Level 1 – Instagram – Instagram for Business

Level 1 – Instagram – Instagram for Business

Mark June 11, 2020

Introduction

I created this training course to help members of a communication team get to grips with Instagram. I use Instagram for my businesses and I have seen some excellent results doing the below.

What is assumed before you start the course

  1. You have downloaded the app on your mobile phone
  2. You can log in to Instagram
  3. You have created an account which is linked to your brand or company i.e. @SuperAccountantBradford
  4. You know how to use the basic functions of your mobile phone.
  5. You understand uploading, editing and creating photos and videos
  6. You have used similar Apps like Twitter and Facebook

What is Instagram?

Similar to Facebook and Twitter, when you create an Instagram account you create a Profile, “news feed” and “stories” and can be considered simplified Facebook.

The biggest difference with Instagram, when compared to Facebook and Twitter, is the emphasis on mobile use and visual sharing (photos, videos and Stories). 

Find Instagram 

Instagram is available on iOS (Apple) and Android devices, you will need to download this on to your mobile phone, some tablet devices also have Instagram available to download.

Instagram is also available via a web browser (see below). There is some way to upload photos via a browser using Chrome plugins, but for this course, we will not be covering this.

Instagram on a mobile

Instagram popularity has been built around its mobile app, here is how to navigate around the App.

Top of the App 

  1. Create new content – take a photo or film a video
  2. Direct messages – Instagram enabled users to also message people (same as Twitter and Facebook)
  3. Story – Add to and view your story 
  4. People you follow stories – this will display other people’s stories

Bottom of the app

  1. Home/Your Feed – this will bring you back to your feed, people you follow content will show here.
  2. Discover/Search – This where you find new people, search and follow hashtags.
  3. Add to your Feed – You can create videos, take photos or upload content from your mobile.
  4. Likes and Comments – Like Facebook, this is where you will find alerts when people like and comment on your content. You will also be alerted when people “tag” you in posts or stories.
  5. Ops … missing 
  6. Your Profile Page – Covered in the next section

Profile Page

  1. Setting section – including Saved content you have saved, Insights, activity
  2. How many posts you have done
  3. How many followers you have
  4. How many people you follow
  5. Your profile
  6. Shortcut to edit your profile, also available in 11
  7. If your account is set up as a business account, you will get these options
  8. Highlights – you can group stories into highlights to be featured on your profile.
  9. The content you have uploaded on your profile/feed.
  10. The content you have been tagged into.

Instagram on a Web Browser

Instagram on a web browser is very similar to the Mobile App, you can navigate by using the icons in the top right-hand corner.

  1. Home/Your Feed – this will bring you back to your feed, people you follow content will show here.
  2. Direct messages – Messages, in June 2020 add an additional feature, Instagram enabled users to also message people.
  3. Discover – This where you find new people, search and follow hashtags e.g. #Bradford #housing … see below as an example.
  4. Likes and Comments – Like Facebook, this is where you will find alerts when people like and comment on your content. You will also be alerted when people “tag” you in posts or stories.

Example of # following … 

Creating content for your feed and story

In the previous sections, we have highlighted where on Instagram you can upload videos, in this section we will be focusing on structuring the post, hashtags and tagging people.

Posts and Microblogging

As previously discussed, Instagram is a visual app and its popularity came from the ease of uploading videos/photos and editing through filters. Over the last few years, the written content has become important, it is used by influencers and brands to get its products, values and services across to their audience.

This is sometimes referred to as “microblogging”, currently (June 2020), Instagram allows 2200 characters and can contain up to 30 hashtags (we will discuss using hashtags shortly).

But not every post has to be a microblog, remember Instagram’s popularity has been built on photos and images, some of the most effective post to gain engagement form follows could be just a picture and an invite to leave a reply or like … the below post had 6600 likes 

Homework – How will you use written content? Microblogging … short snappy comments?

Hashtags 

Hashtags are used to help promote brands and services, you can follow (as previously mentioned) and click on hashtags to find similar content. Using hashtags and the digital marketing strategies around Hashtags changes, but here are some examples which are consistent across all social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) …

  1. Keep you Hashtags relevant to your message – If you are selling car tyres, there is no point using the hashtag #fitnessmodel
  2. Try and use the Hashtag in the posts –  If you can integrate your hashtags to post it makes the Hashtag more relevant. Platforms are now featuring content with written content structure this way. Example … “What a great day making #Cakes they are yummy #nomnomnom”

With Instagram, people can also click on the Hashtags in the written content and comments to find another post with the same Hashtags.

Homework – Write down 5 hashtags which you would use for your business

Task – Investigate these hashtags, who is using them? How many likes do they get?

Story

The Story option on Instagram is similar to how Snapchat works, where people will post content which will have a time limit available to see the content. You can also use the “highlights” feature on your profile to group stories and feature them permanently.

Highlights … 

So why and how should you use the story feature? The best way I can describe a story is to compare it to flicking over channels on TV, they are short videos and photos which you flick through when you are looking to kill a bit of time … sounds like it is not worth doing right? …wrong!

The story function on Instagram is the primary way brands, business and engage with their customers and followers. There are 2 main ways of effectively using stories:-

  1. Single videos or Photos – this could be linked to content on your feed, you can also hashtag and tag people/business in as well so they can share.
  2. Tell a “story” – Something that is very effective is telling a story throughout the week, an example would be “a week in the life of a plumber”, here you can then discuss jobs, tips and views. Followers might be more engaged to visit the profile on a weekly basis.

You can also edit stories with gifs and other pictures, you can hashtag, add a location and tag people as well making it easy 

Homework – Take a look at @Mrshinchhome Instagram stories, she has built her Instagram account (3.5 million followers) primarily through her stories.

Task – For your business, think of a “day in the life” idea. 

As an example, you have a plumbing company and you want to highlight the great work your engineers do to help increase business, each day you will post 1 story featuring a Jane the plumber, plan your week

Monday – 1 video with an introduction to Jane the Plumber, this video will also show Jane fixing a problem

Tuesday – 2 photos, 1 funny and 1 teaching a skill 

Tagging People

Similar to Twitter, you are able to tag people into a comment, picture and written content on both the feeds and story on Instagram. 

URL and links 

One of the challenges businesses have with Instagram is adding links and URLs to posts and stories, Instagram does not allow links on feeds (at the moment) and the “swipe up feature” stories is only available if you have 10k followers.

The way businesses and brands get around this are to invite followers and customers to “click on the link in our profile”. You may want to change the link depending on your marketing or recruitment strategy, for example: –

Marketing – throughout a marketing or promotion campaign, you make want your link to point to a product or service you are promoting.

Recruitment – when promoting a role you are trying to fill you may want to change the URL to your careers URL i.e. – jobs.businessname.com … The End.

I hope you found this useful, you can contact me on twitter (markspencerIT@gmail.com).