Over the last three years, Instagram’s popularity has grown by leaps and bounds. Last winter, it was announced that they beat Twitter for the first time in monthly active users (MAUs). It started as a photo sharing app, but has become a source for short videos and also serves as a marketing tool.
Businesses have been using instagram not only to promote their products but also to show the human side of the company and employees. It also has served as a content creation tool, because an image can be shared across several popular social networks.
Here are nine tips to help your business be successful on Instagram.
1) Fill out your Instagram Biography
Just like your Twitter biography, this is the first thing a user will see. Let them know the name of your business, the products and services that you offer and any other pertinent information. Include any type of slogans or hashtags that you’ve already used in prior marketing campaigns.
2) Use your Business Name as the User ID
When you select an account name, try to select the name of your business. If you own Tom’s Pizza in Wareham, try to select TomsPizza or TomsPizzaWareham. Don’t create the name, “HotPizzaYum.” That name won’t help consumers identify your business to the instagram account. Marketing with any social media account is about building name recognition for your business so make your name clear.
3) Have a Public Profile
You are using Instagram to help build your brand’s presence, to do that you need to have an account that can be seen by everyone. A public account can be viewed and engaged with by a global audience. A private account only allows certain people to see your posts. A public account has a better chance of an image or video gaining popularity through social media than an image that is posted on a private account.
4) Create and be Aware of Hashtags
Hashtags are really important in social media marketing. As important as it is to follow national trends with hashtag popularity, it’s also important to try and create your own trending hashtags. On Instagram they are a great way of curating images to specific topics that people can search for.
5) Don’t Forget to Use the Video Function
Instagram use to be strictly a photo sharing app. However, once Vine introduced an eight second video feature, Instagram quickly developed a 13 second video feature. Why should you share a video? Video content is some of the most viewed content online. They are also a great way for your business to reiterate its slogans and promotions. You also can use it to...
6) ...Introduce Yourself and Employees
Show the human side of your business. Post photos and videos of your team on Instagram. The videos could be just introductions or it could be employees talking about some of their favorite products or services. The content can help make your team seem familiar so when customers come in they aren’t afraid to ask questions. It also introduces your products to consumers who are watching.
7) Have Fun with the Filters
Part of the fun of Instagram is that it makes photo manipulation easy. You can make a photo look vintage or vibrant. You can turn the colors soft or transform them into shades of black and white. It allows novices to feel like experienced photographers. Filters are a great way to take a generic photo and give it some style. However, filters can’t save every photo. So it’s important to...
8) ...Take Good Photos
A filter may be able to improve a dark photo, but it won’t allow any drastic color or lighting changes to fix disasters. It also won’t be able to make an out of focus image shine. There are features built into your smartphones and tablets that can help you take better photos. The better your original photo, the more compelling your Instagramed image will be.
9) Have URL’s Ready
Instagram is a tool that can only be used as a mobile app and has no desktop application, it’s a little harder to include your website or other promotional site. But it’s a necessity. Mobile web traffic is growing every year, so you need to make sure that your great promotional photo helps spur visits to your website. A quick way to do this is send yourself an email with the URL. Then every time you want to include that url with a picture, open the email and copy the address. With three taps of your finger you’ll be able to consistently market your online presence.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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