Companies must also be represented on social media platforms such as Instagram. We explain what you and your company need to keep in mind.
More and more often, a sale is preceded by a digital search query. To maximize the reach of your digital storefront, a homepage is no longer enough. Companies also need to be present on social media platforms like Instagram. We explain what you and your company need to keep in mind.
Instagram is experiencing steady growth in its user numbers. While Facebook has long dominated the market, Instagram is playing an increasingly important role in reaching customers, especially among the target group between 18 and 35 years of age. Worldwide, one billion users are monthly active users on the Instagram app. 71 percent of them are younger than 35 (Statista, 2020). In Germany, around 21 million people use Instagram. The most strongly represented age groups are users aged 25-34, followed by the 18-24 age group. If a company addresses these demographic groups with its products or services, it has a huge potential market at its disposal on Instagram.
Did you know? On average, every single user spends around 50 minutes a day on the social media platform.
And this is how it works:
The first step is to create a business account on Instagram. This means switching from a personal account to a professional one. This can be easily changed in the settings. There are no costs involved in doing so. With a business account, you have the opportunity to get more detailed insights about your users via Insights. How many people have you reached with the individual posts? How old is your user base? And from which regions do they come? All of this is displayed in the Insights. In addition, this type of account gives you the opportunity to promote your own posts on Instagram. In this way, you can reach a larger group of potential customers with a small advertising budget. A visitor to a business profile on Instagram will also have a selection of direct contact options through which they can get in touch with you and your company. Similarly, with a professional profile, you have the opportunity to describe your company and your services in 150 characters.
In addition, an important factor of your profile is your username. When choosing a username, there are generally two common options. If you already have other existing social media profiles on platforms like Facebook, it makes sense to use the same name on Instagram. This allows you to maintain a consistent user image. If Instagram is your first company profile, you should choose a name that identifies your company - and with which you can be found quickly.
Once you start posting content on your channel, you need a plan for what content to create and what you want to achieve with it. For example, do you want to attract more potential customers to your Instagram channel or bring more people to your website?
"Only those who create good and interesting content in the process, offer added value and stand out from the crowd in the process will reach people with their content and the associated message, convince them to stay on the channel and, at best, buy the product, book the service, remain loyal to the brand, etc." (Source: consequential).
Think of your followers as a community you want to interact with in the long run.
After you have formulated your goals, it is important to analyze your industry and the competitive market. This will give you an overview of what strategies and approaches already exist and, most importantly, what works and what doesn't. The competition always serves as a good inspiration. However, other strategies should not be copied in the process. Find your own unique way. Additionally, you can look at competitors' captions and comments. From this, you can read possible customer preferences. Likewise, this will give you initial ideas for another important tool on Instagram: hashtags.
What are hashtags used for? Hashtags are used by Instagram to categorize content and display it to a specific audience with specific interests. So a hashtag analysis is worthwhile to reach the right target audience.
Research is also important for your potential target audience. Who specifically are they trying to reach? How old are the people? What interests do they have? And when are they active on Instagram? The more precisely you determine your target group, the better you can target content specifically to their needs.
Side fact: More than half of all people on Instagram follow at least one business.
The plan is in place. Now it's a matter of implementing it. For this, you need a so-called content strategy. This states which specific content you will play out on your channel at what time and in what temporal rhythm. The first step in setting up a content strategy is to look for inspiration. You can find this in a number of ways. For example, you can search relevant hashtags and blogs to find out what content will succeed with your target audience. After that, it comes down to form. You could post both photos and videos on your channel. One thing is most important: quality comes before quantity. Since Instagram is all about visuals, your content must also be visually compelling to get noticed.
An appealing look also thrives on the consistency of your feed.
In addition, you should speak a consistent visual language. This can be done with certain photo filters or with graphic templates that appear again and again and thus offer a recognition value. A good way to create such templates is offered by the Canva.com platform.
For the reach of your channel, creating reels also plays an important role. Reels are videos that can be backed with music, sounds and text. These are rewarded more by the Instagram algorithm and played out to a wider audience.
When creating a post on Instagram, you have the option of adding a caption to the image. In this caption, you should provide subscribers with context to your images, which in the best case is educational and interesting. Put your content in context and tell the story behind the image to constantly bring your users along. Here you can also try to get your users to interact, for example by asking questions. Finally, the associated hashtags must also match your post.
Questions under a post can also be very simple. Their main purpose is to encourage uncomplicated interaction. The more interaction a post has, the better the reach.
In addition to your feed, you also need to regularly populate your stories, where the content can only be seen for 24 hours. Here, the main focus is on being close to you and your company. The quality does not have to be as high as in the feed. The stories have more of a "behind-the-scenes" character and may be "rougher". Private insights are also allowed here to get to know the people behind the company. This creates closeness and trust.
Instagram is a community platform and must also be understood, used as such. Interaction with your followers is therefore very important. Respond to comments under your posts, respond to direct messages and also invite interaction every now and then (as already explained in point 3). It is also important to deal appropriately with any negative feedback. Moderate this and respond appropriately to criticism. In case of insults, it is of course allowed to delete comments. In doing so, it is best to remind people of the existing netiquette, which must also apply in the public space. In any case, stay in contact with your users, because this is the only way to build a long-term and loyal community.
Instagram offers a good opportunity for companies to expand their own reach and, above all, their potential customer base. The first step here is to create a company profile and analyze the general conditions. After that, it is important to develop a content strategy and publish high-quality posts in different formats (photos, videos, reels, stories). In addition, you should always seek interaction with your subscribers to increase your customer loyalty. It is also true that Instagram is a platform where people want to have fun. So be entertaining and offer added value to be successful in the long run.
+49 231 99774003
Mon-Fri 8am to 6pm CEST
+49 40 52477883
Mon-Fri 8am to 6pm CEST
Do you have a question? Just write us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.