Many of us enjoy using Instagram to capture and share fun personal moments. I especially love using Instagram to document my travels. But Instagram is also a great social tool to utilize for professional reasons.
When used according to best practices, Instagram can help you get the promotional bump your business needs to get to its next level of exposure. It also provides a nice bonus feature for your Facebook page. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using Instagram for business purposes:
Feature your offerings in the best light.
One of the great things about Instagram is that you do not have to be a professional photographer to utilize the platform. Unfortunately, that means a lot of photos uploaded to the platform are out of focus and grainy. Make your products stand out by showcasing them in crisp, attractive, and creative snapshots. Remember, you do not do your products, your business, or ultimately, your hard work, justice when you upload poor quality photos.
Establish a sense of place.
This tip is particularly important for small business owners and service providers. What happens at your bookstore? Is the house you are selling close to a cozy bookstore? Help passersby and potential customers understand, appreciate, and ultimately remember your establishment by uploading #onlyat[fill in the blank] type photos.
Creatively share your point of view.
I am by no means a thought leader on Syria but I wanted my friends and Instagram followers to know that I was thinking about the Syrian Crisis. Likewise, actual thought leaders and leading academics should not scan and upload their latest studies page by page on Instagram. The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” goes a long way here. If I were an academic, I would post this photo on my Instagram account and include a brief, engaging caption directing followers to my tweets on Twitter regarding the subject.
Of course, the fun does not stop with the photo. Make sure to always include fun and enticing captions (no misspellings!), relevant hashtags, appropriate popular hashtags, and tag other Instagram pages and locations when possible in your posts to maximize the reach of your image and ultimately your business. Then search similar hashtags and engage with potential followers through likes and congratulatory replies, “Nice shot!” to bring your Instagram profile to the wider Instagram community. Overall, be social with your current followers as well as folks who you would like as followers.
P.S. I’m always looking for new Instagram profiles to follow. Follow me at @celvoz and I’ll follow you back. Make sure to post a reply to one of my images with, “Saw your blog post :)”. See you on Instagram!