If you are someone plugged into the internet, constantly holding your phone, or glued to the screen, you’ve known about the power of Instagram for a long time. But many small business owners aren’t like the rest of us. They don’t have time to learn all these new platforms. There is already Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Tumblr. They don’t want to worry about getting onto yet another social media site. But I’m here to tell you (the business owner) why you should start utilizing this mobile-only platform.
Instagram is huge! And still growing. This is great for business owners trying to market their goods and services. Forrester found that Instagram had the highest rate of brand engagement of any other platform, at 4.21%. That’s 58 times more engagement than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter. That’s an amazing result, and one you should be taking note of. It’s getting harder and harder to break through on Twitter and Facebook. Reaching your audience now requires shelling out money for ads. That’s not the case with Instagram.
So how do you get started? Well first you have to have a smartphone or tablet. There’s currently now way to make an account on your computer. Your phone will only allow you to create a certain number of accounts. (I know because I have created multiple for different businesses and was told by Instagram that I couldn’t make more on my phone).
Next, choose an available username, preferably one that is memorable and close to your company name. Then you’ll add your phone number to verify and need to verify through your email as well.
Start filling out your profile by adding a user photo, your website, and a short bio. Make sure your profile is public (this should be the default), otherwise nobody will see your posts!
Now it’s time to start posting. You will have to post pictures from your phone. So if you have photos on your website you want to share, you’ll have to follow a few steps.
- Head to your phone’s browser
- Open your site
- Click and download the photo to your phone
- Head to instagram and upload
It’s not too difficult. And if you have photos on your computer, just email them to yourself and open them up on your phone and download. Instagram’s purpose is for sharing photos just taken from your phone, so this is a good time to start taking some behind the scenes photos. Maybe take a picture of you and the team out for lunch, or running to the store for supplies. People will enjoy seeing a more personal side to your business.
That being said, it’s important not to use Instagram just to see. One of the big features on Instagram is that there are no urls allowed in your post description. This prevents spam and helps keep people focused on the photo. So try using Instagram to give people an insight into your business, what you guys do, who you are, how you have fun. Sure you can post photos of your product or service, but don’t make it all about that. You will noticed big brands like Red Bull don’t post photos of their drink all the time. They are posting photos of their sponsored athletes surfing, skiing, and doing other sports.
Browse some Instagram accounts you enjoy and see what those companies are doing. Try to figure out a strategy for yourself and get started!