In 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram for the tune of $1 billion. That’s far from chump change, and we now know that Facebook took action for fear that Instagram’s growth would take away from their business. Better to absorb them and benefit from their growth than to compete with them, right? Fast forward nearly 10 years, and both Facebook and Instagram remain popular social media platforms for individual users and businesses alike. And if you haven’t capitalized on these multifaceted social media giants, it’s time you did! With a bit of business strategy behind your social media use, you can grow your business and connect with your audience like never before. Let’s reach all the high notes like Mariah.
SIGN UP FOR A BUSINESS ACCOUNT
First things first, when you create your profile on Facebook and Instagram, sign up for a business account. Don’t be shy; you’re not just anybody, you’re a business owner. During the setup process, you’ll include all the pertinent info—your name, contact info, industry, pictures that show the world who you are. You know, the meat and potatoes of social media profiles.
But it’s more than just showing the public that you’re a business; Facebook and Instagram business accounts come with privileges. With an Instagram business account, you get access to CTAs (more on that below), Instagram Shopping, Instagram ads, Instagram insights, and primary and secondary inboxes. Check out the links above for setup instructions. And when you’re setting up your business profiles, make sure you optimize them.
Optimize Your Facebook and Instagram Business Profiles
We won’t bore you with the origin story, but back in the 1500s, people started saying “leave no stone unturned” to emphasize the importance of doing everything you can to get the results you want. From your college literature professor to craft breweries, this idiom has staying power and it’s just as relevant as ever. How does this apply to Facebook and Instagram best practices? Leave no part of your profile unaddressed. You’re more likely to achieve your business goals when you fill in each blank and utilize each feature.
When it comes to optimizing your business profiles, you can set up shop to sell directly off social. Do this! Create your Facebook shop and check to see if you meet the criteria for Instagram shoppable posting.
On Facebook, you can use templates to guide your optimization process, depending on the industry where you do your thing. You can also add a button on your Facebook business profile that serves as an interactive call to action (CTA). Make sure you choose the option that aligns with your business goals and marketing strategy.
On Instagram, your CTAs come in the form of action buttons located beneath your story highlights. Go to your edit profile section and choose the action button that makes the most sense for your business.
These social media platforms constantly evolve, and you’ll need to grow with them. When you first set up your business accounts, spend some time poking around the platforms and make sure you’ve covered these bases:
- You have contact information
- You have a CTA
- You have a bio filled out that tells your story
- You have visual elements that represent your company
- You’ve woven your branding into every aspect of your profile
Let’s talk about that last one for a minute.
Weave In Your Branding
Remember when you were in high school, and you spent a lot of time deciding what image you wanted to present to the world? If you’re a Millennial, it might have been a combination of platform shoes, low-rise jeans, and peasant tops. While we’re not suggesting you create the equivalent of peasant tops in your branding, how you interface with your audience does matter. If you haven’t hashed out your branding yet, we can help, and if you have, make sure you show it on your social media platforms. Here’s where your branding should show up:
- Feature your logos in your profile pictures or banner images (on Facebook)
- Use your brand colors in the photos and videos you post
- Infuse your bio and content with your brand voice and tone
- Follow other accounts that reflect your brand mission, vision, and values
Once you’re all set up, QA your profiles and look for any opportunities to weave in your branding. On Instagram, for example, you can plan your grid ahead of time and create an aesthetic that reflects your brand identity.
Developing your brand is an ongoing process and doesn’t end with creating your logo, color palette, font type and size, and voice and tone. You have to share it with the world and infuse it into all of your communication—visual, textual, and verbal. Waving your brand flag on social media can make an impression on your followers and help them associate you with what your business stands for and how it can change their lives. And that’s how you build a business on social media.
Use All of the Features
Features are opportunities for engagement. Plain and simple. And while these two platforms do offer some unique features, there is a lot of overlap. Both Instagram and Facebook have Stories, Story Highlights, and the ability to go Live. Your Story Highlights are a great place to save your evergreen content, like business FAQs, an origin story explainer from your CEO, or product features. Now let’s talk about the differences.
Facebook allows you to “pin” a post to the top of your page. Are you hosting an event? Pin the info at the top of your page. Are you having a sale? Pin it, so your followers are more likely to see it! You can even host a “watch party” when your business has an exciting new development. Watch parties are great opportunities to connect with your audience in real-time. Are you launching a new product? Hosting an interview with an expert? Stream it live with your followers using the Watch Party feature.
If you’re on Instagram, you can use Reels and IGtv to build your brand and connect with your audience. Ah yes, but you might wonder, what content should you post using all of these features? Let’s talk about that.
