More than Selfies: 4 Instagram Tips for Businesses

selfies_instagramIf you were to name a social media channel with more than 150 million active users per month and 75 million daily users, you might think of heavy hitters like Facebook and Twitter. The meteoric rise of Instagram makes it a social media must-have.

The free picture-sharing service has obvious value for businesses that rely on visuals to sell their products. Interior designers, web developers, artists and others who work well through visual media aren’t the only ones who can benefit from Instagram’s rapid-fire sharing and easy searchability. Every business has a culture it wants to express, a brand it wants to strengthen and employees it wants to reward with public praise. Find out why Instagram isn’t just for taking pictures of your lunch and sharing your latest product line; it’s another way to connect with your visitors.

Mix Business and Pleasure

Because it’s quick and simple to use, Instagram has a more casual feel to it than other social media channels. Instead of starchy formality, it provides a glimpse behind the scenes – images of your staff unloading a shipment from your latest product line or a celebration of an office milestone. Open a window for your customers and introduce them to the people they talk to when they call with questions or orders.

Even in more conservative industries, welcoming visitors into your office pays dividends. By including your followers in office life, you make them part of your community. That works in your favor whether you’re a financial consultant or a professional stylist. Relax and show your more approachable side; viewers appreciate seeing Instagram feeds that are more than just business.

Polish Your Profile

Like most social media services, Instagram lets you create a customized profile for your company. Make the most of it by building a complete, compelling page that entices visitors to follow you. Choose a company name as close as possible to what appears on your letterhead; you can’t get followers if your customers can’t find you. Including your home URL and Facebook data lets you integrate Instagram as part of your overall online presence, so fill in all these blanks. Caption all the images on your profile page. These captions tell followers what they see, but they also help search engines find and index images, leading more traffic back to you.

Make the Most of Hashtags

Unlike its new owner Facebook, Instagram supports hashtags, those one-word indexing descriptors beginning with a “#” – that’s a number sign or pound key if you’re pre-digital and an octothorpe if you’re fancy – that lead viewers to trending topics. When you add hashtags to your caption, you let everyone who clicks on that tag see all images that share it. For example, if you take a photo of your five-year anniversary party in the office, your caption might include these hashtags:

“Celebrating five years with the best web design team in Long Island! #officeparty #webdesign”

Someone clicking on these hashtags on other pages will now see your tagged images as well. Think of them as data filters that let viewers find out more about a topic. You’re limited to 30 hashtags in Instagram, but that should be more than enough.

Hashtags also let you bring older images and comments to the fore. By editing past posts and comments to update their hashtags, you refresh timely content and widen your reach. This kind of regular pruning and curation enhances the value of everything you post to your Instagram account.

Follow and Get Followed

Even if you’re new to Instagram, some social media facts never change. If you want to accrue followers, you need to follow others. Your social media marketing team can follow your vendors, customers, industry journals and even competitors. Through regular contributions, you’ll soon catch the eyes of those you follow and become follow-worthy in turn. Comments that ask open-ended questions instead of calling for yes or no responses involve you with your Instagram community and raise your profile on the channel.

Contact our social marketing experts today at 855.867.3224 to help you devise a social marketing plan.

© Reach Marketing LLC 2014 All Rights Reserved.

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