Instagram is all about the image(s)—for businesses, as well as influencers. Every Instagram post, in fact, has a visual, either a static image or a video, with no shared links or text-only posts.
But even with those limitations, there are still plenty of options for what businesses can share to help their Instagram account make a visual impact on followers. Share your own photos, customer-submitted photos, videos, small infographics, and inspirational quotes or relevant humor. Combine images that are relevant to your audience, but not necessarily promotional, with some that tie more closely into your products and services.
Along with choosing what to post, pay attention to when and how often you should post for best results for your business Instagram account. You’ll find some of those best practices highlighted in the infographic below.
I’ve already offered ideas for what to post, but how often should you be posting to Instagram?
While Facebook business accounts should mostly stick with posting once daily, Instagram can handle a little more frequency, but it’s still best not to go past 3 per day, unlike Twitter, where things move very fast.
As for the best timing for those 1-3 posts each day, it varies by your industry.
If you offer professional services, such as insurance or financial planning, the best times seem to be mid-morning on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
On the other hand, personal care businesses, such as spas, tend to get more engagement with posts scheduled for early afternoons on Thursday and Fridays — maybe that is when the audience is thinking about a relaxing massage as the week drags on or looking their best for a weekend social event.
HootSuite breaks down best times, and some reasons behind the trends, in this article for industries including travel and tourism (surprise – by midday Friday, we’re all dreaming of vacations!), media and entertainment, food and beverage, retail, non-profit, pharma and healthcare, technology and education.
Oh, and one more thing:
The other key to Instagram is hashtags< https://www.jonespr.net/inboundaccelerator/your-business-hashtag-how-to-guide>. While hashtags can be used on all of your social media channels to sort, categorize, and increase visibility of your posts, Instagram is all about the hashtag.
While there are some brands who stuff posts with as many as 30 hashtags (the max allowed), using that many may look unprofessional and damage the perception you are working to create. Instead, choose 5 to 10 relevant hashtags, including those that will likely attract users who may not already follow your brand but who are attracted to similar content. You should also use a few hashtags that are unique to your brand. These branded hashtags help raise brand awareness and make it easy to track when other Instagram users tag or share your hashtag also.
Looking for more? We cover Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest as well in this article: Your Complete Social Media Guide: What, Where, When, and How Often To Post.
Learn more about our philosophy on incorporating social media into integrated marketing programs for B2B businesses in our JONES Social Media Solution download. Or schedule a time to visit with me directly about how we can help you bring it all together.