5 things to consider when running your Instagram account

Instagram is where it’s at for many Kiwi and global businesses - a social network on which you can promote your services, products and brand in action. Instagram has over 700 million monthly active users (as of April 2017). It’s a visual platform on which you can creatively tell your story through a variety of photos, filters, and videos. It’s fun and user-friendly and offers an opportunity for targeted paid advertising. While Instagram may be the place to be for many organisations, there are several things to take into account before you actually set up an account!

1. What content should you post?

Before you open any social media account, you should refer to your marketing strategy to make sure your communication on the social platforms aligns with your overall plan and brand messages. Once you've decided on Instagram, create a social media plan to deliver content that showcases your services, products and the process behind providing the service. This could be a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in the lifecycle of your product or service development and activation, a closer look at your company culture, staff members, happy clients/customers and so on. Reward your followers with exclusive content - let them be the first to know if you've got a new product launch.

2. Tell your business story

Use your page to reveal the story of your business, your mission, give away tips, inspirational posts in photos and/or video segments. If you’d like to try something different, use Boomerang for a fun video repetition effect. Don’t forget to use suitable hashtags to help get your content noticed and build a larger follower base. If you’re unsure what hashtags to use, do a search in the ‘search toolbar’ using the ‘tags’ category and enter in topics that you think would be relevant to the message you are trying to convey. Use a combination of your own campaign or industry specific hashtags, as well as more widely used, common ones such as #tbt (throwback to), to reach a range of users.

3. What are the benefits of Instagram Stories

These stories are only live for 24 hours but you can save them to your device and use the content later. Instagram stories are beneficial to brands because they are displayed at the top of follower timelines in a prominent position for usersto click on. They can be used for content that doesn’t need to be displayed in high quality as other posts and gives you the freedom to try new types of content. They are also fun when teamed with a filter, text and emoji or sticker! This is also a useful tool for tagging other Instagram accounts, which works well for collaborations with other brands or Instagram influencers.

4. Create a professional profile

Describing what your business does in 150 characters or less can be a challenge, so focus on your unique selling proposition or your tagline in the profile text. Add your website URL in there, or link to an event you are selling tickets to, or a blog post or article that you wish to promote. Make sure it’s updated regularly, and your main profile image reflects your brand - whether it be a logo or photo of you (if you are your brand) or a photo of your products. Make the most of Instagram Business profiles - which enables you to add a phone number and business address to your bio. It also brings insights and analytics data about your account. Don’t forget to connect your Instagram business page to your Facebook business page. Customers will be able to contact you directly through your Instagram business profile. 

5. Instagram paid advertising

Instagram is linked to Facebook, so before you advertise on the gram, you must have a Facebook business page set up. Link it to your Instagram business profile and then you can get started. All you need to do is define the objective of your ad, your target audience and the format of your ad, and select the duration of each advert, based on your campaign timeframes and budget. Instagram advertising is effective in reaching users that you have identified as your target demographic. Types of ads include photo ads, video ads (up to 60 seconds), or story ads. With paid advertising, you can potentially grow your customer base by making them aware of your products and services and lead them to your website, to download an app or visit your online store.