At first glance, Instagram isn’t the most obvious business tool out of the top social media networks. It’s all pictures, isn’t it?
Well, yes. And pictures truly can be worth more than a thousand words. Instagram gives you a brand new audience, more visually orientated, which is more prone to ‘likes’ and positive comments than the other networks. People are far more likely to post a picture of something beautiful than something to moan about. It’s a ‘glass half full’ kind of social network.
Lots of businesses use Instagram and it’s easier to take advantage of than you might think. If you sell anything at all (so long as it’s legal and doesn’t break any decency laws…), take pictures (in good light, naturally!) and post away. Think about angles, colours, new products, etc. What are your fans going to want to see?
If you make or fix things, take pictures! If you have just redesigned someone’s garden, take a bloody picture! If you run an event, post a logo, or a picture of the last one, or design an image to promote the next one (we at 155 Creative can certainly advise on this!).
And talking of fans, make sure your account is following anyone who might vaguely be interested in your business. Search hashtags to find customers who might like your products, or services, or live locally (make sure to search the hashtag for your town, for example). Some are bound to follow you back.
Make use of those same hashtags when you come to post pictures. These hashtags will help you reach out to people who aren’t necessarily following you, but are doing their own searches on particular terms. Use your town name, your product name, any brand names. Look around and see what everyone else is doing and it will soon start to make sense.
One common gimmick is to do competitions. Post a picture with ‘like and share to enter’ or ‘like and tag three friends to enter’ – that way you are getting your customers to do the hard work of increasing your reach and you can reward them with an affordable prize.
Instagram is also an excellent way to find the customers who are already singing your praises. Search for your business name and if you find positive pictures, ask if you can repost them. This way you can show your followers how popular/wonderfuo you are AND boost the ego of your loyal customer. Win-win.
Just make sure you always keep in mind that Instagram is yet another facet of your corporate identity. Post intelligently, and customers will know you’re a brand to be trusted.
Final tip – you can use Instagram to quickly increase your post count on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. Simply post and press share to any of those networks. Don’t do it with every image (you don’t want your entire Twitter feed to be Insta-pics) but do it with the very best.
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