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5 Creative Ways to Use Instagram for Business

instagram-for-businessAbout 50 percent of companies use Instagram for business marketing purposes. For the businesses that don’t, one of the most common reasons tends to be that business owners simply don’t know what to post. This is especially the case for businesses that only sell a handful of products or offer services instead of tangible goods. After all, how can you post new pictures regularly when your product inventory is limited or nonexistent? Here’s how.

1. Show How Your Products or Services Fit into the Typical Lifestyle

Even the companies that have plenty of products to show off should avoid posting photo after photo of each product with the same plain background. Instead, it’s important to position each product in a different light so the Instagram page never gets boring. So if you sell donuts, you can mix up your images by posting one of a person eating a donut, another of a box of a dozen donuts, another of your baked goods about to go in the oven, etc. Krispy Kreme is a good example of a brand that keeps its Instagram page fresh – like its donuts!

If you happen to provide services instead of products, you can focus on taking pictures of the equipment you need for those services. For instance, if you offer editing services, you can post pictures of your desk and computer setup to show where the editing magic happens. You can also post images of any programs you use for editing, the logos of the companies you have worked with, and screenshots of your best work.

2. Collect and Share User-Generated Content

Be sure to leave room on your Instagram page for your audience’s own content. Not only will this cut down on the number of images and videos you need to create, but you’ll also delight your readers, since so many appreciate when brands repost their pictures.

In fact, user-generated content can even help you get more followers. For example, it helped one brand increase its number of followers on Instagram by 60 percent in 3 months! Add the fact that this type of content is often considered more trusted and memorable than other types, and it makes sense to occasionally host a contest for UGC. In particular, consider asking your followers to post pictures or videos of themselves using your products.

3. Go Behind the Scenes

You want to give your readers the sense that they’ll see something cool on your Instagram page every time they check it. It might not always be pictures of your products. Maybe instead it’s a picture of your office, because fans of your brand have always wondered what it looks like. Or maybe it’s a collage of your employees doing something fun, like a charity event or wearing mustaches for the day.

Either way, document those fun moments that your brand’s fans want to see, and add then to your Instagram page. You can also create videos featuring short interviews with your employees, or a sneak peek at an upcoming new product. Video tutorials are popular now, too. Think of what kinds of videos and images you’d like to see from your favorite brands, and then do your fans the favor of posting that kind of content on Instagram.

4. Show Off Customer Testimonials

Putting written testimonials on your website is standard these days, but your Instagram audience won’t be wowed by “standard.” Social media is the place to let loose and be a bit more engaging with your audience. Hence, adding video testimonials is now a thing.

And since so many people enjoy providing user-generated content for brands they love, it shouldn’t be hard for you to get some loyal customers to record a few testimonials for you to post on Instagram. Videos on this social network can now be 60 seconds long, which is plenty of time for customers to explain why they appreciate your products or services.

5. Get in on the Trends

It’s important to keep up with the latest trends and even participate in them as a brand. Check out what the latest hashtags are to get started. Is there a funny new dance craze you could record your employees trying out, or maybe a contest for charity? Are there any major events going on that have people’s attention, such as the Olympics, Academy Awards, or football season as a whole?

Whatever the latest social media trend is, find and embrace it! Your audience will appreciate it, you’ll have a new idea for content, and your brand will get some extra attention by using the relevant hashtag.

Have you used any of these content ideas on Instagram, or do you have any creative ideas that your followers have enjoyed?