Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms around and is, in fact, a personal favourite of mine. I’ll often find myself creeping a business’ Instagram page to get a better feel for their business before even heading to their website. As a visual person, I can get a quick sense of the company culture, services and products from a quick glance at their Instagram.
Unfortunately, many businesses aren’t quite taking advantage of all the benefits that Instagram has to offer. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few things you can do to improve the overall look of your Instagram feed as well as a few tactics you can start implementing to see a greater reach on your Instagram posts.
Share Business Details in Your Bio
Having a complete and optimized bio is one of the most important steps to creating a well-optimized business page on Instagram. The bio section is important because it can easily be SEO optimized. Be sure to include keywords relating to your services or product offering and ensure that you’re indicating your location as well. Include a link to your website within the bio – its currently the only place on Instagram that you can include a clickable link. This section doesn’t need to be very long, keep it short and sweet so users can quickly see and understand what it is that you do.
Hashtag, Hashtag, Hashtag
Hashtags are a great way to increase views Instagram and they are actually quite effective if used appropriately. Currently, Instagram allows for up to 30 hashtags to be used in a post but be sure you’re using the most relevant hashtags to your industry or post.
When choosing your hashtags, consider what your customer might actually be search for. Try and target your hashtags to reflect the image but be sure you’re also including hashtags that are relevant to your audience and customers.
Mix Up Your Hashtags
Try and mix it up and include a variety of hashtags in your post, mixing up your hashtags will allow posts to appear to a broader audience of potential customers as well as fellow industry experts.
Here are a few types of hashtags to consider:
- Broad, But Related:
- #Beer, #Tacos, #MotivationMonday, #Business
- Geographically Targetted:
- #Lndont, #Ontario, #The6ix, #Mtl, HamOnt
- Geographic and Business/ Industry Specific:
- #TorontoBeer #VancouverYoga #OttawaCoffee
- Industry/ Product Specific:
- #Carpentry, #DigitalMarketing, #Cupcakes, #InteriorDesign
A great tool for finding hashtags is the actual Instagram search bar. It now tells you the number of times the hashtag has been shared and even suggest a few others based on your search.
You can now follow specific hashtags on Instagram – be sure to follow a few relating to your business or geographic location and it will be easy to quickly like and comment on posts to build up engagement for your own page.
Build Engagement By, Well…. Engaging!
Gone are the days when you could just post to Instagram and hope for a flood of likes and follows. In order to be successful on Instagram, you need to be actively using the platform and liking and commenting on related posts. Try and spend a few minutes daily by liking and commenting on posts relating to your industry and following new and relevant pages.
Use Thumb-Stopping Imagery
Instagram has always been about the images. It seems to be the one aspect of the platform they haven’t changed – the picture is always at the forefront.
Due to the strong focus on images, you need to make sure that your images are “Thumb Stopping” (This is a favourite term of the Ontario SEO team). They need to stand out amongst the crowd and capture the attention of your audience scrolling through.
Keep Things Consistent
One thing that you will notice about successful Instagram pages, is that all of their images are edited similarly, and the feed always looks cohesive and consistent. According to a recent study, 60% of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter.
I will use an Instagram favourite of mine, Canadian Bachelorette contestant and Instagram Queen, Jillian Harris. Her Instagram feed serves as a great example:
As you can see, all of the images are beautifully edited to create a cohesive feed. She posts quite regularly and manages to maintain a carefully curated look.
If you’re using an image editor such as Adobe Lightroom or VSCO, you can save your filter pre-sets to ensure they are always edited consistently.
Location Tags Are Key
A key to great exposure for your business on Instagram is, in fact, one of their smallest features – the location tag. Try and include a relevant location tag to each post, it’s a quick and easy way to reach your local audience. Location tags for both images and stories are also one of the most checked tags on Instagram.
Write Some Killer Captions
Are you using Instagram captions to your advantage? Captions are a great way to build engagement on your posts if done properly. Here are a few tips to creating captivating and engaging captions:
- Don’t make them short and sweet. In this case, you want to encourage users to click on the little ‘…’ to read more.
- Write captions that will encourage your audience to respond; ask questions or suggest a discussion.
- Include emoji’s – but add them early. Emoji’s can be eye-catching and a great way to catch user’s attention, just be sure to add them to the first line if possible for increased visibility.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use Stories
Don’t be afraid of the Instagram Stories feature – unfortunately it’s one of the most unused features by business pages. There are so many great ways to incorporate it and it will even help to keep your image feed clean. Consider adding updates or less “visually-appealing” posts to your stories, so you can still update your audience while maintaining a well-manicured block of images:
How to Use Instagram Stories for Business
Show Your Business’ “Day in The Life”
Is your business at an exciting local event, taking part in a team outing or even finishing up a great project? Feature it in your stories and share these small details with your audience and share your company culture.
Tease New Products or Services
Whether you’re a retail store bringing in new products or a brand that will be launching new items, Stories is a great way to tease these new products to your followers.
Promote or Live Blog an Event
Instagram Stories are a great way to demonstrate the happenings at an event or event to promote it beforehand.
Take Advantage of The Power of Location Tags in Your Stories
Instagram recently changed the way feeds are displayed – posts are no longer displayed in chronological order. It’s an annoyance for social media marketers – but the good news is that stories that contain a location tag will always appear to those location tag stories – for now, anyway. So, if possible and if relevant, include a location tag within your Instagram stories and make your story visible to your local audience.
Instagram can be a great tool for marketers and provides small and large business with the opportunity to reach a much broader audience. Follow these easy steps and you’ll surely see a difference in the results of your Instagram posts. For more information about social media marketing and how to make it work for your business, contact Ontario SEO today.