• Toni

How to Use Instagram for Business

Updated: May 6, 2020

Are you ready to take the overwhelm out of social media?

While Instagram is a super user-friendly platform, understanding all of the “extras” can be daunting. Am I using the right hashtags? Am I posting at the right time of day? How do I grow my following? Should I use a personal account or a business account?

Here are some simple tips that will be easy to understand and apply!

Ok, first things first.

Should I have a business Instagram Account?

If you have a business, you should convert your existing account to a business account or start a new one. You can learn how to do that here. Having a business account gives you many tools such as tracking engagement, interactions, profile visits, website clicks, reach, impressions AND the best time to post based on your audience. You will also have more insight into the demographic of your following too. (Which comes in handy when you are creating content and choosing images for your feed.) Of course many people combine their personal AND their business but it really depends on what you are selling or promoting and how much your business and personal life overlap. Because of the services I offer I chose to open a separate account because I felt it best to not intertwine my business and personal. Just remember that even if you do have two separate accounts, it is important to still post some personal, or behind the scenes type of content to give a human element to your account. People like to see the person behind the brand and feel that connection

How many hashtags should I use?

There is a LOT of conflicting information on the subject of hashtags. Instagram allows you to post 30 hashtags in each post. Some experts say to NOT use that many, some say you should. Personally, I have seen more engagement and follows from maximizing as many hashtags as I can in each post or by putting them IMMEDIATELY in the comments below. Which brings me to the next debated topic, hashtags in the comments or in the copy of the post itself? I’ve tested this theory and found no noticeable difference in the search results. Visually, I prefer my hashtags in the comments, so my caption doesn’t look cluttered. But sometimes I will put them in the post, just to mix it up.

What hashtags should I use to get the right followers?

First, ask yourself who is my target audience? Attracting the right kind of people to your account is the key to organically growing your following and maximizing Instagram to grow your business. The “right” audience would be anyone who your message, product or service speaks to. If your content doesn’t really attract your target audience then you’ll have a harder time gaining a legitimate following. Once you have really narrowed that down, you should start researching the hashtags that your target audience is using. For me I like to see what comparable (and successful) businesses may be using to get some inspiration. The trick is to use about half of your hashtags to attract your target market by doing so. The other half of your hashtags should be used to target the audience who MIGHT be searching for the service or product you’re offering.

Also a little hack is saving groups of hashtags in your phone notes, and copy and paste them into your posts on a rotation.

There are so many hashtags, how do I choose?

Some say to not to overuse the same hashtags regularly, or to use hashtags irrelevant to your content. (for example a photo of you in your car and you #foodstagram… that content has nothing to do with food) There is information out there that you can get “shadow-banned” by abusing hashtags in this way. What is shadow banned… well it means you won’t appear in someone’s hashtag search. The only way to know if you are shadow-banned or not is to test it and see if your post comes up when you search your hashtag. Also keep in mind you don’t really want to use hashtags with a high post number. You can find the hashtag post number under the hashtag itself when you plug it into the search bar under “Tags”. You want your post to be searchable by the hashtags you are using in your posts. The higher the post number, the less likely it is for someone to find you when they search for that hashtag. You don’t want to get lost in a million posts.

If you need more help, have a question, or want to chat about how I can help you manage your social media account(s), please contact me! I’d love to get to know you!

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