10 Tips to Optimize Your Instagram Business Profile

Businesses are taking Instagram by storm. Think about it… between mommy bloggers, foodies, travel junkies, and the hundreds of Harry Potter fan accounts, the latest updates, though fun for personal accounts, seem to benefit business profiles the most.

Since Instagram’s launch in 2010, the industry and usage have both shifted from the fun, personal account into a bigger push into business and sales. As a growing platform, good changes need to be made in order to attract new users and retain the current ones. In August of 2016, Instagram provided users with an option to create a business account that allows the businesses (and users if they desired) access to analytics and options for e-commerce.

As Instagram continues to release update after update, it’s important to optimize your profile and take advantage of those features. Here are ten ways that you can improve your business profile.

Engage with Your Followers

Engagement is a key part of IG’s algorithm. The more engagement you receive on your posts, the more likely your profile is to be seen. Instagram likes it when you, as the profile owner, engage with your audience. The quality of your followers is valued greater than the quantity of your followers. And remember, the quality will lead to more quantity.

Create Discoverable Content

An article by Rival IQ, suggests that you ask your users not to tag your photos, but instead to use a custom hashtag to make your content more discoverable to those that may not follow you. This concept makes sense due to the fact that when you’re tagged in a photo, only those who are already following your profile will see it, but hashtags make it available to a broader audience.

Strategically Share Content

What you share, when you share it, and how you share it matters. Create a content calendar and plan out your content in order to accurately tell your brand’s story. The visuals you post and the captions you use create a brand experience, and you want to make sure you’re properly conveying the right one for you.

Create Captivating Captions

Instagram shows the first two lines of your caption – choose your words very carefully. With ten or so words, you’ll have to captivate your audience quickly and get them to click the “more” to view the rest of your caption. How you’ll accomplish this completely depends on the industry you’re in, but experiment and try new things.

Utilize Instagram’s New Features

Why would IG come out with new features just for you to ignore them? The new features may not apply to every business, but it can be argued that every new feature is designed to increase engagement. Especially utilize the new features that stories have offered. Polls, Q&As, stickers, gifs, countdown timers, etc. are all there for your benefit. Take advantage of them. IGTV is an up and coming resource for your followers. It gives you the opportunity to upload up to 10-minute long vertical videos that a mommy blogger could use to showcase her latest unboxing or your company can upload a tips & tricks video that’s applicable for your business.

Go Live

Using Instagram’s Live feature is going to benefit your profile. The algorithm is set to favor a user when they go live, notifying its followers and trying to get you seen by the most amount of people.

Build a Trackable URL for Your Bio

Creating a URL that you can track will help you to get the necessary data to continue to optimize your Instagram Profile. Building your URL can help you discover where traffic is coming from, how many people click on your link, etc. This principle can also apply to other platforms, in fact, I’d suggest creating a separate URL for all different platforms to gain more insights. We use Google’s Campaign URL Builder to set up individual URLs for different platforms. We are also able to track the data in Google Analytics. Here’s a guide on how to use Campaign URL Builder and a Youtube video to teach you how to use this tool.

Fine Tune Your Bio

Use keywords. Add them in your description, use special fonts and emojis. The idea is to do something to stand out and make your purpose clear. Add a call to action to your bio. The key is not to make it too busy. Oftentimes, influencers and those similar make their bios too busy. Use fancy fonts sparingly and make it clean. Your bio is one of the first things people read about your brand, make it count.

Utilize Influencers

Partner with other brands or people. Optimize your brand and use people that would benefit your company and those that can benefit from you. Remember that they’ll be adding value to your brand and you will have to add value to them in some way. Influencer marketing is growing and Instagram is one of the best platforms to use this marketing technique.

Be Authentic

Be you. Social media has received a lot of hate the past couple of years regarding the “appearance of perfection.” This is your opportunity to change that perception. Be authentic and allow your audience to see the raw parts of your brand.

As one of the fastest growing social platforms, Instagram is constantly adding new features and changing its algorithm. Staying on top of what is happening with the social channel is one of the best things you can do for your business. Don’t fall behind! Following these tips will help your Instagram business stay fresh and visible.

