Everyone has a favorite social media platform to use for whether for personal or business use. When Instagram first launched, I really didn’t get the platform or how a couple of years later it would be a key element to my businesses success. It has become my go to platform to connect with my audience, to release products, and just showcase a part of my life.
How to Use Instagram
Every platform focuses on connecting with an audience; your job is to establish trust and forge a loyal brand ambassador. You must employ a different strategy for this platform versus what you use on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, or Tumblr. When I first started using it for my consulting company, I learned the best way for me to grow my audience was to exert my expertise on it. First, identify how you want to use the platform to grow your business. Most people think it’s all about the hard sell. If you are constantly selling to your audience they will leave.
The first thing you need to remember about this platform is it’s a visual platform. Facebook and Twitter have the option of adding photography to a post, but with Instagram your audience sees your photos before they see the caption. At first on ICB Consults Instagram page I was posting quotes I found on the internet or specifically off of Instagram. Here is the problem. Everyone is using those same images on their pages too. I was blending in versus standing out. This is when I started designing on my own. It really made my business page stand out.
Product Based Company
Create a lifestyle that your audience wants! When you walk into Neiman Marcus its depicts the luxurious lifestyle. Every department is about elevating your home, life, family and more. When your audience goes to your page they should want to be apart of the lifestyle you’re creating. Share tips and insight about your industry. Every photo does not have to be a product. You can show mood boards, lunch, meetings, and much more. Also, utilizing hashtags is a great way to bring new people to your page.
Service Based Company
It’s important to focus on what your company does, not on what “competitors” are doing. I don’t follow anyone who does what I do. This isn’t being a snob or thinking I am better than them, but this keeps me focused. It keeps me from looking at my neighbor and comparing their apple’s to my orange’s. One of my favorite things to do on Instagram is to share what my audience should be doing every month or on a certain project. This helps my audience keep focused on their business and at the same time validates me as an expert.
Here are a couple of examples:
This might be cliché but it’s very true. I see people copy my company in many way from how I design graphics, my captions, and even how I stage my product photos. That isn’t you and your audience knows that. I am very direct and blunt in regards to business. Too many women prefer it sugar-coated; wondering why they don’t have empires. A billion dollars isn’t easy to come by it is however hard work. In addition, to being direct I share my personal life from my niece, shopping at targets, books, my trips and God. Truth be told, when I really started being transparent and sharing about my relationship with God is when my business grew even more.
Stay focused on your business. Do not worry about what other companies are doing! Don’t focus on the number of followers either, focus on the engagement with your audience. My company has grown off word of mouth only. No paid advertising. My follower count does not affect how much money I bring in a month. ICB Consults has been profitable since day one. If I got caught up in my neighbors affairs, I wouldn’t be profitable or doing major projects. Its all about being focused and connecting with your audience.
How are you using Instagram to connect with your audience? What do you love about their platform?
Photography Image by Mariko & Susie