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Instagram 101: The Do’s and Don’ts

  • Post category:Content Hub
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Instagram is undoubtedly a prime platform for establishing your business online. By jumping on those up-to-date trends and creating eye-catching content, you can engage with the users you want to target.

“Instagram has over 2 billion monthly active users” and is definitely a key marketing tool that your business needs. Last year, Instagram launched its enhanced business features which offered greater advertising opportunities and super accurate reporting analytics.

However, as with every other social media channel out there… Generating content to keep your audience engaged involves a specific etiquette.

Here are our Instagram do’s and don’ts to maximise your business account:

The Do’s

Do: Make the most of your bio.

  • Although it’s often overlooked in the initial set up phase of your profile, your bio is an essential tool at making a great first impression with your audience. It’s one of the first things someone sees when they encounter your profile, and provides a great opportunity for due-diligence checks and promotion.
  • Your bio is also the only spot where a clickable link can be added (asides from your stories!). So be sure to take advantage of this, and consider your bio as a gateway for users to explore your brand. So, what should it consist of?
  • Your bio should briefly touch upon WHO you are, but with far greater emphasis on WHAT you do, and WHY it’s so important. It should also provide a clear call to action to direct your users beyond the grid – ideally taking them away from the social platform to your website or a campaign landing page where they can find out more. Your wordcount is extremely limited in your bio, so there’s a real art in saying a lot in just a few words. Thankfully that’s where Blue Moon are real copy experts!!! We also recommend using emojis wherever possible to spare those precious characters were possible.
  • Your bio should be an area on your Instagram profile that’s updated regularly, to keep it fresh and increase traffic. It’s a fantastic tool to if there’s something specific you want to promote, like a new blog, job vacancy or campaign just landed…. add the link to your bio and send your audience directly there.

Do: Create a posting schedule and content calendar.

  • To make your account a success, you need to come up with a posting schedule. Users are smart and they know when it all feels too ‘adhoc’. The frequency of your posting is entirely up to you and often takes a while to get right so don’t be afraid to play around with it for a while to see what your audience engages with most. Whether it’s one a day, twice a week, 3-4 times a week or more.
  • Once you get in the rhythm it’s important to remain consistency and stick with it. Your audience will then learn when they can expect to see fresh content from you – becoming completely in tune to your brand!
  • As best practice, you should be creating a content calendar for every month to achieve as much prep work as you can. By mapping it all out in this way you can easily build up a 3-6-9-12 month plan, identifying clear campaigns and product launches.
  • A useful trick to keep you on track with your posting is to use a scheduler! Why not try Buffer – it’s free!

Do: Find your own business’ unique style.

  • Most businesses have a set of Brand Guidelines, but are they versatile enough for social?
  • When considering the look and feel of your posts, it’s important to emphasize your brand’s identity, but equally find a style that allows you to adapt the designs to keep it fresh and appealing on the grid. As styles come and go, you don’t want to be left beyond but nor do you want to chase every shiny thing going. Finding a creative balance that shouts ‘YOUR brand’ but in a modern and fresh way is essential at Instagram success.
  • Even if you’re repurposing someone else’s content (ahem…. This must WITH permission!) it’s paramount you brand it up so it doesn’t look rogue on your grid.

Do: Interact with your followers.

  • Users on Instagram love the conversational aspects of the platform so it’s important to generate conversations with your audience. Whether it be liking and replying to comments, asking questions or encouraging user generated content, building long-lasting relationships with your followers is essential for brand recognition and retention.
  • No conversations, by researching relevant industry hashtags, you can get involved and spark a conversation that relates to your business. You might even unlock new relationships with new users.
  • A great feature to use is the Q&A or poll feature. It starts a conversation without the need for a typed reply, meaning your followers are likely to reply and engage.

The Don’ts

Don’t: Post for the sake of posting.

  • Likewise, with any other social platform, your content needs to have a purpose. You need to think strategically and remain within your content plan. Filling up your feed with unrelated images and videos, it can confuse your audience.
  • If you’re struggling with content, it might then be best to adjust your posting schedule to work around your personal schedule until the balance feels right.
  • Unsure of the best mix of content for business? Looking for support with putting together a plan? Hit us up!

Don’t: Forget about your analytics.

  • Your analytics are your business’s best friend. They will help you to determine what’s working, what isn’t, who’s engaging and when – so it’s important to take note!
  • A key area of focus is to keep track of your best performing and lowest performing posts. Although we like to shy away from them, the trick comes in paying the most attention on the low performers!! By getting under the skin of understanding why they aren’t doing so well, you can make sure your content performs better month after month.
  • If increasing following and brand awareness is your goal for the month, it would be beneficial to measure daily followers, shares and mentions. If your goal is to improve interactions, tracking likes and comments would be your goal.

Don’t: Forget your business tone of voice.

  • Your tone of voice will have already been established when your first started out, now you must ensure that the same tone is visible throughout your Instagram and wider social channels.
  • Although different brands have different tones of voice (and rightly so) we’re always a fan of the more friendly, warm and conversational style.

Don’t: Forget to reply.

  • There’s nothing worse than going on a business page and seeing that they don’t reply to comments. If you don’t reply to comments, followers will view this as you ignoring them, or that you do not value what they have to say meaning they will take their interest and their custom elsewhere.
  • To make sure your followers see your reply, always “@” their handle. This will notify them and bring them back to your page where you can continue to develop your social connection with them.
  • Even if a comment is negative, it’s important to respond. A brand can often gain more kudos from handling an awkward or criticising comment well – than simply ignoring it!

When used correctly, Instagram can work magic for your marketing strategy.

That being said, many people struggle to maximise their business presence and benefit from the popular platform. Here at Blue Moon, we offer a range of packages that help you to raise your profile as well as your performance. From thought provoking campaigns, to proactive lead generation, outreach and awareness drives, we’ve been helping businesses maximise their social media presence for years, and most importantly within a budget that suits them.

Get in touch with Blue Moon today to see how we can help.