If you are looking for new channels to reach customers and you have no Instagram profile, it is high time to change this! Instagram is the world of photos, movies, pictures, but it is also a huge purchasing potential of your potential recipients. According to data presented by Instagram, 200 million users log onto the portal at least once a day, and for 60% of them, Instagram is the first place to learn about new products. Lean with us how to take advantage of this.

Instagram is mainly a mobile application (there is a desktop version too but with vastly reduced functionality and hard to use) where one can upload photos, but also videos. What is important, similarly to FB, Instagram has a predefined algorithm for displaying the feed and this is why it is so important for the content to be engaging for your recipients.

How to create an Instagram account?

1. Go to the website: instagram.com

2. Click on Register, enter your e-mail address, create the username and password or click on Login via Facebook to register using your Facebook account.

3. If you want to create an account using your e-mail address, click on the Register option. If you create an account using Facebook, you will receive a request to log into your Facebook account, if you are not currently logged in.

If you register using your e-mail address, make sure it was correctly entered and nobody else has access to it. If you log out and forget the password, you will need access to the electronic mail account linked to the e-mail address to recover access to the Instagram account.

What pieces of information shall be supplied?

Supplement the profile:

  • add the profile photo – necessarily one that is legible despite the small size and can be immediately recognized as the one associated with your school’s profile.
  • embed the name in the description – you cannot embed everything in the username so this is where you can supply the full name of your school. It will also be displayed in search results.
  • description, so-called bio – you can use up to 150 characters. This must show your school in a nutshell, but also a catchy slogan, owing to which a person visiting your profile will be willing to follow you.
  • link – this is the only clickable link across the entire Instagram, which takes users outside the application so it is worthwhile to think what is placed under the link. Perhaps for a start this will be simply a link to your website, but with time it is worthwhile to think about creating a dedicated landing page for this purpose.
  • a few first posts – add the first few photos at once. Let the people visiting your profile „get” something for a start to know whether it is worthwhile to follow you.

Settings (all options are available only on the mobile version):

  • linkage to other profiles in social media – using this options you can link your Instagram account to FB and Twitter accounts. Owing to this, when publishing at Insta you can automatically share the same content e.g at FB. Nevertheless, I do not recommend this 🙂 texts and photos are formatted differently on those two portals and so in my opinion even if you want to upload the same material to either portal, do so separately.
  • push messages – this is where you can set up what events Instagram is going to send you notifications of.
  • privacy – this is where you define who may comment on or share your feed.

Instagram business account

Under this medium, you can use several account types. Here they are:

  • private – the materials published by you can be only viewed by the people you approved for following you,
  • public – an account of a private person, but the materials are publicly accessible to the Instagram community,
  • creator – made with influencers in mind (you can find more about this option in our article: http://blog.langlion.com/en/influence-marketing-or-how-to-promote-a-school-owing-to-popularity-of-others-3-case-studies/ ,
  • business – by activating this type of account, you will gain access to statistics, ad-buying, or use of Shopping function. Activation is very simple; follow the Instagram guide and go through subsequent steps:
  1. Go to your profile and tap upon the icon in the top right corner.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Account position.
  4. Tap Switch to Professional Account.
  5. Tap Business.
  6. If you wish so, you can perform subsequent actions related to merging the professional account with the Facebook page linked to your company. This step is optional. It will make it easier for you to use all functions in Facebook applications available to companies. Presently you can link only a single Facebook page to the professional account.
  7. Add details, e.g. the company category and contact information.
  8. Tap Done button.

What content can be placed on Instagram?

  • photos – you can take them from the Instagram level or select them from a phone gallery. Remember, Instagram likes aesthetics 🙂 The photos should be sized within 1080×1350 pixels for portraits and 1080×1080 pixels for the standard Instagram square 🙂
  • galleries – you can place within a single post a maximum of 10 photos and movies, which will be displayed after being swept by the user. Owing to such limitation you will not overwhelm your users with several posts at once (which can bore them, but also the algorithm is not going to work to your advantage), but if the first image/video is interesting, they will certainly watch the subsequent ones in so-called „carousel”.
  • videos – those appearing in your feed may last between 3 and 60 seconds.
  • Instagram Stories – in other words, Coverage (they are concealed under those circles with profile photos above your feed). Instagram does everything to make them the first materials a user is willing to open. The stories disappear after 24 hours (although it is possible to attach them permanently).
  • live – on the wave of popularity of live coverage, it also appeared on Instagram. Owing to this functionality you can build an involved community directly here. Currently, Live can be recorded, and the recording appears in the IGTV format.
  • IGTV – a longer video format, which appears in the feed. If 60 seconds is not long enough you can play with a longer form and feed the entire video in the IGTV format. I feel it is not very popular (and that is why Live is currently recorded in this format because Instagram is trying to promote this tool).

Inform about your profile on other channels!

Nobody is going to learn about your Instagram presence on their own. Therefore, you have to use other channels to reach your community and inform them you have an Instagram profile. For this purpose, use your website, send it via the electronic register and encourage people to follow you, and necessarily share the information at your FB. You can also take advantage of paid promotion from at FB and direct it to your Instagram account. Let a broad community put the wind in your sails.

How can you use Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are highly informal in character; they are intended to show the true face of a given brand. You can use their potential to familiarize the community with the backstage of your school’s work, vocabulary teaching or total immersion for your students. The idea matters most 🙂 Become inspired by other brands, take care of the aesthetics and don’t be afraid to speak to the camera 🙂

How to expand the reach?

  1. First of all, you need to have an idea of how you want to run your Instagram channel. The more engaging is your content is and after uploading receives responses and comments, the higher in the feed your next content is going to show. But do not impose too much pressure on yourself. Play with the form, try to take nice, aesthetic photos accordant to Instagram trends (I recommend observing several company profiles as an inspiration).
  2. Place locations in the posts in the coverage. Instagram users often search by a given location. This will make the search easier for your students.
  3. Use hashtags popular for your industry, both next to the posts and in the stories. Similarly to the location, users search Instagram by hashtags to find the content of interest for them. Moreover, create your own individual hashtag and encourage your students to use it in social media.
  4. Offline call-to-action – if you think about a small overhaul of your school, try to create Instagram-friendly spaces or places in your school, i.e. ones that are so aesthetically-pleasing that they deserve to be photographed. What is important, post next to the photos a call for the placement of the photos with your location and hashtag, i.e. in the form of table stickers, in the waiting room or garden – if you have one in the school.
  5. Share the tags of your profile – if you use the idea above, or e.g. if your student tags your school in a post or story, you need to share such post. Owing to this, more people are going to tag you and it will create for you authentic and engaging content without much of your involvement.
  6. Try Instagram Ads – if some of your posts is engaging, it is worthwhile to promote it using paid advertising to reach a wider group of recipients.

Despite its casual form, Instragram continues to prove to be currently one of the biggest channels to reach recipients, particularly millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Z generation (born between 1997 and 2012). It would be a pity not to utilize this potential, which will help you to build a credible brand and eventually win new customers.