Instagram Marketing 101If you own a small business and you’re not on Instagram yet you need to ask yourself why not?! Yes, more social media! Depending on the type of business you own, Instagram may or may not work for you. If you’re not familiar with Instagram yet, you need to check it out! Instagram is a photo-sharing social networking company. It is most commonly found on mobile devices like your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. You can still view and use it on your computer as well, but it’s more widely used on mobile devices. This service or application allows you to take photos and upload them to share them on your profile. Not only will allow you to do this on Instagram, but it also syncs with other social media services like Facebook and Twitter. The company took off like wildfire, and has only been around since 2010! With one of the largest user base, they have around 90 million active users. This means there is a huge potential to reach a large number of possible customers for your business!
How do I use Instagram to market my business?
Just like Twitter and Facebook, you will want to create an account by downloading the application on your mobile device. Since this service is mostly used on mobile devices you won’t be able to create a user account on your computer. There will be several settings that you can pick from. One of the most important settings is to be sure you do not make your profile private. By doing this, everyone will be able to view your pictures you’re sharing, and they will be able to follow you. You don’t want to restrict your potential visibility to the public so don’t mark your profile as private. Now that you have your user account set up you will want to get yourself familiar with the different functions. The first thing you should do is maybe search for some topics that have to do with your business. So click on the “compass star” looking icon on the bottom left of your screen. That’ll pull up some top pictures of what’s currently trending right now. You’ll see at the top of those pictures there’s an area where you can type what you want to search for. If you click in that area you can search for one of two things. If you want to search for users and if you know their name or user name you can search that way. But if this is for your business you might want to look up topics or subject matter also known as hashtag (#). Let’s say you own a custom hotrod business. You would do searches along these lines: #hotrods #customhotrods #musclecars. From there it’ll pull up all images that other people posted that tagged their picture with those hashtags. Why would people do that? If you have hobbies or special interest in certain subject matters like “hotrods” you might want to see what other hotrods look like or what other people are doing on their hotrod projects. From there you will want to maybe start following those people who are posting those images since you share a similar interest. Now that you are following that person, there’s a good chance they are following other people or companies who share that same interest. So if you click on the user’s name, it’ll take you to their profile page. That page will show how many photos they’ve shared, how many followers are following them, and how many they are following. In this area you will also see where it gives you the option to follow them, just click on the blue “follow” button. While you are in there, you should take a look at who they are following and who’s following them. If you see that there are other people who also share the same interest in hotrods you need to do the same and follow them as well. This can take a while, but keep in mind this is all free!
How do I get others to follow me and see my pictures?
After you’ve followed someone, one way you can get others to follow you is by posting a comment on the picture they posted. So go back to the bottom left of your screen and click on the home button. That’ll take you to all the pictures of people who you are following that are recently posted. At the bottom of their post, you might see a little brief description or caption of what that image is about along with maybe some hashtags. Right under that, you’ll have a button you click on that allows you to leave a comment. Once you leave a comment they will be notified and will hopefully see what you are all about and what pictures you’ve posted. If they find you interesting they will follow you back. Now that you have built some followers you want to get your marketing into gear! Using our hotrod business as an example, start taking some snapshots of your current projects, and don’t forget to include your hashtags that relate to that project. Let’s say you’re working on a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, here are some hashtags you would use: #1957 #57chevy #57belair #chevybelair #noposts #hotrod #hotrods are just a few you could use and that list can get even larger. The more hashtags you use the more categories you will be placed in. Try to stick to the topic of your picture.
Going back to the original statement I made, this might not work for all industries. If you own a service-based business like ours, there are very few images that will relate to the business. I can’t see someone searching for images because they like the topic of “unsecured business loans“, so that’s one reason why you won’t find our company on Instagram. So if you own a restaurant, furniture store, cell phone store, all these are great businesses that’ll work perfectly on Instagram. Again, the best thing about this form of marketing it’s free! Happy photo snapping and I hope to see your business on Instagram!