If you aren’t already aware of this fact, you should be: Instagram is huge.
Since it began back in 2013, it’s grown by leaps and bounds, gaining one or two million users every year — with no signs of slowing down. It has more than 800 million active users each month, and 59% of those are Millennials under the age of 30. Among teens, the site is even more popular than Snapchat.
Simply put, you cannot afford to leave the world’s foremost image-sharing platform out of your brand’s social strategy any longer. And any sound social strategy includes optimizing your profile and content so Google can find it. Because if Google can’t find you, you might as well be invisible out there! Here’s how to do it.
Compile Your Profile
Your profile is the heart of Instagram marketing for any brand. You need to use it to make your company stand out from the start, or it’s just wasted space, so consider whether you can effectively update the profile you have or whether you need to start fresh to accomplish your goals.
Start With The Name And Username
Instagram profiles have both a name and a username. The username reads something like “@mycandycompany” and it’s how you’ll be recognized when you comment, like, or post. You name, on the other hand, is what appears on your brand’s bio. It shows up with capitals, symbols, and simple formatting and you can add differentiators to it.
In order to make the most of these features, do the following:
- Try to get your company name as a username, if it’s available. If not, some strategies include adding periods (@my.candy.company) or underscores (@my_candy_company) or even a geographical indicator.
- Include relevant keywords in your bio’s name, like the products or services you sell.
- Add keywords that appeal to your niche, like “sweet,” or “treats,” and “chocolates” for a candy company.
- Include a location, especially if you’re aiming to get the local market’s attention
In the end, your username should be relatively simple, but your profile’s name should help people understand what you’re all about, like “My Candy Company — Ohio’s Premier Sweet Treats and Chocolates.”
Add A Link
Include a link in your profile to your company’s homepage or your blog — wherever you think that you’ll benefit the most from directing customers that way. Don’t use a link that’s just a string of letters and numbers — take the opportunity to reinforce your brand identity by choosing something readily identifiable to viewers, like “mycandycompany.com/history/” so that it is appealing.
Include A Call-To-Action
Don’t forget to include a CTA in your bio, to encourage viewers to actually click that link as well! You’ll find that Instagram users are remarkably responsive — about two-thirds of them will click on a link after seeing a CTA.
Make sure that you use this to your advantage by updating the CTA and the link that you want your users to view every time you have a campaign that your pushing, something you want to promote, or are tracking your Instagram ROI.
Clarify Your Craft
You only get 150 characters to tell people what you’re all about on your bio — so make them count! Consider breaking up information into individual, easy-to-read lines or thoughts, like “Decadent Dark Chocolates,” “Heavenly Milk Chocolates,” “Corporate Gifts,” “Wedding Favors,” “Gift Baskets.”
Short lines and quick thoughts are essential on social media today — keep in mind that you only have about 8 seconds to capture the attention of the average viewer. What do you want to convey the most in those precious few moments?
Use A Hashtag
The use of a carefully-chosen hashtag can help encourage your viewers to share your content — which ultimately increases your reach and visibility! You can’t use anything generic, or your content will get lost out there, so pick something unique, like “#OhioChocolates” that users can easily use and follow.
Focus On Quality Content
Now that you have your Instagram profile optimized, you have to woo potential customers with your engaging posts. Because of the way that Instagram’s algorithms work, the interaction you get from your followers has a huge influence on how visible you become — and stay!
To keep your brand visible, that means you need to do the following things:
- Always choose quality over quantity. Instagram is a visually-rich medium, so anything less than top-notch photography and graphics on your posts simply won’t do.
- Think about your brand’s personality and insert a little of that style or “flavor” into each post — really aim to make your brand a living entity in your follower’s minds! The more you humanize your brand, the more responsive viewers will be.
- Use geotagging whenever it is appropriate to drive up local interest and tell viewers where they can find your featured products.
- Speaking of featured products — get them out there! Offer contests, promotions, sales, and storied content that helps you keep consumers interested, engaged, and coming back for more!
Finally, you have to engage to be engaging on Instagram. Get out there and be social! That means making sure that you post regularly, click on other people’s posts and links, make comments and share whatever you find relevant and appropriate for your niche. Think of every action you take on Instagram as an investment in your social media karma. It takes a little patience and a lot of effort — but the rewards for your brand are definitely worth it.