This is the second blog in our series on Instagram for business, where we spill the tea on the best Instagram tips for 2022. We recommend reading our first article before tackling this blog to ensure you’ve got a complete understanding of the social media platform that is Instagram.
At this point, you will have created your business Instagram account, developed a profile with great images and connected with your audience. Now, it’s time to take advantage of the tools available to you through Instagram to increase your engagement, build your audience and convert your ‘likes’ into sales.
When used correctly, hashtags work as a useful tool to find more customers interested in your business’ offerings. Hashtags are a way for Instagram to categorise content and distribute user posts to those who can relate to the content. When you use a hashtag, your post will appear on that hashtag’s page. This can be immensely useful for business Instagrams who are aiming to get their name known to more customers.
Strategise for success
There’s truly a hashtag for everything these days so you want to select your hashtags with a strategy in mind.
Firstly, you want to create your own business hashtag. For example, if your business is called Cloud Cartel you want to use the hashtag #cloudcartel in every post. Through this, you begin to build your own following and community. Anyone who posts a picture related to your business, encourage them to use your unique hashtag.
Secondly, focus on geographic hashtags. Find the most popular hashtags within your state, city and suburb and incorporate these hashtags into your captions. Additionally, there are many freelance digital marketing accounts that focus on increasing exposure for local small businesses. Collect a list of these accounts and use their hashtag in relevant posts.
Thirdly, find your niche. Instagram is such a large and diverse community with content that caters to everyone. Define what your page offers customers and find the hashtags to suit. For example, if you’re a pizza restaurant you will want to check out the hashtags #pizzalovers #pizzaorder as well as more general foodie hashtags #perthfoodies #perthrestaurant etc. When you begin researching, you’ll discover it’s quite the rabbit hole of hashtags!
Record, analyse and edit
Record these hashtags and distribute them over your posts. Try to mix up the hashtags with each post, always ensuring the hashtags accurately reflect the content. It’s essential the hashtags are relevant rather than picked at random. Regularly research and see what your competitors are doing with their hashtags so you’re aware of trends.
2. Boosting posts
‘Boosting’ your Instagram posts means you have promoted a post on your Instagram profile. This will push your boosted picture and caption onto other’s Instagram feeds and encourage viewers to go to your Instagram profile or website.
How to boost your Instagram posts
To boost a post you simply need to click on the blue icon that will appear in the bottom right of the photo you’ve selected and click “Boost Post.” This will take you to a new screen. Select your goal, choose your audience, refine your budget and hit GO.
Now, does boosting posts actually work? Short answer: YES.
But before you go and boost every post, you’ll need to note that boosting posts can get expensive quickly and if not done strategically it can see poor results. Our recommendation is to boost posts that are relevant to your audience presently. This might mean boosting a special you’re offering for the week, a seasonal product, or a special offer that coincides with a current event. Boosts give posts a quick and dirty reach that can see high engagement.
Boosting VS. Advertising
Although boosting posts can perform well, there are limitations to that little blue button. Unlike Google or Facebook advertising, Instagram boosts lack detailed customisability. For example, when selecting your audience, Instagram only offers a few options of customers to target. This can often see your products or services being marketed to unengaged individuals.
Before boosting a post, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this current and relevant?
- Will customers respond quickly to this current offering?
- Have I made my post clear and actionable?
If you’re unsure, it might be better to create the Ad via Facebook where you have more tools available to edit your post and target your audience.
3. Instagram shop
If you’re a business that sells products you might want to consider adding the shop function to your Instagram account profile. Instagram’s shopping feature allows customers to make purchases directly through the Instagram app. When you upload photos of your products to Instagram, you’ll have the ability to tag the products with the product name, price and a link that directs customers to purchase. This feature is becoming more popular for businesses and more normalised amongst customers. Stay ahead of competitors by adding this feature to your Instagram account.
How to add Instagram shop to your profile
To add Instagram shop follow these steps:
i) Ensure your Instagram account is a business account and it’s connected to Facebook.
ii) Create a product catalogue in Facebook. The Facebook catalogue will link to your Instagram account and you can then set up the shopping function for Instagram.
iii) Submit your Instagram business for review to allow Instagram shopping.
iv) Once your account has been approved (this could take several days) you’ll be able to see a new function on your posts. There will be an option to tag products on your photos.
v) Start tagging! You’re limited to 5 product tags per image and up to 20 tags for carousels. Stories are limited to 1 tag.
Instagram shop accounts
Instagram shopping can be a great channel to market your products, allowing you to offer a quick click into your products via posts and stories. Be warned, adding this shop function to your business page might come across more ‘sales-y’ to your customer base. Consider what kind of posts your customers would like to see before committing to the shopping feature, especially if you’re considering adding the shop icon on every post.
