Instagram is a great tool for generating leads and sales for businesses. By sharing images, you can create interest in your products and services. Even if you’re not selling a product that is visually stimulating, you can still come up with ways to draw a lot of attention to your your business. You can post images that are used just for grabbing people’s attention and placing text on top of it – there doesn’t have to be a correlation between the image and what you sell. Similar to other social networks, a great deal of your success will depend on how many followers you have.
Post Quality Images that Speak to People
Share images that look good and that immediately strike an emotional chord with people or make them think.
A lot of times humorous images catch people’s attention and are shared with others who they’d like to make laugh. Aside from the image you can have a funny caption in large text on the photo to make it funny. Of course, you want to make people laugh, but you still have to be cognizant of the fact that whatever you post will be reflective of your brand.
For example, this image of Dwight Schrute from The Office may make someone laugh and attract attention, but some healthcare providers may think that it doesn’t fit their image.
One misnomer is that service providers are not a good fit for Instagram because they have no products to photograph. For example, if you’re a law or accounting firm, you probably want to build an audience, but promote a professional and trustworthy image. How might you do that? Take high quality pictures around the office, employees of the firm, or items that project integrity (like professional books). If you have a particular niche, you can have images of the type of people that you serve. Make sure that your images are high quality pictures so you maintain the professional image you want to project. Here are just a few of the images we found when we searched for #lawyer:
Hashtags are a great way to communicate what your image is about and to get people to who aren’t already followers, to view what you posted. If you’re curious of what the most consistently popular hashtags are you could check out top-hashtags. It won’t tell you what is trending, but gives you an idea of hasthtags that have stood the test of time. It’s a good idea to have 1-2 hashtags on every post you do. While hashtags are great for attracting attention, don’t go overboard in a post. Posting more than a couple of hashtags in a post can make you look spammy to potential followers.
Social networking is just as much about giving, as it is taking. People are more apt to follow you if you add value. Often times that means not only posting good content, but also commenting on other images and following others. Look for users that have interests similar to yours and follow them. You can also look for people who are likely to give you exposure by seeing who does #shoutouts.
Engage Your Audience
Social networking is a dialogue, not a dictation. Engage your audience to get them involved and more invested in you, and what you post. Some simple ways to do this are by posting questions along with your images (or written on them) or by holding contests. Have contests to see:
- who can come up with the best caption for a picture you post
- see which of your followers can post the best picture relevant to a theme you pose
- who can get the most people to like a photo that they post relevant to your business
The key is to make it fun!
Post at the Right Time
The average post has a shelf life of four hours where it gets the most traffic, so try to maximize this time by sharing your image when the most people use Instagram. Based on research by SimplyMeasured, the best time is 5-6 PM on Wednesdays. The most popular time to post s Thursdays, so you might want experiment with both Wednesdays and Thursdays to see when you get the most traffic for your posts.