Instagram 101 for Businesses - Part One: Establishing a Game Plan
By Delight Nwangwu
With over 300 million active users and growing, Instagram has become an important social media platform for businesses. If done right, it can boost your brand and extend your customer reach. But orchestrating a successful Instagram takes work and I’m here to help you get started. Welcome to Instagram 101 for your Business!Game Plan- What is your strategy?
Stop! Move your thumb away from the app store and slowly put your phone down! Did you really think the first step was to download the app? Wrong! You first need to create a concrete plan to optimize your Instagram profile.
Don’t start posting blind. There are countless online resources to teach you the ins-and-outs and do’s-and-don'ts of Instagram. Once you have a firm grasp of the platform, take a look at your competitor’s Instagram as well as other companies within your industry. Also, check out the Instagram sites of brands you aspire to be!
Have a purpose! Establishing Instagram goals can help you get the most out of this social media platform. Not sure what those goals should be? Here are a few ideas:
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase sales
- Increase traffic to your website and other social media accounts
- Increase credibility
The list goes on and on but it's up to you to figure out which social goals will best incorporate with your business goals. Keep your goals realistic, reachable, and measurable so you can track your progress and succeed.
- Mission Statement
One of the first things a visitor to your Instagram site will see is your mission statement/bio at the top of your page. Create a captivating statement that tells the world who your brand is and reflects how you want your brand to be portrayed on Instagram.
- Content Strategy
This is the last and most important step in your game plan. The whole purpose of social media is to generate relevant content your audience actually cares about. Instagram is a visual platform so your main task is to find eye candy for your audience while making it cohesive to your goals and mission statement. A successful content strategy includes:
- Creating a theme for your content
- Creating a content calendar each month to know the basis of what you will be posting.
- Determining how frequently to post: 1-3 posts a day is effective for most accounts. Don’t bombard your followers; you might come across as “spammy” and risk being un-followed.
- Determining when to post: Knowing your audience plays a crucial role here because the timing of your post is everything. For example, if your audience works traditional business hours, post before work, lunchtime and after work. Or if your audience is in another time zone, then you must post during times when they will be awake and online.
Establishing a game plan will help put you on the fast path to Instagram success. In part two of this series, we’ll look at creating your Instagram image and talk about the importance of hashtags.