Why and How to Use Instagram
Instagram is an easy-to-use photo sharing site. It’s a way to connect with like-minded people and to help people find you and figure out who you are.
There are 400 million active monthly users who like 3.5 billion photos a day. That’s a lot of eyeballs and a lot of potential customers who might just be waiting for what you have to offer.
But, 80 million photos are posted a day. That means you’ll have a lot of competition.
Start with a plan. Think ahead of time about how you want to use Instagram. What are your goals? Who do you want to reach? What do you want them to know about you?
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers right away. You can always make changes as you go.
Pick a username. The obvious choice is the name of your company. But you could use something related. Keep in mind that your name will set a tone. Make sure it’s the tone you want.
Tips for when you post:
This is networking not selling. You will have more success if you are looking to make friends and contacts rather than closing sales. Think about who you want to connect with and what types of photos those people will want to see and (more importantly) to share. You can and probably should include product shots, but they’ll do better if they’re interesting or different in some way.
Write a great caption. Your photo will grab a viewer’s attention, but your words will deliver your message.
Use #. This is where Instagram really gets fun. Hashtags are sign posts that let people know what your photo is about. When someone clicks on a #<word>, they are shown all the photos that have that #<word>. This will make it easier for people to find you and it makes it easier for you to find them. Like dogs? Check out #happydog. Traveling to Boston? Look for #bostonharbor.
-If you use one that is wildly popular, it is likely that more people are searching on it, but there is less of a chance that your photo will be seen.
-If you use more targeted #, you have a greater likelihood of reaching the people you want to reach.
-You can use several # with each image, so try a few.
Connect with other Instagramers. Take the time to look at what others are posting and “like” their photos. Adding comments can also help get their attention. Follow them and keep up with what they’re doing. Remember, this is about connecting.
Other things to keep in mind:
- You can get Instagram on your computer, but it works best using the app on your phone.
- Pictures are typically square, so keep that in mind when you’re shooting them.
- You need to post regularly to build connections, but you don’t want to over-post. A few times a week to once day is generally sufficient. Keep an eye on your audience and you will get a better feel for how much is too much.
If you want some more ideas about how Instagram could help grow your business, give us a call.