As a professional service delving into the photo-sharing social media platform that is Instagram, you don't have the benefit of carefully composed brunch dishes, handmade notebooks, or a high-tech trainer. But there's something else you don't have - high competition.
Because perhaps like you, your peers and competitors wrongly assume that because you don't have particular products to sell as part of an ecommerce strategy or dishes to get customer's through the door, that you don't have anything worth posting on Instagram. But in fact all this does mean is that you have to be a little creative with what you post.
With features now including videos, messaging, sponsored content and the snapchat competiting “stories tool”, which allows you to post temporary and highly customisable videos and pictures, Instagram still remains all about the pictures. 95 million are posted every day, and not all of them are of smashed avocado on toast.
So as a business with no physical products to snap and sell, how to you start to take advantage of this significant portion of the social media pie?
Firstly, let's look at why you should:
- Instagram has around 400 million monthly users, which is more than Twitter.
- 70% of these users check their Instagram at least once a day.
- 90% of information we absorb is visual, which explains the success of Instagram.
- Roughly 8 million of the profiles on the platform are businesses.
If this is enough to convince you to give Instagram a try, the next question is what do you post?
- Videos – Answer questions around your service quickly and post. It's much easier for people to absorb information in this format than scrolling through an FAQs section, and it instantly creates a face to face, personal connection.
- Graphics – Get clever with Canva or other online softwares to post client testimonials, statistics and fast facts or advice in a way that's visually appealing.
- Stories – Office “moments” or personal team observations definitely have a place on the fleeting stories functions. These don't have to be as polished as posts as they disappear in 24 hours and can be dressed up with emojies and text.
- And of course photos – Take photos in the office, when you're out at events, or to document charity efforts. Do caption competitions to get users to interact and take snaps of your local area.
When you post, be sure to use hashtags. That way you'll be easily searchable by people who are not already connected to you. Try searching for popular hashtags before you post to get inspiration for what to post and work you're way around these trends to increase likes.
Many people buy into a professional service not just based on what they deliver, but who they are. Instagram is the perfect way to show prospective customers just that. By taking full advantage of Instagram's inherent social culture, you'll help flag up your business without the hard sell. That's best saved for adverts.