Instagram for business

by PMA


Instagram for business

How to use Instagram for Business

Instagram, now owned by Facebook, is one of the largest social media apps in the world. Instagram has 400 million monthly users, and over 80 million posts per day. This gives it an incredible world-wide reach. Instagram for business, if used correctly, can be a powerful marketing tool in promoting your business in a way that humanises your brand and connects with other users on a much more casual and relatable level.

Social media marketing isn’t just about trying to sell goods and services. It’s about connecting with your target market through content that conveys the idea that your brand understands them. This can be communicated a number of ways, but the important thing is to make the consumer see that your brand is likeable and relatable, so that when the time comes for you to advertise a product, they have a much more favourable reception to this advertising message than they would for any other brand. Likewise, if the consumer ever comes across the need for a product you can provide, your product and brand will be in the top of their mind.


Instagram for Business: Two Case Studies

A good example of an effective Instagram ad campaign can be seen through Air Canada’s 2015 social media project. Canada’s largest airline had launched new routes to destinations such as Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro and decided to use social media more effectively than before to create awareness of this and generate more exposure to their brand and the services they provided. They employed “influencers” or social media celebrities to travel to each destination and post Instagram photos to promote the destinations. The campaign was extremely effective in promoting brand recall and driving the message that Air Canada was an airline that people could identify with because it understood why people travelled and what they were looking for.


Instagram for business


Another example of a powerful use of Instagram is through the campaign conducted by the American fast food chain, Sonic Drive-In. The restaurant designed square milkshakes as a part of its Sonic Creamery milkshake range to be ordered and sold at a festival for one day only over Instagram. Instead of money, however, the people paid for their milkshakes by posting on Instagram a photo of the milkshake. This worked on two levels, as not only were hundreds of people endorsing the product on their social media accounts, they were doing it happily, as extravagant milkshakes have been a world wide phenomenon on Instagram over the last few months leading up to the festival.


Instagram for business


What made these campaigns so effective is that their brand managers used Instagram in a way that was unconventional and more than just a platform for still image ads.

So how how can you make the most of this platform and do the same with your business? Here are seven useful tips that will help you get the most out of Instagram and its 400 million users.

Instagram for Business:1. Behind the scene shots

Seeing what happens behind the scenes, and who the people involved are, is a good way of fuelling the interest of people already interested in what you have to say. It’s a good way to humanise your brand and show there are every day people behind each post. This is an effective way of connecting with followers on a social level and showing you’re more than just a big company or a profit-seeking business, you’re also a group of people devoting time and resources into something you believe in, just like everyone else.


Instagram for business

Instagram for Business:2. Reposts from followers and employees

Reposts of pictures or videos made by followers or employees is a good way of engaging with the potential customers and clients and recognising the people who work for you. It’s one step better than “liking” their post as it’s interactive and builds awareness of your business, while at the same time demonstrating you are friendly and responsive.

Here, Samsung have reposted a creative photo that features their product, a tablet, in it. They’re not making any sort of marketing statement, other than they interact with their followers and align themselves with the idea of “inspiration”.


Instagram for business

Instagram for Business:3. Relevant quotes that speak to your audiences

Posting quotes are a good way to show your audience that you get them. The key is to make them relevant to a lot of people, and the best way to do that is for it to be funny. Everyone wants a laugh, and everyone likes to laugh at something relatable and something they can show to their friends. So a quote that connects with your followers on this level is an effective way of creating a positive and favourable mindset towards your brand.


Instagram for business


Instagram for Business:4. Use hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get people following you and engaging in your posts and with your brand. They make it easy for users to find a specific theme or content. It can be difficult to come up with a short hashtag that hasn’t be done yet, but using the same one or two hashtags for all of your posts with your business name or initials in it will promote brand awareness and demonstrate your knowledge of how social media works. An even more effective tip is to also use the hashtags that are popular and used by everyone. Once again, this will show how relevant and relatable your business is, and can only put you in a more favourable position in the consumers’ minds.

Below is a an example from Coke’s “Share a coke” campaign, which had a huge reach and success on social media, with many people sharing photos on Instagram and Facebook and other platforms of them “sharing a coke” with another person, often who’s name was on the bottle or can. The hashtag “#shareacoke” was used whenever an image like this was posted, creating a space where the entire campaign’s reach could potentially be seen.


Instagram for business


Instagram for Business:5. Timely posts

People love holidays, and especially where social media is involved calendar events like Christmas and Easter promote a lot more creativity and imagination in posts. No one is going to dislike your brand for getting in the spirit of things, so make sure to post a season greetings or holiday special to show that your brand is a fun-loving one like everyone else.


Instagram for business


Instagram for Business:6. Product promotion for yourself

Once you’ve built up a substantial amount of followers, Instagram becomes a good way to communicate directly to your target market what you have that’s right for them, and how you can meet their needs and wants. If you’ve done the hard yards and made your Instagram interesting and inspiring with relevant and humorous images, your followers will be much more receptive to the promotional posts you put out. Instagram isn’t like Facebook where only the most relevant content is shown on the newsfeed. If you’ve made a post, it will be there on all of your followers’ newsfeeds, where posts are arranged in a chronological order. It will be seen, as long as the follower goes on and scrolls enough, and an the Instagram newsfeed only really fits one post at a time, so your followers will devote all of their attention to your post every time you post, even if it is only for half a second.


Instagram for business

Instagram for Business:7. Videos

Instagram has just recently extended its maximum video length to sixty seconds. This provides businesses with a great opportunity. Videos on social media are popular and effective, and now it’s possible to create videos that last a minute. Time-lapse videos are also an option, and sometimes the way to go as they can be eye-catching and engaging. However, attention spans of users are short, so a full sixty second video may not be your best option.


Instagram for business