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Instagram – isn’t that just full of selfies and photos of people’s breakfast? Not exactly! Whether you’re a business, big or small, Instagram holds a wealth of opportunities. With over 300 million users worldwide, it’s a super useful platform to utilise when speaking to your audience, elevating your business and building your brand organically. Plus – any brand without an Instagram profile, or a badly put together one with minimal followers, will often ring alarm bells for potential customers.

If you aren’t already maximising this platform and posting consistently, then you probably should read these tips and nuggets of advice to get clued up on one of the world’s favourite social media sites.

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression

Let’s start simple with your profile image and bio. These are the first things that a user will see when they either search for your business or click through to your profile. We recommend making your profile image your logo as it needs to be clear and recognisable from the offset.

Once the user has clicked onto your profile, the next thing they’re likely to see is your bio. It takes just two-tenths of a second for someone to form an opinion of your brand online so make this part count! Your bio may entice someone to follow you or to scroll through your profile and read your posts. When writing your bio, summarise your brand and what you do, keeping your brand tone strong and tight – you could also include emoji’s if that sits well with your brand. Your bio is the only place on your profile where you can include links so we definitely recommend you add one for your website. You can now also convert to a Business profile, allowing you to include additional information about your business in your bio, such as a phone number, email address and postal address.

Pretty as a picture

In recent years, it’s become popular for your Instagram page to have a ‘theme’. What this means is having a uniformed colour palette and style that keeps the feed looking slick and smooth. It’s essentially an extension of your branding. One simple way to do this is to pick out a key colour for your feed, ideally one that reflects your brand or is already a part of your branding, for instance yellow. To create a theme, ensure that every post on your feed incorporates the colour yellow in some way and that each post is edited in the same style. There are plenty of tutorials and tips on Pinterest to help you with this. Your feed will rival an Instagram influencer’s in no time!

To get inspired, take a look at a few brands who do uniformed feeds really well.

#GOALS

There’s a few different purposes you can focus on for your business’s Instagram page. You can use it to showcase your products and services, entice potential customers, share your company news and build a community to enhance brand loyalty. Although all of these things are important, you should pick one or two to focus on in order to position your content well. Remember, you’ve most likely got a website and/or Facebook page to cover the rest.

For Instagram, as it’s predominantly visual, we think it’s a great place to showcase your products or services and build a community. Project your brand in the way of photos – not only of your products and services, but also through any images outside of your brand sphere that reflects your aesthetic and vibe. Users don’t want to be bombarded on Instagram with content that simply sells a product, particularly if they haven’t bought into your brand already. If they simply wanted to be sold to, they’d visit your website.

Missguided do a fantastic job of capturing this. They ensure that their content is a good mix and this way, they are able to relate to their customers instead of simply selling to them. They also make great use of hashtags, with their own personal hashtag ‘#babesofmissguided’. This is used to encourage customers to post images of their Missguided clothing with the incentive of a possible £250 voucher if the brand decide to re-post. The customer feels valued and part of something, whilst the brand receives free marketing and imagery. Searching the hashtag also allows users to discover more about Missguided and see what other customers are posting and wearing, enabling them to explore the brand beyond the the main page. This has successfully built them an online empire with loyal customers who enjoy more than just the clothing, and who buy into a brand as a whole.

Congrats - you're ready for Instagram fame!

So, now you know all about how to capture your potential followers with a good profile image, bio and a sleek-looking feed. You’ve set your Instagram profile goals and you’re ready to get going. Don’t hold back and make sure you’re posting consistently. There’s nothing wrong with posting, two, three or four times a day as long as it’s good, relevant content. Keep on top of engagement and ensure that you’re replying to comments and building your community and converting queries into sales. Tick all of these factors off your list, and sit back and watch the followers roll in!