Instagram isn’t going away. In fact, according to a recent study, the photo and video sharing platform provides the highest engagement rate in social media across 12 out of 13 industries.

It’s a platform that more and more of our clients are starting to use so with that in mind, here are five tips to help you promote your business on Instagram.

1. Switch to a Business Account

An Instagram Business account will give you access to in-app post insights and allow you to provide contact buttons for your business, including Directions, Call and Email.

To get an Instagram Business account you’ll need to have a personal Instagram account and a business Facebook page.

Log into your personal Instagram account,  tap Settings (the small cog icon in the top right corner), select  Switch to Business Profile and follow the prompts. Instagram will pull your business contact details through from the associated Facebook page but you can always go back and edit them.

2. Album Posts

This is a relatively new addition to Instagram and lets you post several photos in one post. Users can swipe left to view the album making it ideal if your business has content that lends itself to a step by step process such as recipes, builds and before/afters.

Previously these had to be shown as separate posts or as short video bursts. Using an album makes it clear to your followers that those images are meant to be viewed together.

When you’re adding a post go to the Gallery and tap Add Multiple. You can then select up to 10 photos or videos and order them as needed.

3. Stories

Instagram’s take on Snapchat, Instagram Stories are a chance to share more on the fly content and are a great way to trial video and show your creative side without compromising your feed.

With Instagram Stories you can add multiple photos or video so it’s an ideal way to document what you’re up to over the course of the day. For example, if you’re heading to an exhibition you can take your followers with you by posting photos or video of the travel there, stand set up, walk around, stand take down and journey home. You can overlay your photos and video with text or stickers to give your followers further insight into what you’re up to.

Instagram Stories display at the very top of the Instagram feed and only stick around for 24hrs so why not give it a go. There’s an extensive section dedicated to Stories in Instagram’s Help Centre to help you get started.

4. Hashtag Hack

Instagram lets you add up to 30 hashtags per post. That’s a lot. And while Instagram is more hashtag friendly than Facebook and Twitter, remembering and adding hashtags to your posts can get a bit tedious. There are two easy ways to solve that:

Copy & Paste

Type out all the hashtags you might want to use for a certain type of post. Save this on your desktop (or phone), then all you need to do is copy and paste into your next post. You can always add or delete hashtags to tailor them completely to your post.

Use Text Replace

This is a handy little feature on the iPhone’s keyboard that lets you set shortcut text:

  • Open Settings then tap General / Keyboard / Text Replacement
  • Tap the + in the top right corner
  • Type your regular hashtags in the Phase field and use a clear title in the Shortcut field ie RecipeTags
  • Tap Save in the top right corner

Next time you’re creating your post, instead of typing all your hashtags just type the shortcut text and select the text that appears in the predictive text box. You can then add or delete hashtags as required.

5. Something Different

Sometimes you want to post more than just a photo or a normal video. The following apps are all available on the App Store or Google Play:

Boomerang – use to create mini videos that loop back and forth

Hyperlapse – this app lets you shoot longer videos and condense them into slick looking timelapses. It even stabilises the video so don’t worry about shaking hands

Layout – as the name suggests, this app lets you choose multiple layouts for your posts so you can display several photos in one image

If you want to know more about using Instagram or other social networking platforms for your business please give us a call on 01224 912260.

About Bob Gentle

I work with businesses of all sizes on digital marketing, host the Amplify digital marketing entrepreneur podcast and work with entrepreneurs to help them amplify their business online.