Instagram for your business
Like many visual social platforms there are many skeptics who don't see the real value behind Instagram as a marketing tool. While it won't work for every business,…
Instagram For Your Business Instagram For Why Instagram? Your Business Why Instagram? 1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Do you have a product that you can display in a really visual dynamic way? Do you have a service that some great photos can highlight in an emotionally charged, dramatic manner? Most people like to look at interesting images and if you can “draw” them in with a photo that is an “ad” but isn’t, it could end up worth as much as some of the best advertising campaigns out there. Why Instagram? 2. Instagram Can Offer A Behind the Scenes Look A photo of your product being made or the service you offer being performed from the perspective of an “insider” can really intrigue and fascinate potential customers and clients. This is one of the reasons why television is packed with shows of people working at interesting jobs. It’s human nature to be curious about what’s going on “behind the curtain”. Why Instagram? 3. It Encourages Customer Participation Why not encourage igers, (instagram users), to share photos of themselves using your product or service, if appropriate? This is why people love it so much and the more fun exchanges they have with your business in social media the greater chance they will end up spending money with you and encouraging their whole social circle to as well! *Sample Brands Being Shared on Instagram* Why Instagram? 4. Instagram Allows You To Build a Personality for Your Business Instagram should be an intricate part of building a distinct and winning personality for your business. Combined with other forms of social media, your website and your advertising, you are given a great opportunity for molding how your business is perceived by your customers and potential leads. Why Instagram? 5. Trust Building The online experience can take a human face away from our business interactions. This is a bad thing if you are looking to build trust in what you offer. Instagram lets you put a face, literally, on your efforts and in ways that can be targeted to help build confidence in you. This is a very good thing. TIP: Don’t neglect the occasional happy go lucky photos which can go a long way in this direction. Why Instagram? 6. Instagram Keeps Your Name In Conversation Holding Instagram contests. Instagram is the ideal platform to hold contests to promote your business. The options are only limited by your imagination. “The best photo shared featuring what you offer receives a free product” is a popular formula that works again and again. Contests are a great way to get Instagram users and other lovers of social media talking about you and what you do! Why Instagram? 7. Instagram Helps Promote Special Events Are you planning on going to a trade show or something similar? Promote the fact you are going, on Instagram, to draw support and interest in your attending. During and afterward, document your trip with cool and fun Instagram photo shares. Focus on some containing yourself and customers or other business associates. Nearly everyone loves this type of fun attention. People also don’t like to feel like they are missing out on something so they may be interested to rock up at your next show to experience the adventure in person. Why Instagram? 8. The Chance To Go Viral Think company mascots, pets, adorable babies or animals doing funny things around your logo.It only takes one home run to change the public profile of your business forever so don’t laugh this off. It’s also a nice thing to encourage employees or friends and family to participate in sharing the word about your business.Yes, one cute kitten photo shared for free can equal tens of thousands of dollars of advertising. Welcome to the age of social media. Learn how to use Instagram along with the other more obvious platforms and become a social marketing guru of the digital age! **IDEA ALERT** Grandstand could play on the term “pint sized” and feature cute small animals like hedgehogs, puppies, kitties, turtles, etc. next to a pint glass. Instagram For How to Use Your Business How to Use Instagram - Notifications • At the start of your Instagram journey, no-one will be talking to or following you. • A key to good business is responding to your customers, enable notifications so you can see when people share or comment on your photos. This will let you engage with them more quickly – just like a lot of companies do on Twitter. You can also use image based responses to show you are taking their communications with you seriously. How to Use Instagram – Get Connected • Instagram isn’t just about internal photo love; you can also share your uploads on other social networks. Boosting their reach, and improving the likelihood that you’ll get people responding to them. • Go ahead and link Instagram to Twitter and Facebook. How to Use Instagram – Editing Photos • • • Open the Instagram app to start up your camera or choose a photo from the gallery. Then give your image the professional touch by using Instagram’s built-in filters. You can brighten colors, change pictures to sepia, enrich the overall look, rotate, crop and change the image focus. Be innovative. One example might be to brand your photos so they all have your logo attached. A simple way to do this would be to have a small printed out logo to hold up (by hand) in the corner of your shot as you take it. This is the business equivalent of those classic photos where people take photos of their feet in exotic locations. Have you seen anyone else do this? Nope. That’s the point. Don’t rely on your profile to extend your brand, make it a part of everything you produce. How to Use Instagram – Sharing Step 1. • • Add a caption to your photo and upload it. A good tip for business users is to ask questions in your captions to increase the possibilities for engagement. As mentioned above, asking questions increases engagement. If you have a brick and mortar business, ask people which locations they’ve visited. If you run an online business, include a URL in the comments that interested viewers copy and paste into their mobile browser. How to Use Instagram – Sharing Step 2. • • • Now that you’ve uploaded your first photo, try it again, but this time, to give your photo more reach – add a hashtag. Hashtags have become part of the social media landscape (not just Twitter). They are a key tool for organizing your photos and helping Instagram users to find photos on topics that interest them (such as your products). Add hashtags to your captions to see engagement grow. Establish hashtags for your business from the start, so that you can provide consistency and something customers can memorize. How to Use Instagram – Hashtags 25 Most Popular #Hashtags on Instagram 1. #love - 143,817,139 photos 2. #instagood - 97,570,915 photos 3. #me - 80,693,198 photos 4. #tbt - 75,411,509 photos 5. #cute - 75,047,873 photos 6. #photooftheday - 70,995,806 photos 7. #instamood - 64,925,462 photos 8. #beautiful - 54,570,181 photos 9. #picoftheday - 53,776,027 photos 10. #igers - 52,997,258 photos 11. #girl - 52,960,538 photos 12. #instadaily - 51,313,415 photos 13. #iphonesia - 51,124,375 photos 14. #follow - 46,372,281 photos 15. #tweegram - 44,656,230 photos 16. #happy - 43,360,681 photos 17. #summer - 42,718,347 photos 18. #instagramhub - 42,101,798 photos 19. #bestoftheday - 40,202,550 photos 20. #iphoneonly - 39,287,795 photos 21. #igdaily - 36,932,129 photos 22. #fashion - 35,815,277 photos 23. #webstagram - 35,073,684 photos • • • It’s very important to use a mix of #HASHTAGS related to your business as well as Trending/Popular hashtags. Not Sure What to Tag? Go To http://www.tagsforlikes.com/ to see full “tag blocks” that you can copy and paste directly into Instagram to increase your likes and reach. Tags for Likes also has an app, so be sure to download it! Another tag site is http://www.tagstagram.com/ . This is a newer site but they also have an app available for download. How to Use Instagram – Finding Followers • • • Now that you have a few photos on your Instagram page, find and follow compatible users. Instagram has a built in tool to help you find people which works particularly well with Facebook. Again you should rely on hashtags. This time, use them to find people that are discussing/sharing photos relevant to your business. If your Facebook or Twitter followers are busines focused you can search to see if they are on Instagram, broadening your sphere of connectivity with them How to Use Instagram – Finding Followers • Since your customers also use the caption and tagging features in Instagram, it’s easy for you to search and see who’s already using your product or visiting your business. There is a ready-made fan base for you to interact with. How to Use Instagram – Your Profile • • • • Much to the delight of fans, Instagram recently introduced web profiles. Yours will be http://instagram.com/[yourusername] Have a look at your profile and see if it represents your brand well, once it does, get sharing this new profile URL. Add some of your business personality to your profile. This can include having an image of your office or employees, or your logo, rather than personal profiles which often have a photo of the user. How to Use Instagram – What to Post? • • • • To make the most of Instagram, avoid generic, posed photos that have zero personality. Photos that look like they are taken on the fly or those that are a bit wacky tend to do better. Cute photos of animals or flowers can work well too (but are probably best saved for times when you need to inject some personality into your brand) Many companies use different social networks to create different experiences. LinkedIn for business discussions and lead gen, Twitter for content marketing updates and customer conversations, and Facebook for more fun company culture based updates. Instagram is also perfect to help your Facebook account by capturing funny moments on the fly and push them to Facebook to brighten up your presence there. How to Use Instagram – What to Post? • • • • • Because it’s so visual, Instagram is an excellent tool for marketing and promoting your business. Some of the ways you can do this include: Hosting a photo contest. Documenting the projects you undertake so everyone can see your expertise. Show context of use: Instead of just using standard shots of your product, try showing people using it to illustrate the benefits of doing so, and that you have a customer base. How to Use Instagram – What to Post? • • • • Instagram can also help you improve what you offer customers. Consider: Asking customers to post their own photos of your product or service and then showcasing them. Showcasing a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your business, including employees, product development and more. If you make a mistake, issue a different style of apology, perhaps a photo of your CEO holding a piece of paper saying “I’m Sorry”. Then include a comment with more details and a link to a landing page that has a more formal letter. How to Use Instagram – Strategy • • • • Like other social networks, using Instagram successfully means interacting with others. That means liking other users’ photos (by double tapping in the app), commenting on them, mentioning them by name when you post something interesting (using @ plus the username) and responding to their comments. Post consistently, but don’t overdo it: thou shalt not spam! Be authentic and engagement will follow. If you’ve successfully grown your followers based on customers or leads from your other networks, make sure you engage with them regularly, with comments and likes on their photos, to keep you top of mind. **CROSSPROMOTE!** How to Use Instagram – Location Services • • • • • As a business, you probably want to take advantage of local traffic and Instagram works well for this. Take a photo of your business, tap the ‘where’ field, locate your business and upload your photo. You can also pin photos to maps (shown opposite). For example showing where people are using your products or services. This will help you to make local connections. Bring customers to you. If you make updates based on a geographical location, mention that you’ll be there and to come on down for a free prize giveaway – bringing customers directly to your store. How to Use Instagram – Analytics • As with any social site, you need to know what people are responding to and how so you need analytics. A good option is the free Instagram Analytics report on Simply Measured. • Like any marketing endeavor, you need to know what your goals are. Is it sales, or increased brand awareness. If it’s a tangible goal such as sales then you need to track and report on it to see if this channel is a viable marketing tool for your company. **It will ask you to post or tweet that you are using the service in order to receive your report. Use a personal account to do this, NOT your business accounts.** Instagram For Brands Who Get It Your Business Brands Doing It Right On Instagram • Deschutes Brewery is consistently posting beautiful images of everything from mountain landscapes to beers to barrels full of hops that keep followers engaged. Brands Doing It Right On Instagram • Whole Foods Brands Doing It Right On Instagram • McKay Flooring. • Proof that you don’t need to be a big brand to have a successful Instagram campaign. Brands Doing It Right On Instagram • Redbull (of course.) • Red Bull, not surprisingly, has a cool Instagram account filled with high-quality action shots of people doing sports ranging from snow boarding, to surfing, to rock climbing. Brands Doing It Right On Instagram • Starbucks. • Starbucks has the most User Generated content on Instagram. Brands Doing It Right On Instagram • Taco Bell.