4. Content calendar
If you’re a business owner, you work in marketing or you’re active on social media platforms you’ll understand the importance of having a reliable content calendar. A content calendar is a document (often digital) which allows you to create, plan and schedule in social media posts. This means you’re able to book in content weeks (and even months) in advance. This opens up great opportunities and flexibility for your social media posts, delivering consistency across multiple pages. You’ll be able to guarantee posts for the upcoming weeks rather than doing it on the fly, create more purposeful posts with calls to action and build an overall aesthetic page that fits your brand’s narrative.
It’s crucial to keep in mind how changing our environment is when it comes to politics, natural disasters and of course COVID. When creating posts for your social media platforms, consider the sensitivities and needs of your audience. For example, if you schedule in a post that encourages customers to visit your store it might be irrelevant if a lockdown is announced. When your messaging fails, it can be detrimental to your business. Schedule in your posts however, where there’s changes in your environment, make edits and adjust where needed.
Consistency is everything
Consistency is key when it comes to social media. As a business, you can’t expect customers to engage with your content if you post irregularly. Posting at least 3 times per week is essential to keeping your audience engaged. If you stop posting, you can lose customer trust and loyalty, leaving them to head to a competitor’s page. If you’re struggling to find time to schedule in posts to your social calendar, you might want to consider outsourcing your social media responsibilities. If you’re considering outsourcing, our team at Cloud Cartel can help you! We specialise in copywriting, content creation, market analysis and building followings. Reach out today for more information.
5. Video Content
With pressure from TikTok, Instagram has developed their platform to encourage video sharing. It’s now easier, faster and more creative than it has ever been. There are now various ways you can share videos, which are all seeing high engagement, reach and retention.
Types of Instagram videos
Instagram reels: announced in 2020, bringing a new and exciting video sharing service for the social media platform. Instagram reels allow Instagram users to record, edit, customise and post a video up to 60 seconds. 60 seconds might not sound like a lot of time, but businesses and users have found creative ways to make use of the short window. Reels popularity has grown rapidly as they’ve dedicated a separate tab on Instagram profiles. In fact, reels receive 22% more engagement than other forms of video on the platform. It’s now essential businesses begin familiarising themselves with reels to keep up with what customers want.
Instagram TV: released to the platform in 2018, Instagram TV has had a slower growth than Instagram reels however, allows longer videos for customers to watch and enjoy. Instagram TV (previously known as IGTV) can now run up to 60 minutes long, allowing more story telling, room for creativity and interacting with your audience.
Posts and stories: videos can also be added to your Instagram feed as well as your stories. Stories last 24hrs and have become an effective video tool used daily by businesses. For most Instagram profiles, it’s recommended you post 2 – 3 engaging stories a day.
Videos VS. photos
The best time to post videos on your social media was yesterday, the second best time is NOW. Videos are growing in attraction as they’re generally performing better on social media than images. Currently, Instagram are prioritising promoting their Instagram Reels, which means if you’re active on Reels, you’re going to get a lot of attention quickly.
If you’re currently not doing video… you need to start.
It might sound like a daunting challenge, but it’s easier than you first might think. You don’t necessarily need an expensive camera and all the gadgets that go with it, all you need is a decent smartphone and willing staff to help you record (the latter might be your biggest hurdle). Whenever you are creating a new dish, introducing a new product to your line or your team are simply having a good time in the workplace – take a video and share it with your community over socials. Always bring yourself back to your brand identity and the goal of the video. Experiment with video content, analyse the results and respond to your audience’s feedback. Follow this guidance and you’ll be a video pro in no time.
Best videos to post
So, where do you start?
To begin your videography journey, try recording these ideas:
- Introduce yourself and your team
- Record behind the scenes videos
- Teach your audience how to do something
- Educate customers on products or services you offer
- Answer FAQs
- Give sneak peeks into upcoming releases
- Offer tips to your subscribers that they can utilise
- Share a ‘day in the life’ video
- Repurpose blogs you share on your website into videos
- Jump on popular trends that are circulating social media
Once you begin recording videos, you’ll realise the options are endless. Start at the beginning and slowly work yourself through the list above. Small and consistent steps are much better than big and quick actions.
Reach out to our team for help!
We understand how overwhelming social media channels can be. It’s certainly no easy task. Here at Cloud Cartel we work closely with numerous businesses across varying industries, building their digital identity and voice. We hear many business owners share their anxieties about interacting on Instagram and other platforms. However, once we sit down with them, construct a marketing plan and build the brand’s online profile – their concerns are instantly relieved.
How we can help:
- Captivating and thumb-stopping content
- Personalised copy and captions
- Innovative and creative video content
- Organic follow increase
- Instagram and social media advertising
- Building brand identity and a consistent voice
- Reaching new and interested customers
- Increasing retention and returning subscribers
- Speaking directly to the audience’s needs
- Optimising Instagram and social media for your sales funnel
We’re here for you
Talk to our Cloud Cartel team today and we’ll help you accomplish your unique business goals. Take your marketing to the next level with our social media packages.