How To Start Marketing Your Business On Instagram

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If you’re looking for a super-efficient and fun way to market your business you might want to do yourself a favor and check out Instagram.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the site it’s a free social network and online program that enables users to share, edit and take photos.

Users can also connect through email, Instagram’s platform, or other popular social media sites.

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In a nutshell Instagram is all about taking photos and sharing them.

So why Instagram?

The question is asked over and over, “What’s the big deal?”

First, Facebook thought enough of Instagram to pay a cool billion for it.

Facebook knows that people love capturing memories, moments, and telling stories through photos. Most importantly, photos are a way to communicate with others on a universal basis.

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We’ve all heard the saying a million times that “a picture is worth a thousand

words.” Well, it happens to be true.

Amateur and professional photographers enjoy being able to express themselves through their images.

A photo permits others to see something exactly the way you saw it. Moments happen all the time, and capturing it in a photo freezes that moment in time.

The lure of Instagram is not just being able to store photos, but to find other photos as well.

In fact, Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms in the world.Untitled-5

Over 75 million people use Instagram daily. Also keep in mind that those 75 million users are checking their cell phones an average of 110 times per day. Wowza!

So, whether you’re a marketer looking to give your product or service exposure, or someone who loves sharing and following the photo-footprint of others, Instagram offers an opportunity to benefit and grow your personal or business brand.

If you’re not already on the Instagram bandwagon, here’s how you can set up an account and get started.

Instagram is mobile-only, so as long as you have a smart phone, there’s a strong likelihood that you’re good to go.

Sign Up on Instagram

Once you’ve installed the app on your smart phone, you’ll receive a prompt to sign up for a new account or register with Facebook.

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Be professional and sign up with a relevant email that matches all your business and social media needs. This way, all your notifications are in one place.

It’s also a good idea to keep your usernames uniform across all the platforms that you use.

Share a Compelling Biography

Your biography is what Instagram followers and customers will see first.

People might have access to your photos, but you can rest assured that they’ll see your bio before following you.

Your goal then should be to make a positive first impression with your profile.

  • Your Name – The first rule of thumb is that your name needs to be yours.  This rule applies whether it’s your name or your company’s.Avoid using cute spellings, odd words, odd abbreviations, or other versions of your name.Use keywords with your name so that you can easily be found, since Instagram only includes names and user names in search queries.

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    While keywords aren’t used on Instagram in the same way as other sites, they can still be utilized to connect with others who have similar interests.

     

Keywords can also help your target audience better understand who you are and what you’re offering.

Use your imagination and find a unique way to stand out from the crowd while still representing your brand in a professional way.

If you have an ecommerce business, you can create a hashtag for each category.

You can also create hashtags to describe your product offering and brand. Consider the following examples: #mynamebrand #womensfasion, #womenspurses #menswinterwear etc.

Next, you can create location-specific hashtags, like #OaklandFashion, #LAfootwear, #Sanfranciso etc.

  • Let People Know What You Do – People want to know what you do for a living or otherwise.Even if what you do is common among millions of people, describe it in a way that sets you apart. Explain what you do and how it can benefit others. After all, what you do is who you are in the minds of others.
  • Make Your Bio Interesting – When creating your Instagram Bio, leave boredom at the front door.
    Untitled-4Keep your bio professional, but make it fun and interesting to read. Humor always works. Honesty is high on the list as well.

If you can draw people in, they’ll follow you. Your bio is your sales pitch. Spend quality time on your bio to make it work.

  • Customize Your Bio – Your Instagram audience is different from audiences on other social media sites.Hopefully, you’ll tweak your bio so that it’s different from Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + or Twitter. Instagram has a culture! Format your bio to match and complement that culture.A customized bio can better represent your personality and brand.
  • Include Links to Your Website – The only place on Instagram that permits you to post a clickable link is in your bio.Your bio is prime real estate! Use the space and include your website URL, blog, landing pages, or other pertinent links.A link is also a sign that you’re likely a credible business. A link can also give your website more credibility if the link is from a relevant source.

