Simple Instagram dos and don’ts for businesses, part 2

Instagram is a great platform and lends itself nicely to marketing in a unique way. Its versatility means that it can be well suited to all industries and businesses, if used wisely. Read on for more of our simple tips for mastering the world of Instagram.

Don’t overuse or rely on stock images

Instagram is fundamentally a visual platform, which is partly what has made it so popular. Therefore, it is important that the content is rich and interesting, and something that you believe your followers will enjoy seeing in their newsfeed and will attract new followers.

Using the occasional stock image is fine if it’s the message in the caption that is more important, or as a way to inject some fun into your content (think ‘FRIYAY’ or ‘Monday Motivation’ graphics). But make sure that it’s appropriate for your audience, try to use the best quality ones you can, and use sparingly.

Do encourage audience engagement

User-generated content is becoming a popular marketing tool, as it is a great way to raise audience engagement and to start building a community. Showing your customers that you care is so important for brands, and is a great way to demonstrate that you value their ideas, input, and loyalty. This could take the form of testimonials, asking followers to share images of them using your products, or even competitions and campaigns. See cosmetics company Bobbi Brown’s ‘#PrettyPowerful’ or fashion retailer Aerie’s ‘#AerieREAL’ campaigns for nice examples.

Do dedicate enough resources to it

There’s no point in doing anything half-heartedly. So make sure you have enough time and manpower to make your profile really effective. Your online presence can be a big reflection of you as a business, so make sure your profile gives the impression you want it to; an average – poor profile could even do more harm than good.

Perhaps identify someone in the team with a creative flair or great visual ideas who might like the responsibility of taking the lead on this one.

Do get the whole team involved

Instagram is a fun platform. There’s loads of scope for creativity and imagination and it’s a great way to showcase personality and company culture. Many businesses use social media to show off their employees and to demonstrate the enthusiasm and knowledge behind the scenes. Employee profile features can work well, as well as ‘behind the scenes’ posts and team shots. Plus, getting the whole team involved will provide you with a lot more content ideas, making life a lot easier.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and have some fun with it

Instagram is a creative platform and its visual nature is a great way to really showcase your brand. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks, as long as content isn’t offensive or controversial. At the end of the day, if a post doesn’t do that well or you change your mind, you can always hit delete.

Even if your brand itself isn’t necessarily particularly ‘fun’, the people and the business behind it might be. Instagram, and any marketing techniques for that matter, can be a great way to showcase your company culture and brand personality, so try different ways to really stand out and grab people’s attention (but make sure it’s for the right reasons though!).

Want more tips? Take a look at part one here.