Mastering Instagram for smart people:
A simple guide.
You know those books for so-called “dummies”? They’re non-fiction books designed to teach someone who isn’t an expert in the field a reasonable amount about it. They’re called things like “astrophysics for dummies” or “growing your own fruit and veg for dummies.” Well, at Deearo Marketing, we’ve always found those books kind of comforting in the way they don’t assume you know a lot about what you’re trying to learn about.
It’s kind of relaxing to know the authors aren’t expecting a ton from you as a reader. In keeping with this no-pressure vibe, we would have called this post “mastering Instagram for dummies,” but we didn’t want to upset anyone. We know you’re not a dummy. You’re smart. Why else would you be reading this and following us on social media? All the same though, some people just don’t get Instagram. We’re here to help you get to grips with the function of the ‘gram’ and how you can use it to your business’ benefit. Because marketing is, like, our thing. We’ll freely admit that we don’t know that much about astrophysics, or even plain old physics, but we do know how to market effectively on social media platforms.
What is Instagram?
According to marketing guru Hubspot, “Instagram is a social media platform that emphasizes photo and video sharing via its mobile app. You can take, edit, and publish visual content for your followers to interact with through likes, comments, and shares.” From this, you can see that Instagram is more of a visual sharing site than say, Twitter which is more about short, yet powerful word sharing. Facebook is more about sharing with people you know only, whereas Instagram is about sharing images and short videos to people you know and the wider internet in general.
In terms of business, Facebook is great for connecting with your current customers, whereas Instagram is perfect for connecting with potential customers. Both are important for a successful business because you want to retain customers where possible while still finding new custom and clients to grow your business and replace those who stop using your services. However awesome you are, it inevitably does happen sometimes.
Hubspot claims that “over the past few years, Instagram has seen exponential growth — from one million users in December 2010 to over one billion in 2020.” It also describes Instagram as the “top social media platform for engagement.” With statistics like that it’s impossible to ignore the growing social media giant and it can be a powerful marketing tool for your business.
Why should my business be on Instagram?
There are a LOT of reasons why you should have a business account on Instagram for your company. Here are our top five reasons to get onto the ‘gram’ and start sharing.
- It’s popular. As we mentioned, there are a billion people and businesses using Instagram. One source claims that there are half a billion accounts using it daily. If you can afford not to tap into that massive market, good for you. Us growing businesses will be over here making an Instagram account. The more people see that your company exists, the more chance you have of getting noticed by those who need your services.
- It’s connecting. Your competitors are almost certainly on Instagram. If they aren’t, then get ahead of them by getting on there first. According to com there are “25 million” businesses on Instagram”. If yours isn’t one of them, we suggest you look into correcting this. Instagram is free to use but there are also opportunities for advertising your business on there to those users who the almighty algorithms decide are most likely to be interested in what you offer.
- It’s visual. Instagram is a great platform for connecting with your customers without overwhelming them with wordy content. Vibrant visuals connect with a younger crowd than long blocks of text. Maybe the younger generations have less patience, maybe they just like bright colours. Whatever the reason, the wordier a post is, the less likely it is to attract the young folk’s attention. Instagram being a predominantly visual platform is great for sharing photos of your products or video clips of your services. That way, your consumers have to expend next to no effort to find out about you. They just have to stop scrolling and look.
- It’s young. Even if your products or services are aimed at an older crowd, we still suggest reaching out to Instagram because…how do we put this? Eventually your clientele is going to die, and you are going to want to replace them before that happens if you don’t want your business to combust with them. There’s nothing wrong with catering to the golden generation, we’re just saying to be proactive in attracting new customers before you run out. For whatever reason, Instagram connects with a younger crowd than other social media platforms and you can use that to your company’s advantage. So, come on. All the cool kids are doing it.
How do I make Instagram posts that will get noticed?
Firstly, we’d just like to point out that for efficient social media posting, Instagram offers the option to share whatever it is you are about to post on other platforms simultaneously. This can save you time, especially if you have mastered the art of scheduled posts. However, we also want to point out that different social media platforms connect with different audiences and therefore the best way to ensure maximum efficacy is to do separate posts for each platform. That means short text and links for Twitter, photos and longer text for Facebook and predominantly visuals for Instagram. If you can adapt your social media posts to align best with the consumers on that specific platform then you’ll be using them to their full effect.
As for what to post on Instagram and how, we recommend using photos and videos of your services or products. Instagram offers several photo filters to make all your photos look professional and appealing. Bonus! Eye catching colours work best with minimal accompanying text for Instagram posts. Feel free to hyperlink to your website or other social media profiles though, as these aren’t demanding on the eye and it means that your followers can get more information on your company if they wish to, with ease. Easy consumption of content is the aim of the game for Instagram.
We highly recommend using sites like Canva to create colourful Instagram friendly posts. Canva is great because it has a specialist option to make Instagram posts with colourful backgrounds and interesting text fonts while ensuring that the image fits the size parameters set out by Instagram, so it’s centred and professional-looking.
Hopefully our crash-course on Instagram has convinced you to get creative and start boosting your marketing reach through Instagram. If you need help managing your business social media or have other questions about how to make your online marketing more efficient, get in touch with us here. Our marketing, social media and website specialists at Deearo Marketing are ready to help you make the most of your online image and grow your business.