Instagram has a higher engagement rate than any other social media channel, over 400 million monthly active users and it’s still growing (it’s also my personal favourite). It’s no longer a question of if your business should be on Instagram. The answer is yes. Let’s look at some of the new features of the platform and how to use them for your business.
More engagement, more potential for your business
Instagram announced they hit 400 million users on Tuesday. Instagram offers a 4.21% engagement rate, versus an average of 0.01% from other social media platforms. In comparison Facebook has an engagement rate of 0.7% and Twitter a rate of 0.2%.*
This higher engagement means so much more potential for you to talk with (not at) your most engaged customers. You’re able to have meaningful conversations with them, discover what your target market cares about and focus your marketing efforts to be more efficient and effective as a result. What’s not great about that?!
Where to start?
There’s so much that can be said about Instagram – I could literally talk about it for hours! Don’t let the platform overwhelm you, however, here are three things to consider for your business on Instagram:
1. It’s a visual medium
This means it’s important for you to post visually inspiring images. If you haven’t yet, explore Instagram and find a style that suits your brand – whether that’s something clean and minimal or something lush, vivid and highly saturated. Be consistent, use photo editing apps such as Snapseed or VSCOcam and play around to learn what makes a great photo.
2. Be an active member
Create a community by being an active member. Respond to every comment on your posts, like and comment on other posts, follow inspiring accounts and build a community of like-minded peeps on the platform.
Create your own content, share your story and be authentic. Combine your wonderful original content with curated content from people and brands that you love. Always remember though to #createorcredit – this wonderful hashtag was created by Catherine Wilson of Catherine Grace and it’s a reminder that Instagram is a community. Don’t take credit for someone else’s work – tag that person in their work, celebrate them and share the love and it’s likely they’ll share the love for you too.
New changes to Instagram
There have been a lot of exciting new changes to the platform recently from the introduction of a new layout tool to increased advertising open to smaller businesses. You can read up on changes to Instagram on their Instagram for Business blog here.
One feature (that I’m especially excited about) is the ability to now share portrait and landscape images, as well as the traditional square image, to Instagram. I love this because it allows you to tell your brand’s stories on Instagram through high impact images, without having to compromise by cropping those images into a square. The best part is that those images you share are still presented in square format on your Instagram profile which means it doesn’t disrupt the aesthetic of your gorgeous overall feed.
Productivity on Instagram
I love tools that help me be more productive on all social media. One of those tools is Latergram.me. It’s a free app that lets you schedule your Instagram posts ahead of time. Once you’ve created your posts, it prompts you at the scheduled time to share it, so all you have to do is follow the instructions, open the post in Instagram and share away. When you know you have a lot of gorgeous content you want to share with the world, it’s a great way to stay organised, calm and in control, especially in the lead up to Christmas. You can find out more here.
All those content ideas and inspiration that we talked about here can be used in your content calendar for Instagram. Download your free printable content calendar for October above and plan out your activity for Instagram for the coming month.
I’d love to know how you and your business are going on Instagram. What are your biggest challenges with the platform? Do you have any concerns or questions about what you should be doing or how to best use it in the lead up to Christmas?
Shout out below and I’d love to answer those questions!
Business Essentials #1: 2015 Planning Tools for Creative Entrepreneurs
Business Essentials #2: Your Business Manifesto
Business Essentials #3: Your Action Plan
Business Essentials #4: Content Inspiration
Business Essentials #5: The Importance of Email Marketing
Business Essentials #6: Social Media Audit
Business Essentials #7: How to plan a Campaign
Business Essentials #8: Your 6 Month Goals Check In
Business Essentials #9: Productivity Tips
Business Essentials #10: Facebook Advertising