Do you use Instagram for your business? Or have you ever wondered how to use it to your company’s advantage?
Day by day, Instagram is becoming an extremely popular social media channel. Let’s put that into perspective for you:
Instagram has 300 million monthly users. Plenty of those users are businesses and brands. Maybe one of those 300 million monthly users is your personal Instagram account. And if it is, then that’s great–you know how to use Instagram, so you know the basics.
But if you’re not using Instagram for your business, you should probably consider it.
So, how do you get started?
We’ll take you through a few of our favorite tips so you can start rocking Instagram for your business.
How do I start?
Everybody’s got to start somewhere.
If you’re using Instagram for your business, would it not make sense for you to include information about your business?
On MarketingThink.com, Gerry Moran provided a helpful infographic about setting up “the perfect Instagram profile.” We suggest taking a peek and checking out what he has to say on creating a profile for your business on Instagram.
Of the things he mentions, here are some of the most notable:
You want your followers to know that this is an Instagram account for your company. Use your company’s logo as your profile picture.
If your company has a website, include the URL in the profile. Perhaps you could consider placing this URL in the “bio” section of the profile?
And finally, when choosing a username for the account, pick something that resembles the name of your company as closely as possible. If your company has a Twitter, why not use something similar to that Twitter handle? If you can use your company’s name then do it.
What do I post?
Photos and videos, of course.
But what kinds?
Photos and videos that tell a story about your business.
We know that Instagram is a visual social media platform. So make sure the captions to these photos and videos complement your content.
Furthermore, you might be interested in knowing that you don’t have to strictly post formal, businessey photos. You can have fun and be creative on Instagram.
You can post behind-the-scenes photos of what goes on during a typical day at your office.
Behind every company is a team of hard workers. All too often, we forget that there are actual people behind that brand.
Take the time every now and then to present that team of people to your followers.
Snap some photos of the faces that make up the team. Present your team as people who don’t just work all the time. They have interests, likes, and dislikes, just like any other human being. They laugh, live, and enjoy life.
They may attend special events–and some events for good causes. Post pictures of these to add to your company’s story.
In addition, show off what your workplace looks like.
The place where your coworkers eat lunch? Post a picture.
That tiny plant sitting on the corner of your desk? Post a picture.
You and your coworkers garbed in your fabulous tiny hats?
You get the idea.
Not only will creating such posts allow your followers to meet the faces behind the brand…
…but it will also build intimacy with your followers.
Go on. Don’t be afraid to show your followers who’s working behind the scenes of your company—and just what behind the scenes looks like in general.
They’ll enjoy seeing it.
How do I hashtag?
There are a few things to consider when it comes to hashtagging your Instagram posts.
First of all, you will want to use hashtags. You’ll want your posts to be a part of the larger conversation happening in those particular hashtags.
And aside from that, you want people to find your business. You want people to interact with your business.
You want more followers, attention, and leads from it all.
Use hashtags to get your company noticed by the Instagram world.
But how many hashtags, you ask?
And, of course, make sure that you’re using relevant hashtags. Yes, the hashtags that you use in your posts do matter, as you will see below.
I won’t lie:
I broke into a fit of the giggles when I learned this word.
In short, hashjacking occurs when someone takes a trending hashtag on Instagram and utilizes it irrelevantly in a post.
This term comes from Jenn Herman of Cision.com, who led a webinar on using Instagram for business just two days ago.
Using irrelevant hashtags in your post for the sake of promoting your brand or business is a dangerous idea. For all you know, you could wind up posting something completely irrelevant and insensitive in special trending hashtags that could be related to tragedy.
By all means, please use relevant hashtags in your posts. With extra emphasis on the word relevant.
Don’t hashjack on Instagram.
With this in mind, however, this does not mean that you can’t follow different hashtagging trends. It’s quite the opposite: you can actually use some of them to your advantage.
Here’s one of our favorite examples:
Another wise piece of advice from Jenn Herman.
If you don’t know, #TBT stands for Throwback Thursday. People who tag their posts #TBT post a picture from the past, usually from several years ago. This hashtag allows one’s followers to take a glimpse with them into the past for reminiscing purposes.
It’s a popular trend to follow, especially on Instagram.
But how many of you reading this would have thought that #TBT could be used so practically for a business?
That’s right: you can make an Instagram post and place it in the #TBT tag to give your followers a glimpse into your company’s past. To showcase your company’s humble beginnings and to talk about just how much your company has grown since then.
People love seeing things like this. I know I do.
Show your followers how proud you are of your company’s progress.
Instagram is a powerful tool for businesses. It’s more powerful than you think.
And because of this, I recommend that you take full advantage of it and create an Instagram account for your business.
Optimize your profile accordingly.
Post photos and videos that will paint a complete picture of your business, showing everything from what you produce to the team behind that hard work and production.
Use relevant hashtags, and don’t overdo it. Hop onto trends, but make sure they are appropriate trends.
Then, little by little, you’ll be Instagramming like a boss.
Do you need help managing your web marketing mayhem? If so, don’t be scared to drop us a line. We would love to give you a hand!