Having a stellar strategy is the best way to make the most of your account when you’re using Instagram for business. This stellar strategy goes far beyond creating eye-catching posts or even engaging with other accounts. Those are just considered standard on Instagram at this point.
Once you have a strong audience defined and found on Instagram, it’s time to plan your strategy so you can engage with them, deliver content they want to see, and eventually encourage them to become loyal followers and customers of your brand. By posting engaging content that encourages your followers to interact with you, you can build lasting relationships.
Supercharge Your Instagram for Business Account
We’re going to talk about the tips and tricks you need to know if you want to have a rock-solid Instagram account. We have 12 different ideas to help you bring your Instagram business account to the next level.
1. Write Captions that Draw Engagement
Yes, we said that advanced tactics go beyond captions, but this is still the best place to start. The key here is to understand that you need engaging captions, not just everyday, run-of-the-mill words. Great Instagram captions can be difficult to craft. You’ll need to consider your brand voice and whether your caption should be motivational or serious. How will you tie your caption into your scroll-stopping image? Consider if you’re going to add a call-to-action (hint: you should).
Your caption is the best way to encourage your followers to interact with your post, whether that’s leaving a comment, liking the image or saving the post for reference later. It can help you show your personality, add context to the photo, and share relatable moments with your followers. Longer captions tend to perform better, but above all, make sure your copy aligns with your brand.
2. Use Automation Tools
This is a time-saving hack that can skyrocket your Instagram presence. Whether you want to use a scheduling tool to plan your content in advance or an editing app to ensure you’re delivering a consistent brand aesthetic, Instagram tools are popular for a reason. They can save you time while elevating your brand to the next level.
Oftentimes you need to give engagement to get engagement on Instagram, but unfortunately engaging is typically the most time-consuming part of the app. It can take a long time to find people to engage with, and then it can be easy to get distracted. Engagement automation tools like Kicksta offer organic growth services by engaging with profiles you want to attract. They like posts to spark interest, but they never play the follow/unfollow game that’s sure to just leave frustrated potential followers. Find the tools that work for you to save you time.
3. Follow Top Creators in Your Niche
Following popular accounts and creators in your industry and niche, can help you in a number of ways. First of all, they can help boost your inspiration when you’re having an off day. They can also help you keep tabs on what’s trending and popular in your industry. If you follow the right people, you might even be on the cutting edge of niche news.
This can also help you understand what is resonating most with your audience. If you’re getting a small amount of engagement, while some of these other creators get many more likes and comments, see what you can learn from them. Maybe they consistently use quote images, which resonate well with their audience. Don’t copy them, but you can certainly gain inspiration and see if quotes resonate with your audience as well.
4. Cross-Promote on Your Other Channels
Yes, Instagram can’t just stay on Instagram anymore. To ensure you’re as effective as you can be, you need to share your content across social media channels and really your whole web presence. Sharing the same or similar posts on multiple platforms can help you save content creation time, as well as create an overall cohesive brand feel.
We don’t recommend posting the exact same caption and image on multiple sites. Your loyal followers who engage with you on multiple platforms probably don’t want to see the same post three times. However, you should tweak your messaging, use a different image or angle, and publish that a little later in the day. You also want to talk about your different platforms across all your channels. Include a link to your Facebook page in your Instagram bio and make sure your Instagram is mentioned in your Facebook “About Me” section.
5. Maximize User-Generated Content
User-generated content (or UGC) is one of the most effective tools you can keep in your back pocket when it comes to enhancing engagement while saving you time. UGC is content that was originally posted by your followers, fans, and customers. They love your product or service so much that they’re ready and willing to share it on their pages with their fans.
If you aren’t seeing much UGC for your brand though, don’t worry. You can create a contest or a campaign that encourages UGC – and it can build relationships with your followers. Create a branded hashtag you can follow that’s associated with this campaign. Then offer a giveaway, a coupon, or anything that fits your brand to people who submit their own images or videos (that you can share) by a certain date. Then you have the chance to re-post these glowing, real use-case posts that resonate with your audience.
6. Host a Contest
Holding a contest on Instagram is one of the best ways to improve your engagement rate. Contests can range from something like UGC like we just mentioned, to something as simple as “comment for a chance to win.” Ask people to tag their friends to spread your brand. If you’re looking to increase followers, host a giveaway, and both the commenter and the person they tag need to be following you to win.
