Instagram 101 for Businesses

From posting and tweeting to gramming and snapping, it can be a little overwhelming to know what exactly to post on each social media platform. When it comes to businesses using social media, the need to post quality, consistent content often takes a backseat to other “more important” things. But what we often forget is how big of a role social media can play in enhancing a brand and reaching a target audience. Most recently, Facebook had 1.71 billion active users, Twitter had 232 million, and Instagram had 500 million. That’s a lot of people just waiting to be reached.

Though I may be slightly biased as a female millennial, Instagram is my personal favorite. Not just because it’s artsy and creative, but also because as a marketer, I see it as the ultimate in businesses showcasing their personalities and developing a more personal relationship with their audience. But how do businesses practically do this? Here’s a few tips to get started:

Business in the Front, Party in the Back

One of the biggest mistakes I see companies make is solely posting about the products or services they offer. It’s all about the balance between posting “fun” pictures with “business” pictures. By doing this, you create a conversation with users. Don’t feel pressured to make every single post an intentional call to action, driving people to purchase your product or service, but rather think of your posts as ways to build and enhance your brand voice. Sometimes it’s okay to just post about being happy it’s Friday or asking users what their weekend plans are. It’s called social media for a reason - because it’s all about connecting with your audience and building a relationship with them. If you’re doing a good job with that, the sales will follow.

Inside Scoop

For a while, Instagram was was all about perfectly editing a single photo and posting it. At the beginning of August, Instagram came out with the new stories feature, which allows users to post multiple of photos or videos throughout the day (Sound strikingly similar to Snapchat? It is.). These photos and videos post on their “story,” which allows followers to stay updated on what they’re doing at potentially every hour of the day. This new feature can be advantageous for companies from the standpoint that it gives a face to their name. People thrive on being on the “inside” and when you allow your audience to see what goes on behind the scenes day-to-day, you make them feel like they’re special and like they personally know you. For imavex, we use Instagram stories just to document office culture (if someone has a birthday, followers get to join in singing and cake), showcase things we are working on, and allow people to see the personalities behind the work. It’s not rocket science - it’s actually getting back to the simple roots of appealing to the human longing to know and be known.

Depending on the audience you’re trying to reach, Instagram may not be the right outlet for you to utilize. But whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or another, connecting more personally is your top priority in using social media. You have a unique position when it comes to social media - use it!

At imavex, we’re social media gurus who would love to collaborate with your business to reach more people. Contact us today to start planning.

Taylor Hillegonds works as a Creative Marketing Specialist in the Agency Services department.

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