When it comes to developing a strategy for Instagram, it can often feel like there’s a lot of pressure to get it right straight away, especially for B2B companies. So where do you begin?

HubSpot might have a solution. The marketing software firm runs a free online course designed to help businesses with Instagram.

Here are four key ways it suggests you can make the most of your account.

1. Make sure your goals are Instagram-specific

Instagram is limiting in the sense that it doesn’t allow you to post many URLs. So you will need to make sure your strategy focuses more on engagements and brand awareness than clicks on links and website hits.

2. Update your profile regularly and include lots of detail – your biography is key

When people visit your Instagram page, the first thing they see is your profile. So it’s crucial to be clear what your company does and what people can expect from it on Instagram. You have 150 characters, clickable tags and hashtags at your disposal – make them count. And don’t be afraid to use emojis to help break up the text.

Your profile is also the only place you can post a clickable link. Keep it updated and mobile compatible, and include a call to action in your biography.

3. Understand the algorithm

HubSpot’s course outlines some of the misunderstandings around Instagram. Its algorithm doesn’t prioritise video over images, or accounts that regularly use and post on IGTV and Stories.

It does, however, analyse a post’s engagements and the amount of time a user has spent looking at it. The more engagements and the longer the view time, the higher the post will rank.

The algorithm also prioritises posts from the accounts that users interact with the most and that the user has actively searched for.

4. Check your hashtags

We all know hashtags are essential for getting eyes on your content, but you need to make sure it’s seen by the right people. Before posting, search the hashtags you use, and make sure your content aligns with the top posts.

These are just a few tips to help you get started on your Instagram strategy. But remember – the world of social media doesn’t stand still.

Follow the steps above, stay up to date with the latest news and look out for significant updates from Instagram, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the platform.

Social media is a constantly changing landscape for marketing professionals. Algorithmic updates on both Facebook and Twitter – which affect how corporates promote themselves on these platforms – show that marketers need to be aware of the wider social network opportunities available.

One of these is Instagram. Launched in 2010, this is a platform that has grown increasingly popular with brands and marketers. A big reason for this is an algorithmic change in 2016. Before this the site would show your posts in chronological order. Now the algorithm tailors your newsfeed in response to the posts users engage with; this means that the posts people like, comment on and share are more likely to be seen by a bigger audience.

At first this change was unpopular with users, but the platform now reports that people are “engaging with the community in a more active way” following the update. What this means is that Instagram offers untapped potential for brands to explore, so here are some tips to help you get started.

What to post

The difference between Instagram and other social networks is that you are not able to include links on posts, so the focus of your content is photos and videos rather than text. While it is easy to think such posts are not well suited to corporate brands, with the right strategy you can make them work for your company.

Types of content that do well on Instagram are:

Choose a theme

At first sight, your Instagram profile can seem a confusing place as it displays all your images at once; so it is important to think carefully about how your visuals work both individually and collectively. The crucial thing here is to have a posting strategy and plan what events or announcements you want to place on it and when.

Alongside this you might want to consider how background themes and reoccurring motifs in your posts can help to bolster your corporate identity on the platform. For example, (RED) uses pastel backgrounds that give all of its images a gentle brand identity while UNICEF mostly posts photos of people and children, which reinforces its emphasis on young people and families.

Hashtags

Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more user engagement on Instagram. The more that people interact with your content, the more chance your posts have of being featured on a hashtag page, which increases your potential reach.

Credit: Instagram

People who follow the hashtags will then be able to see your post, giving you the chance to reach a new audience.

Stories and Live

Instagram Stories – used by more than 300 million people a day –  are short videos or photo sequences that can provide insight into one topic. These live on the platform for 24 hours and, if you have a verified account with more than 10,000 followers, you can add links that can gain traffic, generate leads and increase sales.

The kinds of stories that brands can produce varies enormously. One method is to use them as a type of video. National Geographic, for example, uses them to tell a narrative that makes great use of wildlife and natural photography that is clearly aligned to the brand’s core identity.

Others use Instagram Stories to give behind-the-scenes views of an organization; NASA uses them for events but also to explain what employees do.

Credit: Instagram

Meanwhile, Instagram Live is a real-time streaming service that can be particularly useful for event coverage and generating a conversation with your audience. Like the stories, these are available for 24 hours after the livestream has ended.

While instagram does not follow a similar pattern to Facebook or Twitter, the potential for promoting corporate content should not be ignored. By using all the available features, and having a carefully planned posting strategy, you will be able to reach a new audience on a platform that is rapidly growing in popularity.

 

If you’d like us to help you get the most out of your social media strategy, get in touch. 

Email: office@formativecontent.com or call our team on +44 (0) 20 7206 2687.

Enjoyed this post? Read How to curate quality social media content

Laura Nash is a Content Producer at Formative Content and specialises in digital content and writing for social media.