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By Myles Jensen

Apple recently confirmed that the average iPhone user unlocks their device 80 times a day, 6-7 times every hour, 560 times a week and an astonishing 2,240 times a month.

With people constantly on their phones, social media has become the marketing tool that businesses can no longer ignore. Instagram – along with other social media platforms – should be an integral part of your business plan, particularly if you are looking to develop a digital presence.  Below we have listed our six best tips on how to use Instagram effectively to bring out the best of your business and attract new clientele.

Remember who you are

Focus on what your product is or what your service does: 150 characters is all you’re allowed in the bio, so be short and direct.

As a business you should have your profile set up accordingly. Contact emails, phone numbers and locations are key to providing the most information to a potential customer that arrives at your page. Instagram now also offer extensive analytics so that you are able to track all types of engagement from impressions, to age and demographic locations.

Dress like every day is your last

This is Instagram, the most important asset is content… visual content! You need to ensure that you are adding value to what your business does.

Think of your Instagram page as an outfit you’ve put on – it’s the first thing people see, and therefore what people judge you on. It’s the first impression people get of you and your company, so do your best to make it a fair and true reflection. A brand might be highly successful with booming sales, but a visually unstimulating Instagram page may turn off a potential customer.

In comparison, a small start-up that has very few sales but a strong social media presence, good engagement and visually stimulating content may in turn be more attractive to that same potential customer.

The difference between service or product Instagramming

If you are service-oriented, then show the process behind the scenes.

Company culture, hints and tips, and your mission statement are all key pieces of information that would be (and should be!) welcome on Instagram. People want to see things such as the community, other services you offer, and any innovations in the pipeline.

Product-based companies should focus on showing variations of your product, experimental types, user-generated content, reviews, and submissions. These are all ways of making your product seem more relatable to users that are either looking to make a purchase, or that already have. Naturally, consumers have an inquisitiveness about how the products are made or where they come from. Brands that have strong CSR (corporate social responsibility) presence – whether it be via FairTrade or environmentally friendly products – should make this evident on their Instagram feed. It adds brand value, engages your audience, and shows a more humane side of the business.

The wonderful world of #hashtags

Inexperienced Instagrammers might think that hashtags seem a stupid way to summarise your photo, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Hashtags are imperative to expanding your reach and engaging with audiences that may not be directly in your line of business.

It is key to make sure they are relevant, and we suggest setting up a few unique #’s that are specific to your company. You are able to include up to 30 #s for any given post, but we advise starting with 4-10. Get them bespoke to your business: if it’s digital marketing then try #PPC #SEO #Display #Digital etc.

Finally, the way you display these #s can make a real difference to the professional look you are aiming towards. We suggest comment breaking – placing your initial caption then your #s in a secondary comment (pro-tip: make sure you do the second comment immediately after placing the first caption to gain maximum engagement).

If you can’t beat them, join them!  

Collaboration is one of the most powerful methods to increase brand awareness and longevity. Whether it’s tagging a brand that you admire, or collaborating with a non-profit organisation that matches your mission statement and brand values, collaboration works.

Partnering up with other brands to exchange what is known as a ‘shout out’ is a great way for smaller brands to piggy back off each other’s following. This free collaboration with each other allows both companies to cash in on the different target markets and demographics.

Keep your customers wanting more!

This is always a key component in any form of marketing. Provide exclusive content to those followers who are loyal: new products, services or events are a great way to keep them engaged. If it’s new releases, official openings or exciting projects then provide teasers. This makes your followers feel recognised and unique, ensuring that they keep coming back for more!

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