Instagram is a social media platform that allows you to visually promote your business to an incredibly wide and growing audience. It’s a community built on the power of visual storytelling, and if you’re not already on Instagram, you might want to reconsider your social media strategy.

That said, launching your business onto a new platform can be a little daunting – it means more work and more activity to monitor, and you might be struggling to think what kind of content you can post that people might actually want to interact with.

While these concerns are valid, you’ll soon discover that there are countless people out there interested in what you do, and what stories you have to tell. If you’re considering getting started on Instagram, or maybe you’re already there but need some help, here are some top tips and bits of advice for launching your business on Instagram.

1. Create content tailored for your target audience

You know who your target audience is, but you might not know what content they’re going to want to engage with on Instagram. The best way to find out is to look at your competitors and see what they’re doing. Identify the different types of content their posting, and compare the levels of interaction they’re receiving.

While you don’t want to be posting identical content as your competitors, you can still take inspiration from what’s working for them, and look to replicate those same results for your own businesses.

Here are some ideas for content:
• Product photos with interesting descriptions
• Interesting quotes and stats related to your industry
• Sneak peaks and behind-the-scenes photos
• Photos of your team working in the office or shop where you’re located
• Examples of your work.

Trying a combination of these will give you a greater understanding of what’s going to appeal toy our audience.

2. Find and interact with your target audience

Finding communities about specific products and services on Instagram is simple. No matter what you do, what products you sell and what services you offer, there are already people on Instagram talking about it. Using Instagram’s search functionality, go out and find them, and start interacting, even if it’s just liking their content.

As you like content from other users and follow them too, chances are they’re going to start engaging with your content too. While not all of them will, a fair amount of people will start following you back, because they recognise that you’re a valid member of the same community.

3. Post quality content

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram is “Quantity over Quality”. They’re more concerned with getting as much content out there that the quality suffers, and they end up pushing away their target audience, and doing their brand significant harm.

They key is to focus on quality over quantity. Spend time getting your content and photos just right – don’t always post the first shot you take! You don’t need to be a professional with a ten thousand dollar camera to take quality photos, as most successful businesses and users rely on just an iPhone.

4. Use hashtags

Many people still hold the view that #hashtags are just gimmicks, a fad that will soon disappear. This is a dangerous view to hold, because hashtags are vital for finding the communities you want to interact with, and also for letting people find you.

Many Instagram users rely on hashtags to find the content they want to see on their feeds, so using hashtags with your posts will let other people find you. For example, if you’re promoting a social media service on Instagram, you might want to use a few hashtags related to social media, such as #socialmedia, #facebook and #InstagramAdvice. Other users will be monitoring these hashtags to see what content is being posted there. If they see your post there, and your content is something they’re interested in, they’re going to like your post, and probably follow you too, all thanks to your hashtag.

5. Make sure your bio is complete

As a business, one of the main things you want to be doing on Instagram is gaining people’s trust and interest, and increasing awareness of your brand. But one of the key things you need to consider is people might be interested in your business outside of Instagram. Let’s say you offer a service that they’re interested in – once they’ve liked your content and followed you on Instagram, how do they find out more? How do they get in contact with you?

These questions are answered in the bio section of our Instagram account. There you can provide a link to your website, some information about who you are and what you do, and even some contact details so they can get in touch with you immediately. Instagram lets you be a bit creative with your bio, so be sure to make the most of it.