A Joint Blog Post By Riley Goodrich and Gail Snow Moraski
Everyday, more than 500 million people log onto Instagram. People post pictures of their friends, their dogs, selfies, the vacation they are taking, the food they are eating… the list goes on.
Seeing what your friends or other people you admire are up to in their day-to-day lives — as well as sharing what you’re up to — is great. But, the wonderful thing about Instagram is that it doesn’t have to be just for personal use, it can also be used for professional purposes like the following!
- Whether you’re a freelancer or own/work at a small business or non-profit, you can share images with information to help others and/or to encourage them to want to learn more about your services, products, or solutions to problems; therefore, create awareness about your organization
- Learn about organizations or freelancers whom you might engage for services, buy something from, or just learn from!
As a business, having an Instagram account is a great way to expand your customer base and create a wider interest in and awareness of your products and services; this is not only applicable for businesses with multitudes of photos of their tangible goods, i.e., business or consumer products, but also for organizations that offer services. While many individuals and organizations have been using it to gather and share information for years now, today is better late than never to create a profile on Instagram.
For example, let’s take a look at our own organization’s (@resultscommandresearch) Instagram page.
- Inspirational quotes
Posting motivational or inspirational quotes is a great way to connect with others online. By putting out positive energy, you are more than likely to get positive energy in return! When you open Instagram, the first thing you want to see is something positive. By following upbeat people and organizations online, you can help make social media a positive place.
- SEO/marketing tips
For Results Communications & Research, in particular, we offer SEO, or search engine optimization as one of our most-popular services. This is a service, not a tangible product. Even so, Instagram is a great place to show off what we can offer. By giving useful advice and sharing best practices, we can show what we know and that we are a subject matter expert (SME); this type of post is great because it encourages engagement and consumer education! And, target audiences like it when organizations are willing to provide some information for free, like low-hanging SEO fruit they can tackle on their own.
- Celebrating national holidays and days, like #NationalChocolateChipCookieDay!
National holidays are a great reason to post. As a shared experience, these types of posts engage all types of people in the community and promote togetherness. Even if your organization is national or international, it’s always important for it to be viewed as part of the community where your organization is headquartered. It also helps to demonstrate that you have empathy, and that your organization’s reasons for being extend beyond making money.
- Blog post announcements
Instagram is an awesome way to start a conversation. Because Results Communications & Research regularly publishes informational blog posts, we can post whenever there is a new topic and include the link for our followers to either cut and paste in their browser (if they take it directly from our browser). Or, add a clickable link in our bio section (this is a detailed discussion for another time but you can get more info. from reading bullet #8 below!) These types of Instagram posts increase engagement with both our business and our website!
- Be seen as a member of your community!
This goes along with what we mentioned above about celebrating national days and holidays. Engaging with the community online is a great way to build relationships. By following others online and liking/commenting on their posts, they are likely to do the same back!
- Make it personal
Show off who works with you! By giving your followers a “behind the scenes” look at your business, you are creating the precedent for a positive work environment and friendly customer interactions. Who wouldn’t want to meet your team?
- Question of the day – encourages comments and customer interactions
By asking questions via instagram posts or creating polls on instagram stories, you encourage commenting and other online interaction! The more the merrier!
- Create a LinkTree!
A linktree is a great way to put multiple resources in one easy and accessible place for those who are engaging with your Instagram profile! For example, you can provide hyperlinks to multiple blog posts and pages of your website on a distinct bio page that can be accessed via your Instagram bio. Check out this example: https://linktr.ee/alpharhoplastics
- Before and after!
Show how your services have helped a client. For example, you could show how your content edits helped a client’s SEO via screenshots. In other words, showcase your success stories!
- Use Instagram stories to call out big news or offer a promotion/discount
Instagram stories populate and disappear after 24 hours. Lots of Instagram users click through tons of Instagram stories for fun. Presenting them with an incentive, like a promotion or discount, encourages them to click on your profile and engage with your business. Check out https://www.instagram.com/onlyinbos/. They post their own stories, but also those of organizations who want to advertise to OnlyInBoston followers (this latter opportunity is something we can arrange if it interests you). Simply click on the big circle that surrounds their logo to see the stories.
- Track traffic to your website from your Instagram profile using your Google Analytics account (if you use Linktree, or some other product such as “Later” that allows individuals who view your profile to click on posts, in a “bio” section that include hyperlinks to appropriate pages of your website).
The team at Results Communications & Research regularly develops and implements social media strategies for clients. We can also serve as your “social media voice.” No social media question is too small, so always reach out for help!