SOCIAL MEDIA / NOV. 04, 2014
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How to Use Instagram Effectively for Business

Are you looking for another way to advertise your business? If so, you need to open an Instagram account for your company. Many people use Instagram to share photos and videos with their friends and family. Instagram might have started off as a social media platform for personal use, but it has evolved. As a result, an increasing number of companies now use Instagram in their advertising campaigns.

It doesn’t take much to get started on Instagram. And since the site or app is so simple to use, you don’t have to be tech savvy or know a lot about photography. Here are a few tips to use Instagram effectively for your business.

1. Get people to follow your Instagram account

In order for Instagram to become an effective advertising tool, you need followers. If you already have a Facebook or Twitter account, invite your followers on these social media pages to follow your Instagram account. 

2. Share your new collection of merchandise

Once you have an active Instagram account, you can showcase a variety of your products. Maybe you have a new spring or fall collection. If so, post images on your Instagram account, so customers can enjoy a preview, before products hit your stores. This increases customer excitement, and they’ll be lining up at the door once the product launches.

3. Demonstrate how to use a product

Not only can you show off a new product or collection, you can use Instagram to demonstrate how a product works. Instagram allows short videos, which is a plus since many people may prefer visual demos rather than reading instructions. It’s an excellent tool for not only promoting a product, but engaging your community.

4. Take followers behind the scenes

Maybe you and your staff are preparing for a storewide sale, or maybe there’s a photo shoot or a commercial shoot. You can use Instagram to tell a backstory or take customers on the journey with you. For example, you can take snapshots of your employees preparing for the day’s events. These can be fun, lighthearted photos that show off your personalities.

5. Show testimonials

Sure, customers can read testimonials on your website. But they may prefer hearing or watching an actual customer briefly explain how they benefited from your product or service. Testimonials speak a thousand words; and while some people might not search your website to read a testimonial, they might watch a video.

6. Don’t overwhelm

If you have a large following, you may be tempted to post pictures several times an hour. But if you overwhelm your followers, they might stop following your feed or lose interest. It’s important to be consistent and post on a regular basis, but limit updates to 1-3 a day, depending on your business.

7. Ask a question to stimulate a discussion

Not only should you post a photo, you should ask questions to engage your audience. For example, you can ask whether they like or dislike a certain photo, or you can ask for their suggestions or pose another question to get people talking.

8. Use Hashtags Properly

In Instagram hastags are extremely important. While the platform allows you to use up to thirty hashtags it is unwise for a business to use so many. The most successful businesses only use relevant hastags and at most four or five tags. The most popular tags on instagram are also best avoided as they will probably be lost in the ether. A good site to visit to see what pictures are being associated with a certain hastag is findgram.

Instagram isn’t just for fun, it’s also an effective way to promote your business. The sooner you open a business account, the sooner people can learn about your company or product.

 

Image: iStock

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