How to use Instagram for your Business

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Instagram is a photo-sharing social networking platform developed by Facebook Inc.. It allows you to take photographs and apply filters to them in order to transform the way they look and feel. Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram has accumulated over 40 million registered users and over 1 billion photo uploads. With its constantly-increasing popularity, Instagram is a fantastic way to boost your business. Putting your brand on Instagram means you’ll appear current and in-the-loop, and allows you to showcase your creativity. Here are a few tips on utilising your brand’s Instagram account and ultimately increase your potential customer base.

1) Show off your products

Let’s face it – Instagram makes things pretty. Nowadays you don’t need a degree in photography to take an attractive photograph; you just need the right filter. Taking photographs of the products and/or services you’re offering means your brand will look stylish and creative, but also lets your customer base know what you can do for them.

2) Go behind the scenes

Fans/potential customers love seeing what goes on behind closed doors. Post photos of your employees working, fooling around or out and about. Show how a product is manufactured. Delve into the personal side of the company. Customers don’t just want to feel like they’re following a business – they want to feel a human connection with you. After all, you are human (well, we hope you are).

3) Treat your followers

Everybody loves feeling special. Treat your followers to exclusive pictures of upcoming products/services – you could even organize giveaway competitions. Followers will appreciate the effort you take to keep them updating, and it’s they’ll feel like they’re part of an ‘inner circle’ if you show them some exclusivity.

4) Use hashtags

Like Twitter, Instagram uses hashtags to mark keywords or topics. Instagram users will search for things that appeal to them, so you want to come up in those searches – if you’re a wedding dress designer, use hashtags like ‘#bridal’ and ‘#wedding’ to draw in your target audience. Use them when posting a picture, but make sure that it’s relevant. There’s nothing more annoying than overusing superfluous hashtags.

5) Connect to your other social media

Instagram allows you to connect with other social networking platforms – namely Facebook and Twitter, and we all know how important it is to tap into them. Not all of your likers/Twitter followers will have Instagram but will still want to see your brand at work, so share some, if not all, of your Instagram images on there, too. This will also encourage them to migrate over to Instagram themselves.

6) Get customers involved  

One of the most important tips to getting the most out of Instagram, and social media as a whole, is to involve your customer base. They are the people you’re targeting, so you want them to feel as involved as possible. When posting a photo, ask them for their opinions, incite discussions and ask users to submit their own pictures. It’s all part of ensuring that you’re a brand interested in people, rather than just with money. Your followers will appreciate the fact that you want to know how they think, and you’ll be rewarded with increased customer interest.

 

Instagram continues to grow and develop as a social network and companies like Burberry, Red Bull and Starbucks  are all successfully utilising it to promote their business. Join them and see for yourself! One of the best things about Instagram is that using it won’t feel like work – taking photos and applying different filters to suit your mood is a fun way to promote your business, so why wait?

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