You may be thinking Instagram is a social media platform for sharing photos, so why should I use it for my business, especially as a professional service firm? Instagram is known as the best social media platform for engagement and the best way for a brand to connect with their followers. It’s visual, very simple and attracts the younger generations more than other social media platforms. The demographics of Instagram users is very interesting with 64% aged between 18-34.
Instagram enables you to create a social media profile that highlights your brand’s mission, goals and show off your services. Instagram may come across as basic, but it is a powerful tool that your business could be using.
Show a fun side
Instagram is a great way to show potential customers/clients that you are more than just a faceless corporation. This can be done through many of Instagram’s features, but you can really make an impression with posts and stories.
Show your followers compelling photos of your business, things that they do not normally get to see and in a fun way e.g. Different workstations of each employees, team building activities, Charity involvement, office pet etc.
DLA Piper (@dlapiper) is a great example of a professional service firm using Instagram in the right way. They are a global law firm who regularly post fun activities that are taking place in their office and events they attend. Take a look at their Instagram page to get some inspiration.
With Instagram the picture is the main event, compared to Facebook or Twitter where there are comments and posts that followers might skip over! It needs to be clean, sharp and provocative – as the phrase goes ‘A picture says a thousand words.’
Your photos need to be eye-catching to stop the audience in their tracks long enough to engage with your post, read your caption or click through to your profile.
An Instagram Story is a feature within the app where users can capture or upload images as well as a 15 second video, this is displayed within a slideshow format and is removed after 24 hours. You may be familiar with stories from other social media platforms that also have this feature such as Snapchat and Facebook.
Stories can be modified with the typical filters of the app. Instagram also enables you to post polls on your story, this is a great way to engage with followers. This opens up many opportunities. If you want to keep your posts more serious then you could ask the audience a question about current events and get them to have their say. Or simply post a picture of office cakes and get the audience to vote for their favourite.
Instagram allows you to post short videos on your profile as well as your story. So why not turn a blog, testimonials or case study into a video. People may not want to read a long article, but they will watch a short video.
Instagram has an editing tool that you can use before uploading your images, there is a good selection of filters, a cropping tool etc, giving your picture the final touch before uploading! It allows you to save your edits in a draft folder if you do not want to upload them right away.
There are also some other free popular image editing apps that you might want to check out:
- Snapseed – this is a photo editing software with control over colour and exposure
- VSCO – perfect for adding elegant filters.
Like Twitter and other social media platforms, Instagram is very big on hashtags. Including relevant hashtags in your posts will make the content more discoverable. Posts including at least one hashtag have more engagement than those that do not feature any. Instagram users can search for a specific hashtag to find the content they want, they can also follow this hashtag so that any post that uses that hashtag will come up on their feed.
#Business scores 51% in popularity according to besthashtag.com
Instagram is a mobile platform and around 80% of social media browsing takes place on mobile devices – so there should be no doubt in your mind about building a presence on this platform. Users can view Instagram as a web page, but it is optimised for mobile devices.
Instagram is Linked to Facebook
Did you know that Instagram is owned by Facebook? But they’re still two different platforms. You can actually link them reaching both your Facebook and Instagram audience, resulting in whatever you post on one platform gets posted on the other.
Collaborate with Influencers
Instagram is a great place to collaborate with other people e.g. influencers. Once you build a relationship with influencers you can reach their followers as well as your own. There is a good chance that you won’t have the same followers, even if you are in the same industry. Build relationships with influencers that have a strong following and are well respected, they may come to use your services and shout about it on their Instagram.
Instagram is such a fun and easy platform to use. So why not get social and use it yourself by following other users and engage with them. Like and comment on their posts, they may follow you back and return the like.