Instagram for Business: Tips for Getting Started

Instagram is quickly becoming the go-to social media platform for marketing your business.

As a relatively new site, it might be a tad confusing when it comes to navigating the app for marketing efforts.

But, with some 600 million active users on the platform every month, it’s becoming more important for all brands to incorporate Instagram into their marketing strategy.

Here are a few tips & tricks to help you get started:

1. Share original content: Content that works for Facebook and Twitter, won’t necessarily work on Instagram. Create a content strategy specific for the app. It’s good to mix up your photos, from fun pictures, to images of the business to behind-the-scenes pics. What you want to do is tell a story about your brand, in the most visually impressive way.

2. Get some followers: Starting from a blank slate may seem daunting, but thanks to Instagram’s integration with Facebook you can connect your Facebook account and cross-promote images to get those same followers on the app. Another good way to get followers is by utilizing popular hashtags for your business. Tags for Likes is a great site to see what are the most popular hashtags for your service or business.

3. Follow your followers: It’s important to interact with your followers, and one of the best ways to show your fans some love is to follow them back. You’d be surprised how many business don’t do this. Once you’ve started following your fans, have some fun with them! Sharing their photos, commenting on their pictures and encouraging participation are great ways to enhance your customer communication, increase fan engagement and grow brand awareness.

4. Take advantage if its features: Instagram recently rolled out new video stories, and some of the most-watched videos on the platform are those from businesses. Video stories are a fun way to show what’s going on in your business in real time. You can also share videos on your profile, which don’t expire after a few hours.

5. Link your Instagram to your website: If you have a website, all your social platforms should be linked and present on your pages. You can also embed your Instagram photos into your blogs or articles, which will directly take your fans to your Instagram page when clicked.

6. Don’t post too much: Unlike social media platforms like Twitter and even Facebook, the newsfeed moves much slower on Instagram. Over-posting can clog up your fans' feeds, which might make them want to unfollow you. It’s best to create a schedule, posting just once or twice a week to start, and tracking what seems to be generating the most interest and what’s not.

7. Don’t filter everything: Filters are a great way to enhance a photo, but it’s also important to post unretouched pics. According to recent data, the filter you choose can affect fan engagement. Simply Measured found that Instagram’s Lo-Fi filter performed the best in relation to fan interaction.

8. Stay on top of trends: Like Twitter and Facebook, trending topics are a great way to bring more visibility to your page. See what hashtags are trending and find the best fit for your business. Same goes if you’re at an event for your industry, use the recommended hashtags so those in attendance can easily find your photos.

No matter what size your business is, social media marketing is becoming more and more important. That doesn’t mean your brand needs to be on every social media platform, but choosing a few that work best for your business, and strategizing accordingly, will not only build brand awareness, but create more loyal customers.

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