How To Use Instagram For Business In Singapore

Instagram is a valuable part of any Singapore business’ social media marketing campaign.

With over 700 million monthly active users, very little competition and an audience that is extremely engaged, Instagram has proven itself to be very useful to Singapore businesses. It gives them the ability to advertise their products to a huge audience and at minimal cost.

As of recent, Instagram made changes to its API and now allows its users to publish images to an Instagram Business Profile with the help of platforms like Sendible. And this makes the platform even more beneficial for Singapore brands that are interested in taking advantage of all it offers. Let’s discuss a few tips that both experienced businesses and startups alike can use to further their social media strategy on Instagram.

1. Be Creative

When advertising your brand on Instagram, it’s important that you spend most of your time emphasising the solution that your offer, not the actual products. Not only that, but you should demonstrate the value you offer in a way that is visually appealing as is the case with most social platforms.

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If your company specialises in offering services instead of products, then you need to show what goes into the process of delivering these services. Give your followers a look at the culture of your company. Let them know what your mission is and offer a few tips and tricks that they can use. Instagram allows you to upload videos and short videos that can last up to a minute.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is a great feature. You can use a slideshow format and make it live for 24-hours, though you could also save the video on your phone so that it could be used later. Instagram Stories is very similar to Snapchat’s Stories.

There great thing about Stories is that they are displayed at the top of timelines just below Instagram’s logo. They can capture all of the content that doesn’t necessarily need to be high quality. They make it much easier to experiment with diverse content types such as short video, photo, GIF, Rewind, and live video. They make your tags stand out which makes it easier to get influencer’s attention. Also, you can make fun edits n-the-go, they are more discoverable, you’re able to add as many as you want, and you can use Instagram Stories ads to add CTAs to all of your collages.

2. Create a winning profile

Many Singapore companies make the mistake of crowding all of their services into the 150 characters that they are given. They assume that the more details they give about their company, the more people they will be able to appeal to. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. And in many instances, it may do more harm than good.

Sure, your company may provide a lot of services, but for the purpose of your profile, you should focus on the most important solution that you offer. You could also use this space to talk about your next big thing, promotion, event, or product launch. Also, use the link in your description to your advantage. Many Singapore companies only use this space for the URL to their website. However, you should update this link often with things like your app downloads, your latest offer, or event announcements.

3. Take them behind the scene

Keep in mind that many of your customers will be curious about where your products come from. Use Instagram to show them the entire lifecycle of the product. This is especially the case if your company offers products that are environmentally friendly or are FairTrade. Take photos of your materials, the production and the distribution. If you are unsure about what to post or are still in the startup phase of your business, then you could always post images of the planning that is going into new products. Show them the process of your brainstorming. For example, you may share sketches you’ve done, notes, blackboards. The key is to find out which of these types of images resonates most with your audience.

4. Use hashtags to expand your reach

Hashtags are a very important part of marketing on Instagram. It’s what helps to attract the right audiences to your feed,  so they can expand your reach. Whether you choose to make your hashtags specific to your campaign or general, just remember to make sure that they are relevant and occasionally include your brand name. This way, people can more easily find your content.

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When creating your hashtags, it’s a good idea to use between 3 to 5 hashtags, though you are allowed to add as many as 30 per post. Also, the more campaign specific your hashtags are, the more popular they are likely to become. Some of the most popular hashtags are #instagood or #tbt, also known as Throwback Thursday. Remember to also include those that are specific to your industry. For instance, if your company is in the IT field, use #IT or #tech.

5. Mention and collaborate with others

Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for collaborations. For example, even if your company doesn’t officially work with a certain non-profit organisation, you can always donate to or hold a fundraiser for them a few times a year. Just make sure that the collaborations you involve your company in align with your values and mission. You should also consider the fact that not every organisation, company, or influencer monitors their hashtags, so it’s a good idea to tag the account if you want them to notice you.

You may also get their attention with a “shoutout.” A shoutout is a term that refers to two or more companies teaming up to promote each other’s products or services. In most cases, these companies have roughly the same amount of followers but the goal is to increase the companies’ exposure.

There are some instances in which these shoutouts may be paid. Paid shoutouts are normally done when a company has a large budget and it’s deemed to be an influencer campaign. In this case, a smaller company would pay the larger company, or popular influencer, to promote their products or services. This is a good way to quickly increase your number of followers.

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6. Use exclusive offers to build anticipation

If you want to get the most out of your Instagram campaign, then you need to make sure that you work to keep your customers interested and engaged. And this means that you will need to make them feel as if they are getting an exclusive look into your business. So reward your most loyal followers with content that is exclusive. Make sure that they are the first to know about your newest products. Let them be the first to receive invites to your latest event.  Clue them in whenever you plan to offer a new service. You can also create teaser images so that it can build the anticipation for your new releases or store openings. This type of insider information is what will make your followers feel special and ensure that they keep them coming back.

7. Analyse your success and build upon it

Now that you have started your Instagram campaign, you need to make sure that you monitor and analyse it.  Sure, you can always read the latest Instagram guide to find out which techniques and methods work best for other business, however, you will achieve the best results by doing what works best for your business. And that’s because every business and industry is different.

So not only do you need to know that a certain technique worked, but you need to know why it worked. This way, you can duplicate your actions in your next campaign. So do a lot of A/B testing to find out what your users like. Make sure that you take thorough notes about what worked and what did not. Luckily, Instagram is a platform that offers analytics tool to help you avoid all of the guesswork. These tools allow you to schedule your campaigns in advance and measure their level of success. Always monitor your follower count, clicks, and engagement so that you can make changes as needed.

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While Instagram is a great place to advertise your business, many Singapore businesses fail to integrate it fully into their marketing plan. And if they do use Instagram, it’s done very passively and only to promote their latest products. The key to getting the most out of this platform is to promote value and solutions, not your products. You should also be aware of which features will help you to best communicate with your audience.

Be creative with your campaign and create Instagram Stories. Make sure that you update your profile so that they reflect the latest events, products launches, and services. Give your audience an inside look at what goes into making your products and getting it out to them.  Use hashtags to ensure that your audience is able to easily find you. Participate in collaboration so that you can expand your audience. Offer your followers insider information. And then test and analyse your strategies so that you can tweak and make them better.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.

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