Instagram is one of today’s premier social media channels. What started as a way to share photos has quickly evolved into something much, much more. Businesses can now advertise and promote posts, which is just one way they are leveraging Instagram to generate a consumer following.
Let’s face it. Some businesses will have an easier time using the Instagram format. When you run a lifestyle business, clothing line, car dealership, sporting goods store or restaurant, you can easily feature products and services that will have the necessary visual appeal to stand out on Instagram. If you rent out port-a-potties, your visual content may not be as interesting or attractive. However, there is always a way to take advantage of any social media opportunity, and Instagram is no exception.
What You Should Post
I work with a lot of automotive repair shops at NextGear Marketing, and it takes some convincing of my clients to get them to use Instagram. Greasy auto parts and mechanics aren’t that exciting to see on an Instagram feed, so they have to be a bit more creative with what they post.
With Instagram especially, I always recommend my clients post photos and stories that showcase the “personality” of their business. Even if your products or services aren’t that attractive to look at, you can still get a lot out of Instagram. In the case of automotive repair, you can showcase a before/after montage or story of a major repair. You can show your team at work or just having fun around the shop. You can show the service team interacting with customers (be sure and ask for permission from the customer before posting a photo of them). If you do body/paint work or custom work, then you should have some cool car pictures you can post.
If the customer posts a positive online review, post that quote on Instagram and see if the customer will let you take a photo of them alongside their car. Even a somewhat generic image with a good customer quote can be effective.
Remember that Instagram posts don’t necessarily have to be directly about your business. Show the style of your workplace and the personalities of the people who work there. Instagram is not about being too serious and making direct sales. It is about building a positive brand identity and giving followers a good feeling about your company, your products and your people.
How Often to Post
A good Instagrammer should aim to post once a day, but not more than once a day. People don’t like to be too bombarded on their IG feeds, so once a day or once every other day is a good plan. You may experiment with posting at different times of day to see which posts get the most likes and comments. Obviously, studying the feedback will also help you hone in on what types of photos/posts will get the best response.
Remember you cannot include links in Instagram posts, but you can hint for them to click on your profile to find the web link. You can easily change that link if you have a specific landing page or promotion you want to drive them to. Just remember to change it back when the promotion is ended.
Don’t forget hashtags and username tags. There is no character limit with Instagram posts and tags are huge in attracting followers. Let’s say you own an auto shop in San Francisco and you post a before/after shot of a classic Chevy Camaro. Here are some tags you might use: #sanfrancisco #california #chevrolet #chevycamaro #classiccars #musclecars #bayarea #marincounty #joesautoshop #autorepair #mechanic #autoshop. You get the idea, go broad, get specific and feel free to go nuts with hashtags in order to reach the most people interested in a variety of subjects.
Now, you can also run targeted ads and promoted posts/stories on Instagram like you can on most other social media platforms. Advertising is quickly growing on this platform and you can take advantage before it is oversaturated. Rampant advertising is one reason why social media channels become out of fashion as fresh ones are developed with little-to-no advertising options. Compared to Facebook, Instagram is still fairly unsaturated with advertising, but it will only get more prevalent as time goes on and money corrupts the system. You’ll be better off in the early stages of this trend than if you wait to jump on board later.
Whether you do advertising or just want to build your brand identity through regular posts on a free account, Instagram is a social media channel you should be using for your business. To learn more about social media marketing and web content, contact NextGear Marketing today.