instagram has occupied the top spot as a powerful brand building tool that can give rich dividends to business of all kinds. Whether you are in the service industry of travel business, have a restaurant chain, engaged in retail business or have any other kinds of business there is unlimited opportunity of using Instagram for bettering business.
Pictures that can speak
We are all familiar with business promotion on the social media that largely depends on textual content accompanied by images. With Instagram, it is a different ball game altogether as the content of this media is completely visual. Inspired from the fact that pictures can speak a thousand words, Instagram uses visuals only to communicate with the audience. It has become a leading platform for building brands where people can find the brands and evaluate it. Companies cannot afford to ignore the millennial population who are avid followers of Instagram, thus making it imperative for businesses to have a strong Instagram presence.
High exposure and viewer engagement
Businesses are always keen to gain high exposure and Instagram can just ensure it. According to survey results, almost 53 percent internet users in the age group of 18 to 29 years are Instagram users and half of this group takes to Instagram daily. The numbers indicate how much wide and intense exposure and viewer engagement you can expect from this social media platform. The figures of engagement that are available from reliable sources indicate that the engagement rate for followers of Instagram is 4.21% which is about 28 percent more than what Facebook can assure.
Showing the way
It perhaps needs no more reasoning to convince you about being on Instagram with your business. However, the next question that you would logically ask is how to get going about it? In this article, the steps that have to be taken for starting an Instagram campaign for business have been discussed. If you already have a social media presence on some other platforms, you might be familiar with some parts of the process.
Have a strategy for the campaign
Before you take the first step to set up the Instagram campaign for business, it is necessary that you have hands on experience about using the media, even if it is used for personal networking. This would give you clear idea about how the media works and the purpose of using it. Next, have a close look at the Instagram presence of some of the best businesses preferably in your industry segment. This will be good learning for you and also provide the inspiration to be there on Instagram. Formulate a strategy as described below.
- Assuming that you already have a plan for social media marketing, working out the Instagram strategy should be easy. The strategy should be linked to the business goals that you want to achieve by using the social media like increased traffic, more conversions and building brand awareness and loyalty.
- In the next step, define how you want to make use of the Instagram account for business. This can be in the form of a mission statement that acts as the guiding light and underlines the purpose of using the platform to achieve some business goals.
- In the third step, create a content strategy that will be based on a content calendar to show the roll out plan of the campaign. What should be the themes of content is also a part of the strategy along with the frequency of posting content. Be specific about which time of the day will be best to post content. Content strategy is critical because it defines the way you would like to communicate with the audience.
Decide on the photo content
The photos that you choose as content should be connected to your business in some ways. In case you do not have any photos to illustrate your business directly, think about other representative visuals that can be connected to some aspects of your business. One way is to create visuals about lifestyle that can connect the audience instantly and at the same time remind them about your business interests, business culture and values. This would give a character to the visuals. Photographs of happy staff and an annual picnic of employees can speak a lot about business values and culture that you believe in.
Create a brand for Instagram
Your business identity needs to have some special traits of identification on Instagram. You need to build an image of your business through visuals with some distinct features could help viewers to easily recognize your business identity. This image will be your Instagram brand that is essential for creating a brand identity that could easily connect you with the followers. You need to have a distinctive visual style that is your very own. For doing it, you can use some special color schemes or make use of filters that create a special pattern of colors for most of your visuals. The scheme that you prefer becomes your recognizable identity and the strategy that you have already defined for the campaign would define the way you approach the Instagram brand.
It is now time to move from the drawing board and get started in using the app that has to be downloaded on your smartphone. Use the same user name of your business that you have on other social media platforms that make it easy to get discovered. The company logo becomes the profile photo. Make your presence known by following several users who are relevant to you. Ahoy, you have just kick started your Instagram account – have a great experience.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
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