Instagram started out as a casual, lifestyle platform full of puppy pictures and highly filtered faces. But it certainly hasn’t stayed in that category. The ability to reach businesses on Instagram has increased as the marketing tools and networking strategies have adapted to fit their growing platform.
Of the 1+ billion users (that’s billion with a “b”), over 81% use Instagram to research products and services. 0.96% is the average engagement rate for a business account and over 50% of those 1 billion users have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service. Check out 40 other Instagram marketing statistics here!
Read on for more tips to reach businesses on Instagram!
Determine Your Instagram Specific Goals
Figure out what you want out of your Instagram marketing strategy. If you’re attempting to reach businesses on Instagram, what kind of response are you looking for?
- Do you want to grow the reach of your account?
- Are you trying to gain more Instagram followers?
- Is your goal to drive more traffic to your website?
- Do you want to get more product or service sales?
- Are you trying to boost your engagement rate?
- Are you creating valuable, educational content that viewers will want to save?
Having clarity on your goals, what you want to achieve with your Instagram account, will inform how you structure your content strategy. What type of content you post, when you post it, how you mix it up all play into your reach rates.
Understand there is a difference between the goal of your ads versus the goal of your posts or profile. You may be advertising for a specific sale, vs attracting followers and engagement on your profile.
Optimize Your Profile and Posts
Instagram is its own search engine. This is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal!
Using the same SEO techniques you would in any search engine, you can optimize your profile and each post for optimal searchability.
- Choose a username that is easy to read, easy to remember, and easy to find. Avoid using numbers unless they’re an established part of your branding.
- Upload a profile picture that is easily recognizable. It will be cropped to a small circle, so keep the image clear and uncluttered.
- Your Instagram bio is your first impression, make it count! Use your 150 characters to be clear about who you’re talking to, who you are and what you do. This is the first place you want to show off your SEO keywords.
- Develop branded hashtags and add them to your profile and each post.
- If you’re out and about, always include a location tag. This feature generates its own notifications for people following locations they’re interested in.
For more Instagram business profile optimization tips, check out Hubspot’s detailed tutorial here!
Engage With Followers And Industry Partners
Unfortunately, simply posting pretty pictures and walking away isn’t enough. Unless you’re super famous, then by all means do that. For the rest of us regular people, Instagram rewards the accounts that engage and connect organically on the platform.
When you get a new comment, reply! Start a genuine conversation and generate a little buzz. When new comments are added to a post, previous commenters are notified and they too can join in. This is an organic way to keep the conversation going!
When you get new followers, welcome them with a direct message or follow them back. This shows Instagram you’re engaged and interacting with the connections the platform has helped you make.
Seek out industry partners or related brands that your ideal customer is interacting with already. Comment on, like, share, save! Engage with their content and show that your goal is to make genuine connections, not just sell your product or service.
Share Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are 24-hour stories you can share in real-time, as a way to increase engagement. Story updates generate notifications and are formatted in a way that allows you to build upon each frame, telling a longer story.
Instagram Stories are not just temporary! You can also create a story highlight that sits at the top of your profile and this is a way to organize and save your highlights for future review.
aCreate story highlights that fit the message of your brand, the primary topics your brand is known for. This is another immediate way to show off to new visitors exactly who you are and what you’re about.
Focus On Value And Visuals
The premise of any social media platform is connection. Connection with other people. Behind every like, share and comment is another human. It’s imperative to keep that in mind when creating the content for your profile or stories.
What does your audience or target customer want to see from you? What are the primary pillars of your brand’s message? As a business, you can’t just sell all the time. Especially if your goal is to reach businesses on Instagram. Having a solid B2B (business to business) strategy will help you create content that adds value to your reader and credibility to your brand.
Instagram is first and foremost, a visual platform. The emphasis is on photos and graphics with captions that make sense for each post. Long-form posts are allowed but are not the primary purpose for Instagram posts.
Create a variety of content formats, not just graphics. Videos, photos, and reels should be sprinkled throughout your profile to break up the sales and graphics. People want to see the other people behind your brand. Photos of you, your team, your space, and your products show the “man behind the curtain” for your audience.
It doesn’t have to be too complicated. Optimize your profile and start engaging! This is the best way to make genuine connections and reach businesses on Instagram.