Create Good Content
You’ve heard it before. Content is king. Or queen, as we like to say. And it’s true! Setting up your business profile on Facebook and Instagram is step one, but steps two, three, four, and ad infinitum create high-quality, compelling content. When it comes to good content, there are a few rules to live by:
- Write content that connects
- Share content that provides value
- Highlight your relationships
- Create a variety of content
- Include visual elements like images and video in your content strategy
- Post at the optimal times
Let’s break these down further. Shouting into the void isn’t a great content strategy. Your content should connect with what is real for your audience. Take Millennials, for example. Millennials are the primary audience for many of our clients, and we’ve researched them for three years (and counting!). Millennials, like any other generation, have unique concerns, values, and priorities. When writing content gauged towards Millenials, speak to what they care about. Know your audience to connect with your audience.
You can enhance the quality of your content by providing value in everything you write. Now, this doesn’t have to be some grand gesture, and valuable content may do any of the following:
- Provide new information
- Detail a sale or discount
- Inform your audience about a new product or change in policy
- Explain how to use your product or service
- Ask for feedback
- Share a business update
- Highlight an upcoming event
- Feature a subject-matter expert
- Celebrate a customer or client
Many of these options show your relationships and humanize you as a company. If you’re sharing a business update, consider including information about a new employee or sharing an anecdote from the CEO. If you’re featuring a subject-matter expert, maybe in the form of an interview, you can demonstrate your place in and respect for your industry. You can also partner with an influencer who shares your values—all good stuff.
For better or worse, people like variety on social media, and they may stop following your account if your content gets stale like bread. That’s why it’s beneficial to mix it up and regularly reevaluate your content strategy. What landed in 2020 may not land in 2021 as current events, audience preferences, and economic realities evolve. This ever-changing landscape is why our Content Retainer can be adjusted multiple times a year and addresses the fluid reality of content strategy. Give us a call; we’re here to help.
And if you haven’t picked up on it yet, visuals are essential when crafting your content. Captions and text posts aren’t going away, and there’s a place for brand-rich copy in even the most visual of Facebook, and Instagram features, but you don’t want to skimp on images and video. Social media users love an eye-catching picture or fun video. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a pro to execute well in this regard; many social users like an unpolished, more relatable feel to the content they consume. Yes, you don’t necessarily need to hire a video guru.
Interact With Your Followers
People, whether on social media or not, want to be valued and seen. And social media is an excellent resource for businesses for connecting with their audience in meaningful ways. Connection can be as simple as liking or responding to comments on your Facebook or Instagram posts. Show your followers you’re motivated to engage with them, and they’ll be more likely to engage with you. Let’s take this a step further; engagement isn’t just reactive. It’s proactive as well.
Make sure you follow other accounts and comment on their content tool. Did you interview a subject matter expert recently? Visit their profile, check their most recent posts, and add your voice. Is there a company or influencer you’re daydreaming about collaborating with? Go to their page and start engaging with their content. The point is to show you’re a positive presence at minimum or a thought leader if you’re A++ at your social media presence. Respond to messages, reply to comments, follow other users, and comment on other people’s posts.
Since you’re representing your business when you interact with other accounts, double-check that your comments and actions align with your business goals and values. Follow accounts that reflect or may play a role in your mission and speak from a place of authenticity.
Analyze Your Data
You can check your work by analyzing your data at least quarterly. And while you can find many blogs and articles about social media marketing best practices, you still need to have a good sense of what is true for your business. Just because you exist in a specific industry doesn’t necessarily mean the recommended posting times for that industry will be precisely right for you or your audience. Valuable insights include:
- What types of content resonated best with your audience?
- What days of the week or times of day got the best traction?
- Did you get any conversions from your posts?
- Are people engaging with your posts, and to what extent?
Once you have a sense of how effectively your Facebook and Instagram business profile meets your goals, you can make adjustments to hit more than just home runs; hit it out of the park. If you’re finding that how-to posts have stellar engagement rates with your audience, great! Keep doing what you’re doing. On the other hand, if your campaign highlighting an upcoming webinar fell a little flat, take a closer look. Was your copy as compelling as it could have been? Did your graphics stray from your brand identity? Did you post at an inopportune time? Be a detective with your content and make adjustments to improve your data over time.
High-Level Facebook and Instagram Business Strategy
We’ve given you the puzzle pieces for executing effectively with your Facebook and Instagram business profiles. Now it’s time for you to sit down at the table, put the pieces together, and create the big picture for your business. And we’ll leave you with one final note: social media is a learning process, and your best strategy is one you base on observation, consistent effort, and innovation. These are all qualities you already possess and practice regularly as part of owning a business. All you have to do is translate them to social media.
And if you want a helping hand, we’re here for you. Call us at 414-367-7672. We live and breathe content marketing and get pumped to share the wealth with our clients.
Caitlin Lead Copywriter
Caitlin Knudsen is a writer, editor, and food photographer based in the Midwest. With a background in nursing and decades spent writing, she is a published eBook author and knows a thing or two about communicating complex concepts in easy-to-understand language. Caitlin spends her free time developing gluten-free recipes, reading psychology books, and wrangling two pugs and a Dutch rabbit.more posts by Caitlin →
Content Marketing, Small Business
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Content Marketing, Digital Marketing
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SEO, Content Marketing