Contests can also work very well if you partner with someone else – either another brand, an influencer, or really any account whose brand message works well with yours and whose audience correlates. The advantage here is reaching many more users without adding too much to your plate.
7. Use Social Data to Create Your Strategy
If you take nothing else from this list, please understand this: analytics are critical to your success with an Instagram for business account. The insights Instagram gives you are full of information you can use to inform and shape your strategy. Everyone interacts with brands differently. If your competitor gets traction on quote posts, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your audience will love quote posts. Even if they’re the same exact audience. Maybe they just don’t associate quotes with your brand.
Interpreting Instagram insights will help you get to know your followers more. You can learn about their demographics and the time of day they’re most likely to be engaging on the app. (This can be really helpful for planning when to go live!) These insights will even show you which posts got the most reach and which generated the most clicks to the link in your bio. The information here is nearly endless – and it’s critical to having a good strategy.
8. Use Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are a great way to post frequently and get in front of your audience without worrying about hashtags or the algorithm. Stories appear at the top of a user’s app in chronological order. So by creating stories a few times throughout the day, you can ensure that your followers will find you at some point.
Stories can also be a great place to drive engagement. If you have 10,000 followers or more, you can access the swipe up feature to easily send your followers to your website, online shop, or another site. In stories, you can also access engagement-generating stickers like polls and question boxes. Instagram stories allow your followers to get a behind-the-scenes look into your business. They’re typically more spontaneous and less planned than feed posts (although you can plan them in advance), which is a great way to build relationships with your followers.
9. Add Instagram Direct Messages to Your To-Do List
Yes, individual direct messages are going to rock your business’s world. In direct messages, you can have real, one-on-one conversations with your ideal customers and clients who are excited to engage with you. Not only can you learn a lot from them, but you can build a relationship with them that can lead to offering them special deals or offers on your products or services.
Instagram direct messages are a great way to network and reach out to your consistently-engaging followers. You can also sell using a combination of direct messages and stories. Ask your followers to send you a direct message or engage with a poll on one of your stories. Then respond to those messages and reach out to your poll-takers to provide them with more information about your most recent launch.
10. Maximize Your Use of IGTV
IGTV is Instagram’s way of letting you post continuous, long-form video. These IGTV videos are often more polished and edited than stories (although they don’t have to be), and they can also be posted for as long as an hour.
IGTV videos have to be less than 15 minutes if you’re uploading from your phone, or less than an hour if posting from a computer. Once your video is posted to IGTV, make sure you send people to it from your stories or feed posts! Instagram likes to keep its users within the app, so it might help your posts do well if you’re promoting internal content.
11. Work with Micro-Influencers
Don’t let the word “micro” fool you – these influencers have fiercely loyal followings, sometimes even more than bigger influencers. Not only are micro-influencers sometimes more budget-friendly, they also have stronger relationships with their audience that can turn into a better ROI. People tend to trust micro-influencers more because they are more relatable and they communicate directly with their audience.
Before you jump into working with an influencer, do your due diligence to make sure it will be a good partnership. Their audience should match yours, and your product or service should be clearly of value to them. Many micro-influencers are very picky about who they partner with because they are so protective of their followers. Most of the time they will only work with brands they believe in and that fit their personal brand.
12. Use Hashtags Wisely
Hashtags can be confusing, frustrating, and at times might not even seem worth the work. Let’s start off with this though: hashtags do work, by improving engagement by more than 12%. Yes, people still do use the Discover tab to find new accounts and brands to interact with, be inspired by, and follow. So let’s talk a little about developing a hashtag strategy.
Instagram will let you have up to 30 hashtags on any given post. You can find hashtags by using a tool, researching competitors, or seeing what hashtags your followers are already using. If you’re feeling extra creative, you can even create your own branded hashtags to go along with your products or services. Make sure you don’t use hashtags with too many posts or you’ll likely get lost in the feed. If you want to use hashtags with more than 100,000 posts, make sure you have some smaller hashtags too.
So there you have it – our top 12 ideas to supercharge your Instagram for business account. Does your Instagram strategy already include any of these elements? When used together, these 12 can create a knockout strategy however, don’t get overwhelmed if you can’t implement all of them at once. Pick one or two to get started, then incorporate the rest as you can.
Rafaella Aguiar is the Director of Marketing at Kicksta. She specializes in content and social media marketing. You can find more daily marketing tips from her at @kicksta.co.