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Utilising social media effectively for your business can really help to switch your business up a gear. If you have a particularly eye-catching or visually appealing brand, products or services, you are missing out if you aren’t already optimising the more aesthetic social media channels such as Instagram and Pinterest. Make the most of these platforms with our easy-to-follow guide below with everything you need to know about using Instagram and Pinterest for business—from setting up your account to creating a winning strategy. For even more tips on maximising Instagram, listen to Episode 5 of Season 2 of our podcast, Revitalise & Grow!
More than 25 million companies worldwide are already using Instagram for business, and more than 200 million users visit at least one business profile every day. If you already have a personal Instagram account with an established following (this usually works well if your small business is a one-man band), you might want to simply convert it to an Instagram business account! This gives you a head start, and access to all the business features with a seamless transition for your existing followers. If not, create a new Instagram business profile by optimising a catchy bio, adding a striking profile image, and start following relevant pages and hashtags. Then you need to engage, strike up meaningful conversations with people who inspire you or fit well with your business.
When setting up a Pinterest account for business, it is just like setting up an ordinary account, however you should be focusing on showcasing your products aligned with your brand aesthetic. When using Pinterest for business, one of our top tips is to always include a link to your website with each pin – this could be a blog post, an online store, or a company website. When comparing Pinterest to Instagram, the ability to easily add links is what sets Pinterest apart from Instagram as a powerful marketing strategy. Not to mention the long life of a pin, which is 3.5 months versus 19 hours for an Instagram post! This means that Pinterest can drive traffic to your site long after you’ve forgotten what it was you pinned!
Identifying your target audience
Since defining your target market is one of the most important parts of your strategy for both Instagram and Pinterest, we have created a quick need-to-know guide:
- Determine who already buys from you.
- Check the analytics on your other social media channels to learn who follows you there.
- Do some thorough competitor research.
- Create a clear value statement for your brand about why people should follow you.
Once you understand who your audience is, think about what kind of content they want to see from you. What kind of content do they post on their own accounts? How do they interact with your competitors or similar brands?
Knowing what you want to accomplish by using Instagram and Pinterest for business is the first stage in creating an effective strategy. Understanding your goals means you can benchmark progress and focus your efforts on achieving real business objectives through social media! Implement a regular posting schedule (our FREE social media content planner can help you!). Once you start building a following, your followers will expect to see posts from you on a regular basis. You need to keep up the momentum and brand awareness, consistently engaging with your audience, as well as posting educational, fun or informative content!
Share great content
Creating a visual aesthetic for your brand is key! Both Instagram and Pinterest are all about the visual simulation, so it is important to have a recognisable identity. First, think about what you will showcase in your posts, be that your products, your staff, your clients, videos, infographics… the list goes on! Going behind the scenes or introducing followers to the people behind the face of the brand is an amazing way to ramp up engagement!
Once you decide on a content theme, go for a consistent visual appeal. That means branded colours, filters, and an overall aesthetic that is easy to spot and sets you apart from the competition!
Images and compelling captions
To make Instagram and Pinterest work for your business, you’ve simply got to have great photos. However, do not get disheartened thinking you need to be a professional photographer! Your mobile phone is your best friend when it comes to photography, since you can post straight from your device.
Instagram may be a visual platform, but that does not mean you should neglect your captions. Captions allow you to tell the brand story that makes the photo purposeful. Appropriate hashtags are key for findability! As you get more involved in Instagram and Pinterest communities, you’ll get a sense of the hashtags that inspire the best response.
Grow and engage your audience
Start by monitoring industry hashtags and commenting on appropriate Instagram posts. Follow the people who participate in these discussions. This is a simple way to make your presence known to people who are likely to be interested in your content. That means responding to comments and mentions of your brand, so your followers feel motivated to keep engaging with your company!
We know that many small businesses choose to manage their own social media channels, but we also know that when life gets busy it is all too easy to neglect them. If this sounds familiar you have come to the right place. When social media channels are not managed properly and do not have any strategy behind them, they will not be doing anything much to help your business and could even be doing more harm than good.
Fortunately, we are experts at creating strategies that cut through all that noise and we are awesome at content creation too. But best of all, we know the secret to getting your audience talking, sharing, and engaging with you. Now is the time to save yourself precious time and energy by signing up to our Social Media Engagement Success service. We will do the hard work of managing your channels leaving you free to sit back and reap the rewards.