Using Instagram to Better Your Business - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Using Instagram to Better Your Business

Instagram is considered the darling of social media marketing. Not only does it boast over one billion users daily, but more than 33 percent of users also approach the app with the intent of purchasing an item online. Many small businesses are finding there is significant value in including Instagram as a social media platform to regularly use and monitor.

If you haven’t yet considered Instagram, you may find this a good place to start.

What are the benefits of Instagram?

Instagram’s ad platform has access to the most advanced advertising targeting options available.

Having been bought out a few years ago by Facebook’s CEO, Instagram now has access to one of the most advanced social media advertising platforms. Like Facebook, you can now advertise to people by age, interest, and search Instagram by location. For you, this means that you can target your audience from among the 200 billion Instagram users who are already likely to purchase.

Instagram allows you to retarget an audience.

Retargeting involves targeting website visitors who haven’t yet made a purchased. With Instagram, you can create custom retargeting audiences based on post engagement, email lists, video views, and more. Instagram has targeting and retargeting capabilities that other social media platforms which have been around longer still do not enjoy. These options allow you to take your marketing campaign on Instagram to the next level in order to achieve better results in consumer engagement and overall profit.

Instagram tracks sales and leads.

Since Instagram shares the same Ads Manager platform like Facebook, it has the same tracking capabilities. As a business owner, you can see everything: link clicks, leads to conversions, and cost per result on marketing campaigns.  Depending on what goal you’re measuring you can easily view the results you’ve achieved and measure it against the cost. You can also break down results to see where they come from, including gender, age, region, and device.

How can I maximize Instagram benefits to my business?

Be aware of how often and when you are posting.

According to surveys, businesses looking for regular engagement with their consumers should have a consistent 1-2 posts a day.  Knowing your audience means not only how often but when. Use Instagram’s algorithmic timeline to help determine when your audience is the most receptive to your posts. It’s important to understand that frequency and timing seem to matter less than consistency. It’s important to make a routine of posting so that your followers will see you and anticipate your posts.

Tools and apps make scheduling and publishing posts easier and more efficient, so schedule your Instagram photo or video posts in advance. That way you won’t forget to publish them or need to be near a computer when you want them to appear.

Be aware of the “right” hashtags and the correct number of hashtags.

Hashtags matter. The right hashtags matter. Choosing hashtags for your Instagram posts is key to creating top posts instead of falling into the oblivion of user feeds. Focus on a community that shares a common interest, an industry, a passion, or a specific theme. The less generic you are, the more likely you are to target the audience who wants to purchase your product or service. You can begin by developing a hashtag unique to your business or find examples that suit your brand.

The number of hashtags you post also matters. Instagram lets you use up to 30, but it is important to contextualize the hashtags you use so that they do not seem arbitrary or inappropriate. Keep your hashtags professional and remember that hashtags will sort your post accordingly. A rule of thumb to follow is not to have more hashtags than you do content characters. You want your post to be displayed in the searches that will matter for your business,

Change it up with videos, live feeds, and stories.

While Instagram started as a photo-sharing platform, it has grown beyond that. Brands can now create many different types of content to engage their followers and grow their consumer audience. It’s important to note that engagement for videos is growing faster than the average engagement for still images. When you do a live stream on Instagram, you appear first in the Stories feed, where more than 400 million people are every day.

It’s important to remember that Instagram can grow your following quickly and efficiently if you maximize the time and effort you spend on the platform. What are some ways you have used Instagram to better your business? Feel free to share your ideas here.


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