Instagram COO, Marne Levine reveals best practices for companies and how they can leverage built in tools to reach new audiences and grow their business.
- Use a Business Profile – very basic but using a Business Profile allows you to stand out to your customers, as a business. According to Instagram COO Marne Levine, there are 25 million Business Profiles on Instagram which easily allows potential customers to find and contact them. With 800 million Instagram users, 80% of them connect with businesses voluntarily. There are 200 million users that visit a business profile each day, and two thirds of that are non-followers. This tells us that people are looking to discover businesses on Instagram. It’s a great place to be for small businesses and entrepreneurs because customers are looking for people and brands that connect to their interests and that’s a good place to start when you’re looking to build your customer base. Being on Instagram will help you connect to people who are looking for brands that match their interests and passions.
- Use all the tools and features – Instagram allows you to post about your brand by posting on your feed or Instagram Stories. Find out what kind of posts are most engaging to your followers by using insights and analytics. These tools help you test out your content and enables you to quickly learn about what your customers like. These insights can help you structure your social media strategy so that you reach your customers more effectively. Levine cited an example of an Australian brand who, through Instagram analytics, learned that majority of its customers were from the US. The brand then changed its times of posting to reach more customers in the US instead of posting based on Australian peak hours. Other key questions to ask that can be answered by analytics tools are: was your story seen? Where was it seen? Was it seen on your feed? Explore? Through hashtags? Stories? Do your viewers swipe next after seeing 3 pages worth of stories?
- Be a visual storyteller – compared to other social media channels, Instagram is the most visual of them all. Levine describes it as a way to “experience the world through images.” It’s a platform where people can connect with brands and people based on their passions and interests. Instagram allows you to be creative with the way you express your brand stories and gives you different opportunities to do so. For example, a company that sells specialty pastries can showcase their finished products on their actual feed. While on their Instagram stories, they can show the baking process behind making each pastry. These give brands the opportunity to show a different side of their company to their customers and potentially reach a wider audience.
- Be Authentic – Though relatively a new feature, one third of Instagram Stories already come from businesses. As mentioned earlier, Instagram Stories can provide raw everyday content that reflect your brand’s values, culture, and mission. Sometimes, you’ll find that you’ll get more engagement in your stories than your actual feed, and that’s because of its authenticity. People like to engage with real people and showing them what it’s like working in your company or how your products are made, makes for very engaging content.
- Grow your following – using hashtags is one way you can get people to find your business. Because anyone can follow hashtags, your business can be discovered by people who are currently searching things they’re interested in. There is no secret formula to how many hashtags we need to use per post, 3-5 hashtags in your caption would be enough to be discovered through the “Explore” feature. Paid advertising is also a worthwhile investment simply because it’s better targeted, you get the right story, to the right person, at the right time.