How to maximise your business account on Instagram
21 Jan 2019
Bride journalist Julia O’Driscoll shares nine steps to increase your business account's following and visibility on Instagram
Image: Georgia de Lotz via Unsplash
It’s no longer enough to have a polished website and a regularly updated Facebook page; brides are increasingly turning to Instagram as a wedding planning resource with over 2 million posts shared with #instabride to date.
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Whether they’re seeking inspiration or looking out for local suppliers, engaging with your target audience through Instagram is a simple way to boost your brand’s online presence – which can lead to an increase in customer enquiries.
Putting together a sharing strategy is relatively straightforward and doesn’t need to take up much time on a daily basis but the benefits will soon become apparent. Follow these nine steps to ensure your Insta-game is up to speed.
1. Switch to a business account
If you haven’t already, make sure your Instagram is switched from a personal to a business account. Go to settings, scroll to account and click ‘Switch to Business Account’. You’ll need to select a category, most likely ‘Local Business’, and enter your email address. At this point, you can also link the account to your business’s Facebook page.
2. Get to grips with analytics
Instagram’s analytics are an invaluable resource revealing how much traffic is being driven to your profile and website through your posts. Under ‘Insights’ you’ll find three categories: activity, content and audience.
- Activity: shows how many profile visits and website clicks you’ve had in the last week, as well as your reach and impressions. Keep a running spreadsheet of these statistics so you can map week-on-week growth
- Content: shows which posts have been most viewed on both your story and grid. You can then see which have attracted the most engagement in the last week, month, year etc, helping you to tailor future content accordingly
- Audience: shows your followers’ location and age breakdown. Most useful here is the followers function – you can see what days of the week your followers are most active and at what time of day
Check your analytics on a weekly basis to asses what is working for you and which areas need attention. For instance, if your reach is high but your profile visits low you can look at ways to draw people to your profile rather than scroll past it – by running a giveaway, for example.
3. Timing is everything
Once you’ve worked out which days and times to post on your account, create a schedule to ensure your content is reaching your audience at the right time. Though some days will receive a better response than others, it’s best to post at least once a day to keep up a consistent presence. There’s several ways to do this; you can post natively, set reminders at optimum times or schedule your content. Any business profile can use Hootsuite to schedule posts – simply set up an account and use the planner to coordinate outgoing content. Apps like Preview: Planner for Instagram allow you to draft and arrange outgoing posts so you can perfectly plan your grid’s aesthetic.
Image: Priscilla du Preez via Unsplash
4. On point posting
That said, don’t just post for the sake of it. Each post should have a clear message whether it’s promoting your products, sharing a new service or a call to action. Post a mix of videos and pictures with clear, concise captions and high quality imagery. Apps like VSCO will let you preset filters to ensure all your images have a consistent colour palette too.
5. Start using stories
The Story function is a great way to drive people to your profile, particularly if you use a hashtag or two to attract the right audience. Experiment with videos by giving your followers an update on the day to day workings behind your business, or use pictures to publicise new services and encourage viewers to head to the grid for more information. Add stickers, polls and questions to increase engagement and see what your audience are responding to best.
6. Boost your visibility
To boost your visibility, add location tags whenever possible and use a range of relevant hashtags. Don’t go over the top with these – you can post a maximum of 30 per post but we recommend using closer to 10. Include a range of local and global tags: #Dorset or #Southwestwedding, for example, will help reach your local audience while #wedding and #ido will reach accounts across the world.
Image: Georgia de Lotz via Unsplash
7. Follow the right people
Use your account to build a community of clients and fellow wedding suppliers. Follow influential accounts and your favourite businesses, no matter how big or small, to keep your feed full of inspirational and relevant content. Take a few minutes each day to have a scroll, liking and commenting on your favourite posts to boost your presence and encourage others to visit your account. Make sure you reply to comments on your posts and direct messages too, to boost engagement.
8. Sharing is caring
If you spot a post you know your followers would love, it’s time to get sharing. Download a repost app or message the account directly and ask them to send you the image – most people will be happy for you to share it so long as they are credited in the caption. You’ll be boosting their visibility and upping the quality of your own feed – it’s a win-win.
Who doesn’t love a giveaway? Run an Instagram competition and make one of the entry requirements to tag a friend in the comments below your post or to share the post on their account. This will drive people to your profile and make them more likely to stick around once they see the quality of your grid.
Got any questions about growing your business account on Instagram? Get in touch with Julia.ODriscoll@archant.co.uk.