Instagram continues to grow at an incredible rate.
It’s also the top channel for influencer marketing across the world.
I had an interesting conversation with two of my business friends recently. We were talking about social media and the question came up:
What social platform would you use if you could only use one?
The best answer was Instagram and the reason was:
Instagram has the most positivity of them all. I like it the most…
That seemed very true to me. And it’s obvious that people love it and more continue to use it.
Now to our main focus…for businesses, how do you go about getting in on the Instagram game?
Here are a few steps…
Note: We’ll skip through the signing up and things like that. Get as close to your brand name as possible for a username. If you can’t, try an abbreviation. Shorter is usually better.
Step 1. Assign Responsibility
This is where most businesses lose the game before they even begin. That’s why it’s the first step on this list.
It’s easy to think that because you use Instagram once in awhile for personal use that you can easily do it for your business.
First, most people are consumers on Instagram. They consume much more than they publish.
Second, there isn’t as much motivation for work-related posting as there is for personal posting.
Another hangup is thinking that you can ask the person on your team that loves social media the most and have them fit Instagram into their schedule.
You can hire that person. You can hire someone brand new. Even part-time.
But you have to carve out significant time for them to effectively manage the effort. We’ll get into this more in a bit…
Step 2. Provide Core Values, Then Autonomy
Do you know what your company’s core values are?
If not, do a little self analysis and figure out what’s most important to you and to the other leaders in the company.
Then hopefully you’ve been hiring people with those same values. Hopefully you’ve been following the core values yourself and using them for decision making.
With the person that’s running your Instagram strategy, communicate the core values of your company.
Then give the person freedom to run the program as they see fit.
They are the expert. You don’t want to micromanage. You want to let them figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t worry too much about social media disasters. They’re very rare and even in the worst cases they can be overcome.
Step 3. Post Often (Way More Than You Think)
Have the person post all the time. This again gets back to making sure the person has the time to commit to the effort.
Look at your favorite Instagram accounts. The ones that maybe didn’t have a huge, well-known brand before using Instagram.
Odds are very good that they post all the time. Or they did when they first started.
The more you post the more you learn what works and what doesn’t. You improve the quality of your Instagram posts with higher quantity.
And people won’t be overwhelmed with your posts. If they like what you’re posting you could post every minute and they would still probably want more.
Step 4. Take The Document Approach
This means that you document the “life” of your business.
The daily occurrences and happenings.
The people behind the scenes. The workers. The people that make deliveries.
The outings you have. The drive to the office. The lunch breaks.
Social media marketing is about getting to know your target customers. Just as in real life when you would introduce yourself and tell a potential customer about who you are, social media gives insight into your company.
The best way to do this is to feel like you’re making a documentary on your company. That’s the easiest way to come up with content ideas.
You can throw in tips and fun things too, but documenting is a great way to go.
Step 5. Showcase Customers
Also showcase your customers. Chances are good that they use Instagram. They would probably love to tell their friends that they were featured on your Instagram account.
With all of this, though, make sure you’re asking for permission. You don’t want to make anybody too angry by posting a pic of them.
But in most cases they won’t be too upset.
If you’re going to invest in social media right now the best channel may be Instagram. There are all kinds of users and more are signing up everyday. And most users are refreshing their feed all the time. They’re looking for photos and if you provide it you’ll increase reach and engagement.