The August EGO digital column, if you’re in Aberystwyth or Aberaeron you may have read this already!

If you run a business and have an active presence online, you should be thinking about Instagram and using stories. Instagram is often referred to as a social media platform that is used for discovering new products or inspiring users to purchase, and with 1 billion monthly active users, there’s a lot of potential customers out there. Of course, it won’t work for everyone or suit every type of venture, so do a little research first (check out your competition or similar businesses in your field perhaps) and don’t spread yourself too thin.

Always remember that visuals are a universal language, and when it comes to Instagram, visual is key. It was created to be a beautiful platform, so bear that in mind. Try and make your posts look fairly uniform (even themed) – be that the same sort of style (e.g. monochrome) or using the same filters and frames. Some great examples of “themed” feeds are @minimaliststyle and @mattcrump.

As with any social platform, diversify your feed and story – don’t constantly “sell sell sell” in every post, but let your audience see aspects of the business that they wouldn’t normally see – behind the scenes, as it were.

Remember to hashtag! Not only does it help to categorise your content (for example, #websitedesign), but just 1 hashtag can increase your engagement by 12%. Top tip – write your message then leave a good gap before hashtagging.

The Instagram algorithm is a difficult beast, so make sure you have the time to be active on the platform – chat to people, visit other profiles – the more time you invest, the happier the algorithm will be with you.

Don’t forget to make sure you’ve ticked off the essentials too – a business profile enables you to add a call to action, contact information and website. Make sure your profile picture is clear and fill your biography with important details about your business. Also make full use of insights, utilise the stories to their full potential and use the ads platform as well.

This is only scratching the surface of some of my top tips and advice for Insta, so if you want to chat further, get in touch!