26 Jul Social Media basics: How to use Instagram for business
We live in a very visual world – the bolder the image, the more powerful the reaction. People want instant gratification and this often comes from seeing the whole picture, rather than taking time to read the words. This is precisely where Instagram has the opportunity to speak volumes for companies. Our third part of social media basics is dedicated to understanding how to use Instagram for business.
In a nutshell, Instagram is a platform with the intention of sharing images and short videos – along with captions. A popular aspect of Instagram is the ‘filter’ which adds a digital layer to an image, enhancing its aesthetics.
Setting up an Instagram profile is fairly straight forward. Firstly, it is important to note that Instagram is almost exclusively mobile. It has also recently been bought by Facebook. By default, Instagram accounts are public but they can be set to private. As a business, you would want your profile to be public so that your brand is exposed.
Once registered (which you can do with your Facebook profile), you can add a short bio, and add a profile picture. You can then start following people by searching specifically, or by using the ‘Explore’ option. Instagram sends you notifications whenever someone follows you, someone likes or comments on your post, or your profile is mentioned in another post.
You can then upload images or videos, apply any filters or photograph edits, add a caption, and post. Instagram also allows you to share your posts across various platforms.
Instagram stories are also a nifty, temporary way of sending brand messages. They are great for creating awareness, temporary offerings or live communication. They only last on your profile for 24 hours.
If using Instagram for your business, it is wise to convert your profile to a business profile. This gives you access to various insights and analytics which are useful in better connecting with your audience. The more that you engage with other users, the better your chances of people engaging with you.
Handy tips to consider
- Choose a mood, theme or ‘look and feel’ that best represents your brand, and apply that to all of your posts.
- Make your content stand out by posting interesting, colourful and bold pictures and videos.
- Be wary of the photo filter. The intention is to enhance the content – not to warp the content.
- Use your hashtags wisely. Hashtags are used to help search for certain keywords. Make sure that you choose appropriate hashtags, and keep them to a minimum.
- Take advantage of the ‘Explore’ tab to find relevant and interesting profiles to follow and engage with.
- Time your posting wisely. Avoid spamming your followers with 10 posts in one day, but don’t neglect them and only post once a month.
Instagram can be a powerful business tool when used wisely. It truly is a platform full of potential.