Tips for Using Instagram for Business.

Instagram was born in October 2010, but no one could have predicted its exponential growth.

Instagram is impressive, but despite all the unique features of Instagram, businesses still have questions about what to make of it.

Celebrities have it easy when it comes to followers as they already have fans who want to connect via Instagram immediately. Big Brands like Nike, Oreo, Audi, Capital One, Virgin etc. also have loyal customers who immediately want to connect, so they gain fans all the time.

Don’t be discouraged, there are a lot of smaller firms that make it big on Instagram, but time is what you need. This isn’t going to be a quick marketing fix. This is just another way you can start sharing good content with people who love your brand.

Tips to Get Started on Instagram

Creating your username – Make sure throughout all your social presence you have consistency within your usernames. i.e: if your business is called “LS Consultancy” your Instagram account name should short and something that can be remembered, for example: @LSCPROM not @LSConsultancy. Longer names, or even funny names can diminish your social presence.

It’s not LinkedIn – Fill out your bio strategically, it’s much more casual. That means there’s no need for you to write a boring bio full of business jargon. Instead, opt for a more lighthearted feel to humanize your brand. Think about your ideal customer, and write your bio in a way that appeals to them. As far as formatting, you can use emojis, vertical spacing, and other tricks to help your bio stand out from the crowd. That said, while it’s good to be creative, you shouldn’t sacrifice clarity for the sake of creativity. Make sure your bio states what your company does and allows the users to view your profile to immediately understand your offering.

Don’t just use the mobile app – Just because Instagram started as a mobile app doesn’t mean that you have to process your images or even create posts from the app anymore.

Don’t over post – Seems self-explanatory, but for those new to Instagram, over-posting is a big no-no! People don’t want to see photo feeds cluttered with posts from one person, that’s when your posts go from enjoyable to migraine-inducing, and your followers lose interest and visit your page for the last time to unsubscribe for life. We would suggest posting 3 pictures a week to start with. And when you start to build more of a following you can share more and more. Quality over quantity. Be mindful of what you post and make it look awesome. Spend time on your content so users will want to share it with their friends.

Find the beauty in your brand Take photographs in the office or of your work environment to give your followers a sneak-peak into the day-to-day of your company’s unique culture. Take some pride in your shot. People aren’t going to like your picture or follow you if they know you didn’t spend the time to post something worthy.

Following –Interact with your followers and the people you want to follow you. Follow people that are in your space or niche, and they will probably follow you back. Follow people whose pictures interest you. The more active you are, the more exposed your username/account is to the owner and owner’s followers. So search popular hashtags and like away! Write complementary comments on peoples post and #regram images while giving credit to the original post.

Hashtagging – It’s ok to throw a few #hashtags in your Instagram posts. Your pictures will then be added to searchable lists of other pictures that have the same #hashtag. Just remember…Don’t over #hastag otherwise you look desperate.

Introduce new employees – You may have a face is pretty, but users do not need to see 1000s of pictures of you in a row. Whenever you hire a new employee, take a photo of him or her and post it to Instagram.  Doing so helps your followers to build personal relationships with your team, while also filling your feed with content that isn’t directly self-promotional.

Post at peak times – Timing is everything when it comes to social media. Ask yourself “what time will I get the most engagement from my followers?” As you post on Instagram, pay attention to the times during the day when your images receive the most likes and comments.  Use the trends you’ve identified to be sure you’re posting at peak times when you’ll be most likely to reach members of your audience.

Experiment with video – Instagram has introduced the ability to share video clips alongside the platform’s static photos.  To give it a try, use the movie camera icon within Instagram to record up to 15 seconds of footage and then apply a video-specific filter to improve its look.

Author: Christopher Hall

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