Managing the Instagram account for a business requires not only an understanding of your target audience or business goals, but knowledge about the ins and outs of the Instagram platform itself. When it comes to using Instagram to reach customers and prospects for your business, there are certain tips that will help you find success and high engagement on your profile.
Take a look at these six tips that will help your restaurant, hotel, or unique venue optimize your Instagram profile.
1. Post what your audience wants to see
The key to creating content on a business profile is to post what your target audience may be interested in seeing. Put yourself in the perspective of one of your followers, or someone who you know would enjoy your brand but just hasn’t found you yet — what kind of posts would intrigue this individual? As an event management software in the hospitality industry, the Tripleseat Instagram page often highlights food and cocktail images, customer venues, Tripleseat hosted-events, and fun photos behind the scenes at Tripleseat. This type of content would be valuable to not only our own customers who are interested in updates on Tripleseat, but event professionals everywhere who appreciate a good-looking cocktail made by a venue like their own! If you post what your target audience members are potentially looking for on Instagram, the chance that they find your content will increase.
2. Analyze Instagram analytics
As a business account on Instagram, be sure to consistently check on the insights provided to you about your account. Instagram insights show views per post or story, profile visits, profile impressions, website clicks, audience growth, and demographic information. Use this information to understand what content resonates best with your followers, and recreate more of what works!
3. Hashtag posts purposefully
There is a method behind using hashtags for your posts on Instagram, especially as a business account looking to be found by your target audience out there on the platform. A strategic hashtag process can help get you to the Explore feed on Instagram, where your target audience may be looking. According to Instagram expert Jenn Herman, using anywhere from 10-20 hashtags on a post can be beneficial to being found by prospects who may not follow your account. The breakdown of hashtags should hit at least three out of four categories on this list:
- Custom hashtags determined for your brand
- Trendy or themed hashtags, such as for a specific event or holiday
- Content-related hashtags that specify what is in the photo
- Industry-related hashtags
When choosing hashtags, think “What words would my target audience individuals be searching when trying to see more about their field, needs, or interests?” Choose the tags that fit this description! It is also important to note that when deciding on hashtags, be sure to look at how many posts already use that hashtag. Using a hashtag that has 10 million posts using that same hashtag may not do you any good as it decreases the likelihood your post will ever show on the Explore page hashtag search. Try for a mix of hashtags varying from low, medium, and high popularity on Instagram.
4. Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are a perfect way to reach your audience without fully committing to a post on your feed. Stories allow you to post photos or videos and edit with various tools — text, stickers, GIFS, time or location stamps, and so on. As a business account, using polls or sticker interaction features on a story is another way you can give followers an opportunity to interact with your content. Instagram stories are a unique way to share content with your followers that you may not want permanently on your feed, such as extended behind the scenes of an event, announcements, or sharing other stories that tagged your account.
5. Save Instagram Stories as Highlights
An Instagram Story will only last for 24 hours, but it can be added as a Highlight on your profile, saved permanently in a “folder” with similar stories you choose to keep in that Highlight. To add a highlight, simply click the “+ New” button on your profile, and add current or archived stories to the folder. At Tripleseat, our Instagram highlights include updates from Party People events, moments from Tripleseat HQ, features of office pups, and more.
6. Try out IGTV
Instagram TV, otherwise known as IGTV, is another popular feature within the Instagram platform. As video content continues to be a huge part of marketing strategy, IGTV is another great place to upload large videos for your audience. Instagram can hold a video up to 59 seconds as a regular video post, but once it hits the one minute mark, it is considered an IGTV post. IGTV posts will be saved in your feed like a regular post, but also in another specific IGTV section on your Instagram profile with other IGTV videos you have created. Again, pay attention to the content that is most beneficial to your followers and target audience when deciding the type of video for IGTV.
Instagram has over one billion active monthly users, making it one of the most popular social networks out there. This means that the audience you want to target is most likely on the platform, but following a specific method when using the app will help your content get in front of your audience’s eyes. It is important to follow marketing tips in order to optimize all of your business’ social media accounts, so check out this post on Facebook optimization to learn more.