Social media is here to stay. The steadily growing crowd of Instagrammers, tweeters, and Facebookers won’t be going away anytime soon. While you may have thought social media is just a fad, or only for personal use, it’s actually opening brand new doors for you to interact and connect with a massive base of customers. From a business perspective, social media is a no-brainer business decision. You have access to about 90 million users on Instagram alone, for free. Yes, for free. Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media channels out there, and with the majority of its users being middle and upper-middle-class females, it's the perfect market for home service businesses. Let's take a look at how setting up an Instagram account for your business can help you corner this market and bring in new business.
What is your new Instagram all about?
Instagram is a social network for sharing photos and videos. What type of photos and videos your share is up to you, however, it is important that you decide the purpose of your account. Do you want to extend the reach of your brand? Is it a place where customers can share the value of your finished work? Or is it a way to highlight your customer service and show the human side of your company? This decision is very important because it sets up the story for the rest of your account. Remember, consistency is key, so once you’ve selected a theme for your new account, stick with it.
Polish your profile
First impressions are everything. It takes less than two-tenths of a second for a visitor viewing your profile to cement an idea about who you are and what your business is about, so make sure that initial impression is a good one. Creating a clear and uncluttered profile is crucial to making sure your audience finds your account and follows it. One of the first things they’ll see is your username. Try to craft a username that is short, memorable, and matches your business name. Next, make sure to upload a high-quality version of your logo as a profile picture. For your bio section, add a short description of your business. Try to keep it to the point, and authentic to you and your brand. Lastly, remember that unlike other social media platforms, Instagram doesn’t have a cover photo. With that in mind, most of your brand recognition will come from the content you post; plan accordingly.
Content is King
Seek to create content that engages and entertains your audience. The best promotional content is content that is the least promotional. Don’t be afraid to pose questions in your captions in an effort to engage with your followers. Check out what kind of content to post for more tips on how to indirectly showcase your services, build anticipation and collaborate with others.
Use Hashtags That Drive Business (#whattheheckisahashtag)
Hashtags can help increase traffic to your page and help you track your success. Posts with at least one hashtag will receive 12.6% more engagement on average, and you can use up to thirty hashtags per post. Think of these hashtags as active keywords. When a user searches for something, the ones you’ve chosen will act as magnets for your post.
Pro-Tip: Place your hashtags as a comment to the actual post. By not posting them in the caption and placing them in the comments instead you make your post look a lot more visually pleasing.
Something every business should do is create their own custom hashtag. For example, if your business name is Xtreme Carpet Pros, we’d use something like #xtremecarpets. It’s an uncommon hashtag not typically used by other people, and your followers can use it in their own post to engage with you once jobs are complete.
Tips and Tricks
To get the most out of your Instagram account, keep these tips in mind
Convert your account to a registered business account
Follow these steps to convert your account to a business account. Doing so unlocks a lot of free marketing and demographic insight about your account. You’ll be able to visually see things like which neighborhoods your followers are in, the best time to post, how much impact your post is having, and much more.
Links don't work in Instagram captions
The only place you can share an active link that actually takes users to a website is in your profile (or through a button on a paid advertising post).
When people comment on your photos, don’t leave them in the dark. Creating a connection your customers and followers will show them that you’re listening to what they have to say. They'll be more likely to continue following you and interacting with your pictures if they feel like they matter.
Embed Instagram posts on your website
This can show visitors that you're active on Instagram and help you add more followers.
To set up your new account for success try and touch upon all the items mentioned above. First, establish what your new Instagram account is all about. Next, polish your profile and ensure all your content is in line with your brand. Last, harness the power of hashtags and to reach more people than ever before. People come to Instagram to be connected, informed, and entertained. Setting up an Instagram Business account gives people more information about your products, service or business and gives them an opportunity to connect with you in a way that wasn’t possible before.
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