You’ve waited a whole month to learn more about strategies for optimizing your small business Instagram account. So, we won’t keep you waiting any longer. Let’s jump right into hashtags!
So, what’s the deal with hashtags? Instagram is one of the few social media platforms where organic reach is still possible by simply using the appropriate hashtags. Use a # for hashtags but not be confused with @ symbol which is used for usernames. You’ll want to come up with a hashtag for your business if you suspect your customers will be using your product or service and promoting it on social. When selecting hashtags for your specific post, always research the hashtag beforehand to see how many people have used it. You’ll want to select hashtags that have a broad, large audience and select specific ones that also resonate within your community. If you have a local business, use geographical references to be easily found. Again, think of what your customer might search for and hashtag it!
Instagram stories show up in the little bubbles at the top of your profile. When you click on them, you’ll usually get a live video or a slideshow. Instagram stories allow you to share live videos or photos that will last for just 24 hours. It’s a great way to engage your audience in real time events or show a behind-the-scenes tour of your business.
To use stories, tap the circle * button located at the top left of your profile page. This will take you to a page that allows you to take a photo or video in-the-moment. If you tap and hold the center button, you can create a 10-second video.
To respond to a story, you’ll see a little indicator at the bottom left of the story. This message goes directly to the user.
Something to note is that Instagram defaults to portrait mode when posting. Keep that in mind when you’re taking pictures and recording video. Once you’re done, just tap the little circle at the bottom to add it to your story. If you forgot something you wanted to add after you posted, do not fret! Simply, click the circle + icon and add the video or picture you forgot. Your latest little snip-it will appear at the end of your previous sequence. If you’d like to edit your story further, play your story from your homepage and then click the three dots at the bottom right to delete, share, save, or edit your story settings. Unfortunately, there’s no way to add your story slideshow in its entirety to your profile without using a third-party app. Hopefully, that is something that will be available in the future. *fingers crossed*
To check your story analytics, swipe up on each individual picture/video to see how many views you received. This can be useful to determine what is resonating with your audience. If a specific image seems to do well, you can share it to your profile permanently.
So, what if you someone messages you? Some people may message you after seeing your stories published. To check your messages, click the little inbox icon at the top right of your home page feed. Also, it’s important to note that if someone who is not following you and you are not following them sends you a message, you may not be notified of this. You will need to check your message request box periodically to keep up with those requests.
Now that you’re a stories expert, you can add stories to your profile to help your business rise to the top of your feed and help engage your customers in a real-time setting.
Instagram itself has a nice built-in analytics tool that can be accessed through your business profile page. Click the bar chart icon at the top of your page to access your insights. This will give you a high-level view of your account where you can view impressions, profile visits, website clicks, and reach. To access all these little pages, simply swipe right on your screen. Each of these pages allows you to dig a little deeper in each of those buckets to see what posts are performing well and what’s not doing so well with your audience. You can also see information about your followers. On your main insights page, if you scroll down, you can see what time your followers tend to be the most active online. This is helpful when scheduling posts and coming up with content that will resonate during those peak time periods. You can also get a breakdown of your follower’s demographic make-up.
If you think Instagram analytics still leaves you lacking, there a lot of other options out there that can help you dive deeper to understand your customer/follower base.
We hope we’ve given you some great insight into the wide world of your Instagram Business Account! Check back soon for more useful tips on how to leverage your small business in a big world of competition. If you need help managing certain aspects of your small business or you’d like to know more about the services ARK Marketing has to offer, email us or comment below! Also, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for industry news, inspiration, and helpful tidbits for finding small business success.