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Tips and tricks for starting a new business Instagram

1. Account Name

Also known as your Instagram handle. Make sure your profile name is as close to your business name as possible. Avoid having too many characters in your name such as underscores, dashes, full stops, etc. If you have to have one that is okay but don’t use more than you have to as this can make it confusing to find and verbally tell people. If you are a Perth only based business put Perth in your business name. Remember your handle is how people find you, it will be on your business card, email signature, website and anywhere you are advertising your business. Make sure it is easy to remember, spell and pronounce.

2. Your Name

Make your description name a brief outline of what your business does, or who you are. For example, if you are working under your own name put your name, this way when people contact you they have a contact name straight away. If you are a business put a description of what your product is.

3. Link

This is where you want to drive your traffic, usually to your website. Make sure to change your link to the most recent offering you have. If you have a new product change the link to that page. If you are selling tickets have the link go to the ticket sales page. If you need more than one link you can use ‘Link Tree’ for multiple website direction.

4. Bio

Your bio is so important. This is where they can quickly and easily see all the information about your product/ service. Use a bullet point or emoji to list the key benefits and unique points about your product/ service. Type this up the way you want it to look using ‘notes’ in your phone and then copy and paste it into the bio section. Be creative and remember you only have 150 characters to work with.

Remember to update your bio regularly to match new products / services or what you are promoting for the month. Have a call to action or an incentive in your bio. Something as simple as ‘click below to shop’ or ‘Sign up for 20% off’.

5. Category

Choose the most relevant category for your business. It is best to do this through Facebook as it gives you more options 

6. Details

Add as many details as possible including an email address, phone number and physical address (if your business has one). You can also add an action button if you use a booking appointment app. You can connect it here so people can book through Instagram.

7. Profile Photo

Make sure your profile photo is easy to identify. It is not a very big image so make sure it is easy to read. It’s usually best to put your logo here if you have one.

8.Highlights

Highlights are a great way to showcase your business and have ‘stories’ always available for people to re-watch. Normal stories on Instagram only last 24 hours whereas highlights stay permanently on your profile. You can categorize highlights intersections. For example, ‘products’, ‘ about us’ and ‘customers’.

9. Following/ Followers

Keep your following lower than your followers! Keep this under 1000 ideally 700 Max. Your following should be relevant to your business, your potential and current clients, network and collaborators. Keep other accounts you want to follow such as celebrities to your personal profile

10. Design and Aesthetic

Think of Instagram as a mini website or portfolio for your brand. Aesthetic is so important for Instagram as it is heavily image-based. Curating the perfect profile isn’t easy but once you get it right, it will make posting and creating content so much easier.

Your profile consists of a grid that is filled with photos, you want to start thinking of your grid as a story. Your goal is to have 12 images that complement each other and tell a compelling fluid story. You will need to choose how you want to tell your story whether you are promoting yourself, a product or service.

To tell if there is a fluid story you need to choose a style for your account. This can be done by using filters. By using the same filters or Presets you can set a consistent theme. By choosing a colour scheme you can choose a colour that works in all of your images, it doesn’t have to be the main colour of every image but simply appear somewhere in each shot.

Buy creating a subject type, you can choose a subject type that your account is based around. For example, your account is based around travel photos and everything to do with travel, dogs, beauty, lifestyle. If your account is themed by subject type still try and use consistent filters / Presets. Always work in 12’s, this way you can change your colour scheme and still have a consistent account. @Taramilktea is a great example of this.

tara milk tea instagram page

11. Theme/ Vibe

Your theme is the overall look and feel of your profile. Choose a colour scheme, tone or theme (or all 3).  Once you’ve chosen this and start posting you need to stick to this theme. Remember that how your account looks will be how your potential clients will see your business. You don’t have to have a consistent colour scheme, this might not work for your product / service. @frankgreen_official is a great account who don’t use a consistent filter or colour scheme, all their content is beautiful clear photography, most rows of 3 match each other colour and theme wise, however there is no constant colour theme or filter. They tend to work in rows of 3 and 6 to make their feed aesthetically pleasing and fluid.

Instagram images

You want to create a lifestyle that is associated with your brand / service. This in itself can shape your overall theme.

12. Be picky

Be selective when choosing your images, if it’s too dark, pixelated or doesn’t suit your theme try editing it to see if you can make it work. If not don’t use it. Don’t be afraid to delete! If there is a photo you don’t like in your feed delete it!

13. Consistency is key

Always post in the same ratio. Instagram is designed for squares, keep this in mind when taking photos, if you are using a phone, shoot in square mode to make sure you get the perfect shot. If you choose a custom shape to post like landscape photos keep in mind that parts of the image will be cut out in people’s feed. They will need to go into your profile and right into the photo to see the full image.

14. Before and after’s

Lots of services show before and after photos. To keep your feed clean and consistent make sure to put the after photo first and the before photo 2nd. Use the carousel feature for this so people can swipe to see the next photo. Remember you don’t want people to think the before shot is your work!

15. Content

Content is what drives Instagram. Good content is the difference between accounts that do well and ones that don’t, and most likely the difference between you and your competitors. 

Arranging content

By using apps like UNUM  or preview you can lay out your posts for the month and see how posts look next to each other. You might want to create a pattern such as a product post, then an inspiration post, then a product post again then another inspiration post and so forth. You might not want two photos next to each other that are too busy or too similar.

Another great way to stay accountable is using a physical or digital content planner, right down a plan of what photo you will post on which days and at which time. Even if you are using a scheduling app this creates accountability and lets you keep track of what you are posting.

Always think about what your individual posts look like and how your account looks as a whole

Photo content

Invest in good content. Organize a photoshoot every few months that will give you stunning on brand content. This will set you apart from your competitors and make your profile stand out. In between these photos use stock images from sites like unsplash, pexels or influencers photos, or make tips and quotes in an app like Canva or Over. Make sure to always tag and ‘@’ the original creator of the photo.

Another great way to get content is to have a hashtag for your clients to use. This creates user generated content (UGC) and is a great way to show new potential clients how happy existing clients are. Just the same as reposting other people’s content, make sure to tag and credit the original creator of the photo. Take a look at #thefrankeffect this is @frank_bod body Scrubs unique hashtag for their brand that their customer’s use to post photos of them using Frank body products. They’re constantly getting new UGC made for them.

16. Stats and timing

To see what time of the day your followers are interacting with your account check your Instagram Insights and Statistics. Make sure to post at peak times of the day/ week.  Remember sometimes there are exceptions to the stats. For example, if your main audience is Australian men and you posted during the AFL final, it’s unlikely you will reach as many of your target audiences as usually would.

These are only some of our best tips and tricks to starting a new successful business Instagram account. Click here for more important steps to marketing on Instagram.

Want more advice on creating and improving your business Instagram account? Message us at Media Lion Digital Marketing Agency and we can help you with all of your digital marketing needs!

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