Businesses are flocking to Instagram, but you may be wondering how exactly it can help your business. We’ve got some more tips on how to use your images and videos to super charge your company’s presence on Instagram.
First, a major misconception about Instagram is that you have to sell something that is visually appealing. However, selling unsexy products or being a service provider is NOT a reason to avoid Instagram. Instead, it should be a reason for you to be creative. The goal is to find valuable, compelling, or entertaining images to share with your audience. If you are unable to show products, what should you put on Instagram? The answer is “Your Culture!”
Photos of employees and their customized work areas always rank well on Instagram. You can also post pictures of your company’s celebrations. Things like holiday celebrations and company anniversaries show the human side of your business. It also emphasizes your focus on employees. If your company participates in any volunteer programs, you can share your involvement in the community with your followers. By showing this side of your company, you make your business more attractive and instill trust in potential customers.
Now, some of you are thinking – we are a serious business. We do not mean to distract from the serious work you do, but do not be afraid to use humor. Everyone knows that running a business requires hard work, dedication, and sweat. However, it should never be all work and no play. Instagram is actually the perfect place to display the fun times in the shop or when you are out and about with coworkers.
Sharing your fun images with followers speaks volumes about you and your business. It suggests that you must be a happy and successful business. All work and no play will make your brand seem dull. Integrate images that show your human side to create stronger connections with your followers.
Have you considered how Instagram can work with Facebook to leverage photo contests? Your business can host a photo contest on Instagram using hashtags to organize submissions and an RSS feed to follow along as new photos are added.
Instagram has tips on hosting a photo campaign as well as other business ideas in their help section. Go to “help – dot – Instagram – dot – com. Then choose “Instagram Basics” and then “Instagram for Businesses.”
You may be aware that Facebook purchased Instagram in early 2012. Since then, Instagram has doubled its user base. Even more impressive is that the app now has more smartphone users than Twitter! You can leverage that to help your business. Together Instagram and Facebook offer some unique promotional opportunities, so take advantage of that.
To reach a wider audience, create an Instagram video and share it on your Facebook page. Then boost the video into paid media that hits the Facebook news feed. It’s what you would do to boost any text or photo post on Facebook. This enables you to reach Facebook’s 818 million monthly active mobile users. Basically, you are profiting from Instagram without having to advertise on Instagram. It’s all about capturing and sharing the world’s moments—and paying to distribute them on the world’s largest social network.
Also, you should use industry-related hashtags. If you are at an event or location that is designated by a hashtag – something like #autorama – be sure to add it to your photos so event coordinators and other attendees can find them.
You can track your hashtags with several services. One fee-based service – Nitrogram – specifically tracks Instagram hashtags and provides key metrics on hashtags including contributors, content, engagement and context.
Widen your exposure by following related brands on Instagram. Statigram is a free tool for finding brands and hashtags that relate to your brand. Simply enter the brand name or hashtag into the search box and click Search. As an example, we found 50 hashtags for “Autorama.” You can use Statigram to search for businesses and industry-related keywords. Use this free tool to find, follow and research your competitors on Instagram. Spend five minutes on the site and you’ll find at least one idea to help spread the word about your business.
Instagram can work wonders for your brand if you know how to use it, so take our advice and start posting today.