Here’s Your Instagram Cheat Sheet

  • Include a URL of choice in your comments. This can help drive traffic to your website or landing page.
  • Permit everyone to access your photos. This helps increase your “comment” and “like” notifications.
  • Don’t be afraid to use your company logo as your profile picture.Your logo is your brand and is a method through which people identify with you.
  • Explain your purpose for being on Instagram in a unique and insightful way. Geo-tag photos. It makes it easier for customers to find your business.If you own multiple store locations, it’s easy to use Instagram’s mapping function to promote those locations.
  • Create a posting schedule, but don’t post too often. Posting too often, or posts that are obviously boring, can damage your online brand.Posts that can work against you include posting pictures of your work station, posting the music you’re listening to, posting pictures of dirty dishes and spoons, posting pictures of “not-so-awesome” sunsets, posting videos of weird stuff, and taking selfies of yourself at the gym etc.People know when something is profound and worth their while to take notice. If you violate their trust, they’ll avoid your pictures or videos.
  • Follow your followers. You can learn a lot about them and they can learn a lot about you.

Cultivating and Marketing Instagram for Business

#1. Debut Instagram videos. Videos can be one of the most powerful and effective ways to tell your unique story.

Video on Instagram is yet another amazing way to share your stories. The followers you have to your photos will also have access to your videos.

#2. Follow your followers. Instagram is the perfect tool for following your favorite brands and hashtags.

It’s easy to follow others by entering their name or hashtag into the search box. You can learn a lot from your followers, and they can learn a lot from you.

#3. Keep your posting plan up-to-date and flexible. While it’s not necessary, or perhaps even practical, to post on Instagram every day, it’s good to create a flexible posting plan.

Posting too much or too frequently may saturate your followers’ feeds, and that’s not a good thing. Once you get on track with your posting, keep track of what’s working and what’s not.

#4. Use analytical tools on Instagram. How else will you know how your brand is faring?

Tools like BlitzMetrics and Curalate can help provide valuable, detailed insights. You’ll be able to see how brand popularity relates and translates into added followers.

#5. Treat your followers to a visual experience they won’t easily forget. People respond to colors and visuals.

They can also better retain what they heard and saw. Your images and videos should tell a compelling story.

#6. Pay attention to your photo filters. Instagram’s community responds more favorably to certain photo filters than others.

Thus, certain filters can have a lesser or greater impact on user engagement. The most popular, and effective, filters used on Instagram include Normal, Valencia, Earlybird, X-Pro II, Amaro, Rise, Hudson, Lo-fi, Hefe, and Sierra.

Why Use Instagram?

When creating a marketing strategy for yourself or your business, give Instagram a whirl.Untitled-4

Countless marketers are impressed with the results.

In the past few years, Instagram has emerged as a new way to market for businesses. Today’s audience prefers short messages and vibrant images.

The fact is that millions of people use Instagram, and there’s no signs of them slowing down. It’s the perfect opportunity for brands to deliver a quick message along with photos to their target audiences.

Instagram, typically mobile-first, is also available for the Web. Now marketers can take advantage of their online real estate for whatever platform customers and followers use.

Untitled-4Images can convey a powerful story. Anything your company does or offers can be promoted and shared. This sharing can be about customers, employees, special events, and conferences and more.

With a little practice, or professional help, you can develop a strategy for your Instagram presence.

 

Untitled-4You can also brainstorm ways to create customer engagement.

Many people chose to create photo contests. They do this by asking users to participate in the contest and tag their favorite photos with a particular hashtag.

Marketers can then pick winners as a result of people having picked their favorite photos.

Observe what others are doing to create successful contests. You’re bound to hatch some great ideas.

Again, the whole idea is to brainstorm ideas and ways to keep your audience engaged. There is no one proven process that works. Often, success can be the result of trial and error. However, the end result is in knowing what your audience wants and needs, and then providing access to it through the right content.

Customers can be your brand’s greatest advocates. They’re able to tell your company’s story from the perspective from someone who’s outside your company.

Another way of generating interest and engagement is to include customer reviews of your services or products. Your customers can help you improve and facilitate existing and future connections with your audience.

Instagram works!

You can surmise this by the fact that it’s one of the most used social media sites in existence. With 150 million users and over 16 billion photo shares, and greater than 1.2 billion average daily likes, it appears Instagram is here to stay.

Why not open an account and get in on the action?

Did I forget to include a tip that you’re willing to share publicly? If so please post it below as a comment!

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