Instagram is a photo sharing app that has taken the social media space by storm! Users post photos and short videos to share any and all aspects of their lives with friends, family and fans. Before posting photos, Instagram users can easily enhance them using filters. Each filter has a different effect on the photo like adding more contrast, light, shadows, tint or vignette edges, black and white/sepia options. Take a picture with your smartphone, add a filter and share it with the world.
Brands have discovered that Instagram is way to communicate with their current customers and reach potential customers in a fun and unique way. Because Instagram is one of the top ten most popular smartphone apps, it’s an easy way to reach your customers and target market. Create a buzz around your product and engage your community to increase brand awareness and loyalty with this popular and growing photo sharing tool.
As part of a three-part blog series on Instagram, here are some basic guidelines to get your business’s Instagram account started off on the right foot.
1) Communicate your brand consistently.
What is your business hoping to achieve with Instagram? More followers? Increased product sales? Brand awareness? Know what your main objectives are and work toward them with every single post.
Instagram is a great way to visually communicate your brand’s values through relevant, eye-catching images. These posts can be funny, inspirational, educational, or simply beautiful to look at, as long as they promote your brand image and align with your business goals.
2) Connect your Instagram account with any other social media you use.
Facebook and Twitter will automatically repost your Instagram photos to your existing fans and followers. Link all of your accounts and let all of your social networks know you’re on Instagram to build your initial following.
3) Post a good mix of business and fun images.
Business images promote your products and show them in action. These are a great way to start a conversation about your product and interact with your customers. However, your followers will get bored by seeing posts that only promote products and feel sales-pitchy. Connect with your followers on a personal level. Share the faces behind your company at work and play. Your followers will appreciate an inside glimpse of your company’s day-to-day life and culture.
4) Use #Hashtags.
This is the best way for non-followers to find your photos. Hashtags are words or phrases used to categorize posts making them searchable by subject. For example, if you take a photo of a beach and add the hashtag #beach, it will come up in an Instagram search by anyone looking for beach-related posts.
Use hashtags to describe your post and further convey your brand’s message, and it will help increase visibility of your photos.
5) Time your posts for the most engagement.
Post consistently, when your followers are likely to have down-time. Don’t post too often, once a day with a purposeful message is enough to engage your followers.
6) Engage with your followers.
Reply to comments on your posts. Like, comment and re-post your followers’ posts to build brand loyalty and attract new followers and potential customers.
These beginner tips will help get you started with your first posts and create a foundation for your business’s Instagram presence. Stay tuned to the PowerStores blog to learn more about using Instagram for your business. Future posts will cover marketing with Instagram, tools to help you get the most out of Instagram, and integrating Instagram with your website/webstore. Happy Instagramming!