10 Clever Ways to Use Instagram for Your Business
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
We’ve all heard this quote before, but it has become even more true with the popularization of the social media platform known as Instagram. With over 800 million users and over 95 million photos being posted per day (excluding video content), Instagram has become a power-house in the social media world. The platform is no longer just for personal use, but has become a pivotal part of the business world. With over 70% of U.S. businesses using Instagram in 2017, your business cannot afford to NOT be on Instagram.
What Is Instagram?
Instagram is a social media networking application made specifically for sharing photo and video content. You create your profile using a handle specific to you (our Instagram handle is @ruizstrategies! Give us a follow!) and on your profile you can add a short bio, a profile picture and a link. Other Instagram users will be able to like and/or comment on your pictures and videos and you will be able to do the same. This allows for the opportunity to engage with other people using the platform.
Posting pictures seems like a simple enough task, but there is a lot more to it than that. If you post the same pictures day after day, your profile is going to look a bit boring. If you typically post pictures of you and your dog and then suddenly post a picture of your food, your profile will look off-brand. You want to strategize the type of content you post to reach the most people and receive the most engagement.
Instagram has become an amazing platform outside of posting pictures and videos on your feed. Instagram Stories is a feature where users can post photos and 15-second videos that vanish after 24 hours. You can also go ‘live’ on Instagram which allows users to broadcast video to their followers in real-time. Most recently, Instagram launched IGTV - a new app for watching long-form video. IGTV has channels where the creators ARE the channels. Anyone can be a creator and have their own channel.
There are several fun and clever ways you can strategically use Instagram for your brand or business:
1. Showcase your products/services
Instagram is all about visuals, so what better place than to showcase your new product? If your company is service-based, you can showcase the services your company offers. For example, if you are a makeup artist, take pictures or post an Instagram Story of the beautiful bride whose makeup you did. Our President and CEO, Michele Ruiz, wrote a book related to content marketing and the professional services industry (specifically the legal industry), so we created a flat-lay photo with a quote from the book.
2. “How to” and Tutorial videos/photos
You can use the multiple photos feature to post a step-by-step guide. You can also post up to a 60-second long “how to” video which allows an even more detailed look into the process or service you are offering. Outside of posting a video in your feed, you could also post a story or use IGTV for your tutorial video.
3. Behind the scenes
People love to know what goes on behind the scenes. Give your followers an inside look at what goes on in your office. You could use Instagram Live or Stories to bring people along to an event your team is attending.
4. Company culture
Having a company is about more than what products you sell or what services you provide. People want to do business with people/brand’s they know, like and trust. Instagram is a great way to give your followers a deeper look into your company culture. Does your company work with any charity organizations? Do you have a ‘Taco Tuesday’ lunch provided for everyone? Instagram is the place to share it!
5. Contests and/or Giveaways
Contests are a great way to not only gain new followers but to gain engagement from your current followers. Everyone loves free stuff (I know I do!), and posting a giveaway is a great way to increase awareness of your brand.
6. Share company news and content
Maybe your company recently made a new hire- tell your audience about it! Did you recently push out a blog post on your website? Share it! The graphic on the left is something we created to share a blog one of our employees wrote on 10 Ways to Use Facebook Live. The picture on the right is a post welcoming our new Vice President.
7. Tell your company’s story
As mentioned earlier, Instagram is the perfect place to showcase what your company is all about. Using the platform to tell your company’s story humanizes your company and, in turn, people will want to know more about you.
8. Ask for feedback
Posting a photo and asking for feedback is a great way to add a call to action using Instagram. This is the perfect opportunity for you to engage with your followers and also gain valuable feedback to be used within your business.
9. Introduce your team
People love to know about the people behind your brand. Tell a story about your employees, showcase projects they are working on, or use the platform to shine a spotlight on your ‘Employee of the Month’.
10. #ThrowbackThursday Posts (or other hashtag day posts)
With the invention of #ThrowbackThursday, it’s not uncommon to see old photos posted on the platform. You can show older models of your product, throwback to a previous year’s event or do a ‘Then and Now’ type post using the multiple photos feature. You could also participate in #FlashbackFriday, #MondayMotivation, or #WednesdayWisdom hashtag days. Here is a throwback picture of our team at an event they went to on behalf of one of our corporate clients.
How does your business use Instagram? What’s your favorite Instagram feature? We’d love to hear back from you!
Written by Briana Manrique | Communications Associate
At Ruiz Strategies we are passionate about working with our private sector clients and government customers to help them effectively tell their unique story. We help clients communicate, engage and build relationships with the people that matter most.