Guest Blog Post – Jim Luff from Chosen Payments | Are You Using Instagram for Business?

Posted on: December 22nd, 2016

When Instagram was launched in October of 2010, no one quite knew what to think of it as a social media platform.  It was really kind of silly.  It simply took your cell phone photos and turned them into a square photo like a Kodak Instamatic camera used to take.

Two years later, Instagram, started by two guys, had grown to 100 million active users.  Facebook noticed enough that they bought it for $2 billion!  By 2014, 300 million active users were posting regularly to Instagram.  In fact in 2013, Facebook grew by a mere 3% while Instagram grew by a whopping 23%.  So, if you are not on the Instagram train as you start reading this blog, you might be creating your account shortly after you read it.

Instagram is one of the most cost effective, yet often overlooked ways to market a business.  Even though the platform is a photo-based model and you might think that your business doesn’t revolve around photos, there are ways to mix the two up.

If you have a limited budget, Instagram can really help get your name out there on the cheap!  The reason?  It’s called “organic reach”.  Unlike Facebook where business pages have engagement levels as low as 3%, Instagram still boasts strong engagement across the board.

The most difficult part with Instagram is creating an identity that makes people connect with your company.  To create an identity on Instagram you might consider showcasing your vehicles, your staff, your office and other things which demonstrate the culture or flavor of your company.  If you run a limo company, you could show a photo of one of your vehicles next to a charter jet.  If you run a restaurant, you might show a photo of your most popular menu item.  Limo companies and restaurants that pair up to offer a limo & dinner package should show both in a photo collage.

Here are three key ways to incorporate Instagram into your marketing efforts:

#1 –  Make Sure To Use a Benefit-Driven Instagram Bio

One of the downsides of using Instagram is that you can’t insert links that take visitors to your website.  You can however include a link in your Instagram bio on your Instagram profile. Your bio should be as concise as possible about what it is you do.

An example bio:

“I help limo companies save money on credit card processing with the lowest rates in the industry.  Learn more about how we can save you money by visiting www.chosenpayments.com

 

#2 – Ride The Waves

If you see something beginning to trend on social media, you should immediately consider how you can get involved. This will boost natural engagement and organic reach as visitors look to become involved in a trend.  Create a post that will stand out in the trend.

Key indicators of a social wave emerging can be found by following the trending sections of Facebook or Twitter. Though these platforms are different to Instagram, trending waves usually spreads across all social media platforms.

An example of wave riding:  When several Dallas Police officers were shot in a shooting rampage, everyone was talking about it on social media.  Thoughtful and savvy companies made sympathy photos with their own logo, the Dallas Police Department’s logo and a sympathy message.

#3 – Call For Action Posts

The best types of posts on Instagram are the ones that ask your followers to do something or a “call for action”. This not only works to boost engagement, but it can also help boost your post’s ranking in Instagram’s organic feed.

Just like Facebook, Instagram filters your feed and determines what you see.  Post engagement is considered when deciding to serve your post into someone’s individual feed.  If your post has many likes and comments, it increases the chance that more people will have it served to them in their feed and see it.

To call your audience to action, ask them questions or have them tag a friend.

An example of a call for action: If you are creating a pub crawl event you might ask people to tag who they want to sit next to them on the party bus.  This makes it show up in their feed for their friends to learn about your pub crawl.

 

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