There’s some pretty compelling stats out there for using Instagram for business:
- There are 300,000 active Instagram users – That’s more than Twitter
- Business Instagram posts get 58% more engagement than Facebook
- 65% of 13 – 24 year olds regularly interact with businesses on Instagram
But what should a business post to Instagram? What sort of content works well?
In this post I’ll look at 9 different Instagram post ideas that can help you form your Instagram content strategy. This isn’t a comprehensive guide but it should give you some inspiration.
1. Product photos
This is a no brainer. I’m sure if you sell a product you have already been sharing pictures on your Instagram page.
Try and think about creative ways to share your products.
These peaches from The Happy Pear are enticing. If they were closer I’d have been straight down to buy some.
Funky Crayon Lady also has a great visual product. Her shaped crayons are clever but it may not always be obvious what they do. In this post she clearly demonstrates it with just a few squiggles.
In the old days, before the Internet and superstores people used to get to know the people they did business with. Communication would be face to face or by phone. Now we do so much business online we can sometimes feel out of touch or forget that there is a person behind the business.
Instagram gives us the opportunity to introduce customers to our staff and ourselves.
In this post from St. Pancras International they introduce us to the man who maintains the pianos at the station. The image is great but it’s the caption that tells us the full story.
Knowing about the people in the business reassures us. Anyone thinking of booking a course with The Cooks Academy in Dublin gets to see one of their trainers in advance.
3. Behind the scenes
Another way to reassure customers about your business is to show them the workings behind the scenes.
This post from the Royal Academy of Arts shows the preparation ready for an exhibition launch. It builds buzz and shows snippets of what we can expect.
Earlier this year the Cookie Monster paid a visit to The Museum of Modern Art in New York. His visit was documented as he met the people who worked there and viewed some of the art. We may not all have Cookie Monster but we all have the opportunity to conduct a visual tour of our businesses.
Good quality quotes that relate to your business always make good content.
I find Pinterest to be a great source of quotes. A simple search brings me lots of suggestions. Don’t be tempted to steal images from Pinterest though. Just make a note of the quote, who said it and add it to your own images. Remember to add your own branding too.
This example from Curious Wines also relies on their brand colours rather than their logo. It’s a good relevant quote about wine that made me smile.
This post from Unravel Knit may not be a quote but I loved it when it appeared in my Instagram feed. It instantly brought back childhood memories of happy knitting.
There is something about tips that people love. They are little nuggets of information that we love to pass on. Share a good one and people will remember where they heard it from and pass it on to others.
Kerrygold recently ran a competition to gather tips from their followers. People shared their #nuggetsofgold and Kerrygold created Instagram images from them. Here’s one that I find particularly useful.
You could take the tips much further. In this post from RebelDietitian you get an entire recipe:
If you want to create these more complex graphics for Instagram try Canva. It has lots of templates for you to work from that make it easy for you to create something visually pleasing. You can now use Canva from the iPad app as well as the web which makes It easy to create images that you can then easily share via mobile.
You can use questions to find out more about your customers and target market. They will also help you build a more interactive audience. They spark conversations with people who will remember you for it.
Simple questions that are easy to answer work best. Don’t forget people are on mobile when they are using Instagram so writing longer responses can be hard.
This example form puppy_tales works well for getting those quick responses.
This one from the_perils_of_parenthood isn’t as attractive but it’s getting lots of comments.
If you can’t create amazing content maybe your customers or target market do. Search for Instagram posts that suit your business. Maybe they are people using your product, involved in activities related to your business or people in the local area.
DeesWholefoods do this really well. Their account is crammed with customer photos of their vegan foods.
VisitDublin encourage people to share photos with the tag #lovedublin and they regram their favourites. This gives followers an eclectic view of Dublin and what it has to offer.
If you intend to use regramming as part of your strategy be aware that you must always ask permission before sharing a post.
If you are the kind of business that gets reviews, on Facebook, Yelp or Trip advisor share screen caps of them. This will help you build customer reassurance.
This one from StapleFoods grabbed from the Lovin Dublin blog got great interaction with their followers.
The Twelve Hotel have taken a more traditional approach by photographing their newspaper and magazine reviews.
9. News Jacking/Real Time Marketing
Find ways to tie your posts into trends, events and news. Add your own twist to make it relevant to you and you’ll find yourself with very popular content.
I loved this post from IrishFairyDoor on UK election day. A week later they launched their product in the UK.
Instagram are partial to trend jacking themselves. Here’s their own #MayTheFourthBeWithYou post.
I use the website Days Of The Year to find out what special days are coming up. You can also keep an eye on trending topics on Twitter. For more info here’s a post I wrote on Newsjacking.
These 9 ideas are just scraping the surface of what you can do with content on Instagram. Once you start being creative you will find a flood of ideas comes your way.
If you have a really clever or interesting Instagram post and want to get more exposure tag it with #weteachsocial and we will regram our favourites.
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