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Ten steps to get your business booming on Instagram

The value of a strong online brand presence for your business in today’s digital world is without question, but are organisations achieving their goals via social media? More Fire PR Ltd Intern and London South Bank University student Lydia Smith focuses on the benefits and challenges of Instagram

The importance of achieving an effective social media presence rests upon an ability to successfully draw in and engage with potential clients, whether your business aspirations lie in education, fashion, food, travel or elsewhere.

Instagram has proved a great way to promote a company’s services, products and personality through the use of striking imagery. Statistics indicate that in 2018 so far Instagram has become the most popular social network for brand interaction, with 95% of users aged between 18 and 34 following at least one brand.

In addition 71% of users who have a positive social media experience with a brand through Instagram are more likely to recommend an organisation to their peers.

Add to this the fact that visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared online and it quickly becomes clear that a successful Instagram feed is a must for organisations which have a compelling message to share.

Follow these ten easy steps to get your business booming on Instagram:

1. Know your brand

In setting up your social media account you first need to have an easy-to-tag username. If your own company name isn’t available then an abbreviation can still work, along with a branded profile picture and links to any of your business websites. Access settings and click ‘change to business profile’ to complete the process.

2. Define your audience

Who is your account aimed at? Is it a younger audience, start-up investors or business owners? Consider the imagery that will connect and draw your targets in and keep them interested.

3. Aesthetic posting

Ensure you post regularly and use eye-catching imagery. The aesthetic appearance of your posts can really make or break your page. Visual content should be clear and varied to make sure your audience doesn’t become bored. Posts might include regular business activities, fun imagery, quotes or videos. Try to avoid an account which looks cluttered or messy and use a similar filter on each image to convey consistency.

4. Captions

Captions can prove vital in providing your followers with a condensed information about a post without being too long or dull. These words are also useful for encouraging your audiences to interact and respond. Perhaps you’re asking them a question, looking for an opinion or aiming for a like? Whatever the goal look for opportunities to begin a dialogue.

5. Use #hashtags

Hashtags are a great way for those with similar interests, or those searching for a particular service or product, to find you through Instagram. Keep any hashtagged words relevant to you and your business interests as a sure-fire way to gain more likes on your posts and increase opportunities for sharing.

6. Behind the scenes

Keep your page versatile by including behind-the-scenes posts and video clips. These allow your audience to connect more effectively with your brand and see exactly how your business works.

7. Use your stories

Another aspect of Instagram that has become extremely popular is the use of the story feature, which is ideal for content that you don’t want on your page permanently but still want to share. Stories generally disappear after 24 hours, but using ‘highlights’ allows you to save them to your profile.

8. Embed in your website

Link all of your social media accounts to your website to ensure they can be found. Easiness is key in sharing and viewing your sites.

9. Promote

Draw in your target audiences by cross-promoting Instagram posts through multiple social media feeds. Share your latest updates, new features and products through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and your own website. Increased presence and sharing means more awareness of your brand!

10. Follow trends

One of the best ways to gain attention for your brand’s Instagram page is to follow the latest trends and work them into what you do. For example, national holidays such as Christmas, Mother’s day and even the seasons can be utilised to help your messages stand out. Special offers or events can also be worked into these posts.