Instagram has been in the news a lot lately. Apart from being one of the fastest growing platforms, it has overtaken Twitter in terms of number of users. With over 300 million active users, what is Instagram?
For those of you that already know, skip this paragraph and read our top tips on how to use it properly.
Instagram is all about photos. It’s an action-based platform where users take photos, apply filters and share it with their network (and with the greater community by using #hashtags). In effect, the user becomes both the artist and the photographer. Your network will follow you because they like the style of photo or subject that you post about. Classic cars? Fashion style? Your breakfast each morning? Whatever it is that you are interested in sharing, you will find like-minded people interested in your content and happy to interact with you.
It sounds interesting as a personal tool. But how can a business use Instagram?
How to use Instagram properly!
The key to Instagram is understanding the community. Users like to see real photos taken by real people.
As with all social media, users switch off very fast if they feel they are in the middle of a sales pitch. Never push sales messages! In fact, Instagram users actively dislike marketing messages, so stay clear of using these.
Instead, use Instagram to promote the lifestyle and values of your brand, and the features of your product. You will build up a community of followers who will enjoy your posts, and lead to increased brand visibility and improved brand loyalty.
- Be consistent! Strategy is the key: your posts should have a consistent theme so that users know what to expect.
- Use hashtags appropriately! Instagram is the home of #s but do not over do it. They should be relevant to your photos, community and industry. Include branded # too.
- Encourage customers/fans to post their own photos of your product/business and use your branded hashtags.
- Engage with your community: always respond to comments and encourage feedback!
- Consider collaborating with Instagram influencers (users with a large base of followers): this will give you exposure to their network.
To sum up:
By providing value and sharing regularly, you will establish yourself as an expert in your field and bring attention to your brand.
Instagram engagement rates (likes & comments) are 60 times greater than Facebook, and 140 times bigger than Twitter… This alone should be enough to get you working hard on your Instagram profile!
Let me know if you need more tips!
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