What is Instagram?
Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life and business with friends and followers through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever. Instagram allows you to experience moments in your friends and business lives through pictures as they happen. Imagine a world more connected through photos.
Before we begin
If you’re going to use Instagram, you will need a mobile device, such as an iphone, ipad, smart phone or Kindle because it’s only available as an app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Once you have the app, add your a bio and profile photo, remember to include a link to your website.
It’s a good idea to start using Instagram as a personal user before you start using it for business. This is a good time to play with all the features. Instagram doesn’t have business pages, so what ever you learn will be the same when you put your business hat on.
Here’s a Tip
For your business profile name, choose an account name that’s the same as your business or facebook or Twitter url.
At the beginning, more than likey no-one will be commenting or following you. Don’t worry, they soon will be.
A key to good social network, and instagrams no different 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.
Adding your social networks
Instagram isn’t just about taking phones using the app and storing them on Instagram; you can also share your uploads on other social networks. Such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Foursquare. This boosts their reach, and improving the likelihood that you’ll get people responding to them.
Go ahead and link Instagram to Twitter and Facebook (as well as Foursquare, Tumblr and Flickr).
Here’s a Tip
If you have already have an established business presence on other social networks, utilize them by sharing what’s going on in your office (e.g. sneak peaks of new product features, company cultural events) across multiple networks, show the world your businesses personality.
The best way to get to grips with Instagram is to have a play about.
Open the Instagram app to start. You can chosse a photo from your phones gallery or you can choose to take a photo using the camera. Ones you have an image, use the built-in-filters. There are various effects you can to use. The best advice I can give, is to have a play with all the filters, see what they do. Have some fun with it. Once your happy with your photo, click next and move on to the next step.
Sharing your photos
Add a caption to your photo and upload it. A good tip for business users is to ask questions in you captions, this will increase the possiblity of engagement.
Here’s a Tip
As I’ve mentioned above, asking questions increases engagement. If you run an online business, or want people to visit the website include a website address in the comments that interested viewers copy and paste into their mobile browser.
Now that you’ve uploaded a photo, try it again, but this time – add a hashtag. Hashtags have become massive part of the social media landscape.
This will help Instagram users to find photos on topics that interest them. Add hashtags to your captions to see engagement grow.
To make the most of Instagram, avoid generic or posed photos that have zero personality.
Photographs that look like they are taken on the fly or those that are a bit wacky will tend to do better.