5 Quick tips on using Instagram for your business

Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services. With over 100 million active users, Instagram, which has been acquired by Facebook, is an attractive platform for business with products and services they wish to promote. Below are some tips on how to integrate Instagram into your business’ marketing strategy.

Tip 1 – Create meaningful content
One of the most successful methods is showing how your product or service is made or carried out. For example, if your business creates personalised Christmas decorations, you can take a series of pictures and show the process of a calligraphist writing on a Christmas bauble. There are now a whole range of apps available to edit the photos into a collage and show the step by step process.  Remember certain holidays, specific events or celebrations and create content that can be related to your business, product or service to create meaningful or relevant content.

Tip 2 – Be genuine and engaging
This tip applies not only to Instagram, but across all social media platforms. Social media allows business’ and brands to showcase their personality without being overly corporate. Users are able to immediately sense when a brand isn’t being genuine and are being ‘sold’ to. By engaging with your users with meaningful content, you can gain greater exposure, followers and marketing insights. See how your competitors and customer base use their Instagram, how they engage, profiles they follow, which photos generate the most comments and likes.

Interact with your fans (customers) and ask them to post their own content related to your brand. By using the regram hashtag (#regram) your business can post the photo onto its own profile and credit the user.

Tip 3 – Use hashtags effectively
A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the hash symbol ‘#’. The best strategies for using hashtags include using hashtags in:

• your username or profile description – with every single photo you post onto your Instagram profile it will automatically include your username as a hashtag. This allows any user that is interested in your photos to find it in one single search and save the user from scrolling through all the pictures in your profile. For example if the username was #CocaCola, every time that a picture was posted to the profile, the hashtag #CocaCola would appear, without the need to always enter it in as a keyword.

• your photo description – a short description of your photo, sentiment or feeling. Only tag the most relevant and important words. Be wary of the amount of hashtags used in the one post as it can be overwhelming to the user.

Tip 4 – Post photos across your social media channels
Visual content is the most engaging – by promoting it across multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Pinterest it generates more user engagement and interests and exposure for your company profile.

Tip 5 – Participate in Community Events or Promotions
Holding contests and giveaways are a great way to get people excited and talking about your business and/or brand. It can also promote word of mouth marketing when implemented correctly. This is a valuable method to source great user-generated content, allowing your fans and followers to do the content creation for you.
However, it is important to follow through with your promise and awarding a prize to the winner. Many companies have been caught out with not sending the winners of their competitions and have met with backlash such as followers unsubscribing and in extreme cases, product boycotts.

Remember, social media is a tool of marketing and should be incorporated into your business’s marketing strategy. Here at Clarity Marketing and Communication, our team of experienced social media marketers can assist you to connect through social networking. We will work with you to determine the most appropriate strategy for your business, and the best way for you to reach your customers. For further information on what Clarity has to offer your business call Deborah on +61 411 139 881 or email info@claritymarketing.com.au