Instagram is one of my FAVORITE networks. I’ve been very active there and writing quite a bit about it too. Instagram has brought me great partnerships, new connections, new fans and followers and so much more.
If you are not familiar with this network or what it can do for your business, I definitely recommend exploring it more. Instagram is telling the story of your brand, business and life through photos and short video clips that in many ways look just like they were taken by a professional photographer. It is fun, very active and even addictive.
Right now, it is the fastest growing social network and named the best place to market brands in 2013.
That trend continues. There are 150 million monthly active members, and over 55 million photos shared everyday on average.
First let me explain the very basics and then I will share my 6 Tips to Help You Get Started on Instagram for Your Business:
The Very Basics: First you will need to download the Instagram App onto your smart phone device. I have an iPhone, so I downloaded it from iTunes. It’s completely FREE.
After you’ve downloaded your app and it is ready to go, click on it, open it up and then set up an your account. You can either choose your personal name or your business name depending on how you want to do this. Mine is my personal name. This is important, so choose wisely. This is not something you can change.
Now for my 6 tips:
1. Upload a Profile Photo. Choose one that represents your business and brand personality. This is very important. You can also use a logo too. However, I tend to recommend that you choose a photo of yourself. People like to connect with people. Unless you are a HUGE brand like Apple or Pepsi, you might want to consider using a gorgeous photo of yourself.
2. Write a Dynamic Bio. This is something that you can change and tweak. I’ve tweaked mine several times in just months. But do your best to speak simply and powerfully about who you are and what you do. I use my Instagram account for personal and business use. I combine them both nicely. I also use emoticans for fun and a little more pizazz. I find that some businesses aren’t as exciting as others and in this case you might want to bring yourself into it verse just your business. Get my drift?
For example, If you are an insurance agent, well no offense, but you might want to put the focus on who you are as a person and then incorporate your business into your strategy here and there rather than putting all the focus on being an insurance agent. On the other hand, if you sell adorable children’s clothing, well that is fun and I would center your Instagram marketing strategy around your business and then do the opposite of what I recommended for the insurance agent. In this case, the focus is on your business and then you can add yourself in there just a bit. Make sense? There is a big subtle difference here and it is very important to your overall success and strategy.
3. Get Comfortable. Understanding how to use Instagram for your business may seem daunting at first and you might feel lost. It’s okay. Explore a little bit before you announce your on Instagram to your clients and fans. Take some photos, read a little bit more about how to use it for your business or even take an online marketing course. (I am offering one…see below.) Instagram can be an extremely lucrative marketing vehicle for you. But, you will want to know what you are doing first. Then after you feel comfortable then implement step #4.
4. Invite People to Follow You. Go ahead and connect your profile to all your other networks and profiles. This will allow others to see that you are on Instagram when they explore other social sites. Also, you may even want to make an announcement by sending an email to your clients, leads, friends and other fans. You will want to add an Instagram icon to your website and to your email signature as well. Below is what I use on my website in the right side bar next to my blog and other pages of my website to encourage new followers. (There are plugins that you can use as well. They will rotate your photos, however I found they interfered with other plugins on my site, so I just use this static collage that I created and linked it to my profile.)
5. Follow Popular People in Your Niche: I recommend following other powerhouses in your niche and industry. This will help you get ideas as well as connect with their fans and followers too.
6. Use a Description and Hashtags When Posting Your Photos. Hashtags are great on Instagram. It’s truly amazing. You can post a photo and literally have no fans and in seconds have several likes and even comments. So, understand how to use hashtags and get to know your top 10 related to your niche. Use them appropriately and don’t over do it. This will be a big part of your strategy when growing your fans.
Will you be incorporating Instagram into your social media marketing strategy in 2014? I’d love to know and if you do, please hop over and say hello. I’d love to connect with you and your business.
Cheers, Love and Success,
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Amanda BrazelOwner/Expert Social Media Manager for Small Business. Read More.
Amanda Brazel | Digital Media Marketing Done For You