8 ways to use instagram
When you hear “Instagram” what comes to mind? Did your mind go straight to photos? Instagram’s main claim to fame is that it is a photo sharing platform. But did you know your Instagram business ideas can go beyond photos?
From advertising to offering expert advice and motivation or running competitions and building relationships with your followers, Instagram can be used for so much more than just photo sharing. If you’re not utilizing Instagram for more than photos these Instagram business ideas will boost your brand visibility, grow your customer base, and increase your ROI.
Going Beyond the Visuals: 8 Instagram Business Ideas
Instagram is a photo sharing platform so obviously all of these Instagram business ideas will include you posting a great photo but that’s not all! Instead of just focusing on the visuals we’re going to dig deeper into the gram and show you ways to utilize Instagram beyond its photo sharing capabilities.
1. Show people where you’re located
First up on our list of Instagram business ideas is to help people out and show them where you’re located! Maybe your business is difficult to find or hidden by other surrounding buildings. Use Instagram to show people what to look for when finding your business, where to park or to give them your exact address. You can post a photo of your front door so people can rest easy knowing they are in the right place.
Good Dough is a donut shop that has a front door that looks a bit like a back door. This may confuse customers when they come to try it out for the first time so they decided to post some helpful instructions on Instagram. The photo is of their front door and their caption lets customers know that when they see the sprinkle wall they’re in the right place. They also give parking instructions to make it even easier for customers to get to their store. If you click on their Instagram page they include their street address in their bio as well.
Did you know you can by giving away free stuff? It’s true and Instagram is an incredible platform to use for this purpose! There are so many Instagram business ideas you can utilize that are in the form of contests.
You can use Instagram contests to gain more followers, build brand awareness and trust and to work with influencers in your market. Gaining followers is simple with contests. Ask followers to follow your brand to enter. You can build brand awareness by telling your followers to tag their friends. This will have a domino effect if you do it correctly! Friends will share with friends and eventually you will have people who recognize your brand.
Working with influencers or people who are already trusted by a large community can elevate your brand and help you gain loyal followers if you do it correctly.
You can also use contests to promote your brand or product as well as use them to popularize your hashtag! Marvel Studios is encouraging their fans to share their favorite memory from the movie Black Panther and use their hashtag in order to win a trip to the Avengers movie premiere. Instead of listing all of their rules and regulations they have a link in their post for fans to learn more about the contest. This is key because you don’t want your contest post to be so long that people don’t want to read it.
3. Inspiration or motivation
Everyone could use a little motivation. If you’re a fitness or nutrition brand you’ve probably used these Instagram business ideas before. But if you’re not you can take advantage of this strategy too! People love when brands are encouraging or provide them with motivation. It humanizes your brand and allows you to take a break from selling your products. This can also help give your brand a personality and help people to identify with you!
Void magazine posted this photo with the caption “Wednesday Motivation” to brighten their followers’ day. Posts like this are on point with their branding and help diversify their Instagram. They also received a handful of positive comments on their post!
4. Sell your products with Shoppable Posts
Ever seen an Instagram photo with price tags? This is one of the best Instagram business ideas we’ve seen! You are able to show your product with a photo, promote it and link directly to your store. Talk about increasing sales!
The best part about shoppable posts is that you can boost them just like regular posts allowing you to send traffic directly to purchase the products they see in your post.
Huckberry is a brand that often utilizes this tool. Customers can scroll through images of a product, and then if they like the looks of it they can purchase it!
Huckberry does an excellent job with their product photos. This is key, especially for shoppable posts. If you have subpar photos of your products customers probably won’t want to buy them and your posts will have low engagement and low ROI.
5. Show that you are the expert
Your customers will look to you for expert advice. Don’t let them down! You can use Instagram to offer advice or inform your followers. You should do this every so often so that it integrates nicely into your page and gives your customers interesting and engaging content to absorb.
Nutrition Stripped asks their followers the question “What is miso?” They then proceed to answer the question in a fun and informative way! This let’s their followers know that they are the expert in their field.
Although the caption is longer than most, they have broken it up into smaller digestible paragraphs. They also offer a recipe that includes miso for their followers to try.
Notice that Nutrition Stripped has also replied to comments which is a great way to build relationships with followers! Using posts like this boost your brands reliability and let your followers know that they can put their trust in you.
6. Make your customers answer questions
You can ask and answer questions but make your customers answer every once in a while. This can increase engagement and brand awareness. If someone has followed your brand on a whim and doesn’t know much about you, posts like this give them insight into what your brand is like. Take some time to show off your brand’s personality and what’s important to you. People will remember this in the future when they go to make a purchase.
7. Promote your new products
What better way to show your followers new products than with Instagram? Don’t just post a photo. Write good copy that makes people want to give it a try! Strong photos and well written copy make for an impactful Instagram post that is sure to wow your followers.
If you post your new product make people curious about it! And remember: your product is only as good as your Instagram post, so make sure you have a sharp image and a great caption.
Brass Tacks Coffee posted about their iced matcha latte. Even though this has been a staple on their menu for quite some time they have changed up the ingredients to offer a new flavor profile. They fully explain their new drink and let their followers know that the people who have tried it have loved it! They even encourage people to come in and try it saying that they won’t regret it.
8. Build relationships with followers
You may be wondering how to build relationships through a photo sharing platform, but it’s easier than you think! If you post a question and expect an answer, your followers expect a reply from you or your brand. This is a fun way to engage with people and build a rapport. Replying to comments can be as simple as agreeing with people, saying thank you or posting a quick response. They don’t have to be long winded. It’s a simple way of showing your followers that you care about what they have to say.
Nordstrom is known for responding to their followers comments, but they don’t just respond to the good comments. It’s important to make sure you are also replying to people who have had a bad experience or need help with customer service. No one wants to be on hold with support for an hour which is why many people take to social media when they need help. If you show that you are available and ready to help this can help build your relationship with your followers.
If you are not using Instagram as an advertising platform and want to know how to get started give us a call! Our social media marketing professionals will create an Instagram advertising strategy that is perfect for your brand.