The 4 C’s of Social Content Strategy

Imagine your company is a kingdom. A kingdom needs someone (or something) to rule over it and protect it. The question stands, who (or what) controls your kingdom?

Creatives and visuals play an important role in marketing. They’re responsible for establishing a brand, evoking emotion or convincing consumers to think or act in a certain way. The influence content marketing has for a brand is substantial and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Content strategy is the thing that can make or break your company in a social media aspect.

Keep in mind these 4 principles when creating a social media content strategy.

1. Content is King

Your brand is determined by the content that you produce. The media that your brand delivers on social platforms (such as its images, videos, graphics, etc.) is an important aspect of how consumers view your company. Due to the fact that social media is such a powerful tool, having a strong presence that provides valuable content can make your company. On the flip side, having mediocre content that doesn’t pull people in may possibly break it.

Social media marketing brings a new perspective to your company. You have the ability to show others what you’re about as opposed to telling them. Many people are visual, and content provides the value that they’re looking for. Provide new and exciting original content. Engage with users and create a loyal following.

Don’t forget that your brand is determined by your content, which is why content is king.

2. Consistency

I believe that consistency is one of the key elements in creating positive content and a sense of loyalty to a brand. People rely on consistency in their life, and you have an opportunity to provide it for them. Post content on a schedule. Developing a habit of posting consistently is important for consumers and for social platforms’ algorithms.

Make sure the content you post is consistent in representing the ‘why’ of your business. There are two spectrums of posting. The first one is to just throw out content recklessly whereas, on the opposite side of the spectrum, you may not post as often, but what you do post is meaningful and intentional. Create a content calendar. Without creating one, failure is more likely to occur. Social Media Today mentions the “Consistency Pizza” consisting of volume, quality, voice, and topics.

Consistency not only in posting but also in the content itself is also vital. A ‘clean’ feed is ideal. If you’re a photographer, create a feed with similar edits so your future clients can get a ‘feel’ of your editing style. A videographer should also abide by the same principles, so why shouldn’t your brand? The images and graphic style should represent your company. Using the same color scheme for graphics and similar edits on posts with similar content will help assist in creating a great social feed.

3. Culture

Representing a culture is important in social media marketing. What sort of style and “feel” do you want to show your consumers? You may want to portray a specific culture of your company. You may even want to portray a culture from around the world. Identifying a target audience and being able to cater to their needs is an aspect of culture that should be considered. Remember that what works in one city, state or country may not work in another because social media trends are constantly changing and tend to move from region to region.

Referring to a company’s vision and goals will help to guide the social feed in order to create a culture on social media. Is your goal to advocate healthy eating because it makes you happy? Great! Use that as a guide to create content that emulates that. Keeping culture (in all aspects) in mind, will help assist in pulling people towards your brand.

4. Collaboration

Collaborations involve you and another party offering a service and working together in order to both benefit. Collaborating with other important brands, people, groups, businesses, etc. is a great way to gain more exposure for your brand and the brand you’re working with.

Consider creating a brand ambassador program where people from different locations promote your product or service to their own social following in exchange for a discount of sorts. By having brand ambassadors post content featuring your product, you receive free marketing and potentially more conversions because it’s coming from a friend as opposed to a ‘faceless’ company.

Collaborating with local influencers or celebrities (depending on your company and its purposes) will help gain momentum with content marketing. Consumers will see your brand as one that is associated with the influencer and could increase a following and assist in creating more of a loyal following on social platforms. Finding the right influencer can be difficult. Social outreach is one way to contact an influencer, but there are also great tools created to connect you to the best fitting influencer for your company.

Post driving content with the intention to pull people in. When you do this, the goal and one of the purposes of social media content strategy is met. Remember, pulling people in is only half of the battle. How will you captivate your audience and keep them wanting more? Provide value. Be intentional with your posts and promote meaningful reactions. Keep these 4 C’s in mind as you continue in your social content strategy. These efforts will help ensure your kingdom protected from competitors.