So you’ve built a Fan base on your business Facebook page, learned what kinds of tweets your customers want from your Twitter account and finally feel comfortable with how you’re handling those social media platforms. Now you’re faced with a new question: Should your business join Instagram?
Before you start hyperventilating at the thought of managing yet another social media account, it’s important to understand that using Instagram for business is easy. In fact, it’s pretty stress-free and very fun! Instagram allows users to share snapshots of life that they’ve applied digital filters and effects to, making life look pretty awesome. Users can then share these photos via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other social networks. As you might remember from our “Doing Facebook Right” blog piece, it’s extremely beneficial to include images with your Facebook posts to quickly increase reach. By linking your Instagram account to other social platforms (specifically Facebook), you can easily conquer this space.
As avid Instagrammers ourselves (both personally and as a company), we’ve pulled together 10 tips and ideas on how to get started and make your Insta account as successful as possible.
1. Use your company logo for Profile picture
We know it’s tempting to make your profile picture an image that has or will accumulate many “hearts” (same as Likes), but it’s important that your business is recognizable. As users go through their photo feed, you want them to be able to tell that the ridiculous hotdog eating contest video was created by you and not by one of their friends.
2. Select a user name that’s close to your company name
And if you can make it your company name then we recommend doing that or at least having it be the same as your Twitter handle. Like we said in #1, you want your followers to know right away who is posting the photo or video in their feed, and they shouldn’t have to guess that your business is behind the account.
3. Make your profile public to increase search
You want everyone to have the ability to interact with your brand – so make your Instagram profile public so that the world can see what you’re up to. By default, all profiles are public, so be sure to keep it that way. This way, your customers can view all of your posts without needing to be an approved Follower (users connected to your profile).
4. Connect your profile to Facebook and Twitter
By connecting your accounts, you can share your Instagram posts to those larger social networks to amplify your business’s reach. This is especially beneficial when running contests or promotions on Instagram (see #7).
5. Upload videos
Adding variety to your posts will keep your Followers from getting bored (and un-following you). With Instagram Video, it’s super easy to spice up your posts. Give a little behind-the-scenes action of what happens at your business after closing shop for the day. Film a quick video of a new product or service you’re now offering. Record your employees singing holiday songs. It really can be anything, which is why this feature is so powerful.
6. Be active
Like your Followers’ posts and reply to their comments. By staying active, you’ll drive engagement and conversation (and customers into your establishment).
7. Show off your personality
Although the main reason for creating social networking accounts for your business is to ultimately increase sales, that doesn’t mean that all of your content needs to push product. Inject your personality into every photo and video so that customers can feel a connection to your business. There’s nothing wrong with having a bit of fun!
8. Market your product/service creatively
Instagram allows you to market your business in a non-traditional way. Got a hot new item you want your customers to know about? Take a picture of it with your city’s skyline in the background. Have you changed one of your classic services? Post a quick video demonstrating the update. Think outside of the box and if you find something to be successful, do it again.
9. Monitor contests/giveaways/promotions with hashtags (#)
Everyone wants a reason to post another photo to Instagram, so even minimal incentives can have a large effect. Ask your customers to post a picture of their favorite item at your store for the chance to win a gift card and ask them to tag it with a hashtag you can follow. This is a simple way to get your loyal customers to do promoting on your behalf. Remember to #6. Be active and give some hearts to their posts, too.
10. Follow Belly on Instagram!
Great work! You're on your way to mastering Instagram for business. Continue to discover new tips by following Belly and staying informed on what we’re up to, working on and thinking about!
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