Instagram has over 150 million regular users. If you’ve never heard of it, then take note. This Social Media channel is growing quickly and isn’t showing any chances of slowing down.
For those that have been sleeping for the past 6 years, the premise of the site is to upload images and short videos (60 seconds), from your smartphone or tablet, and share snapshots of your life. Many people now prefer using Instagram for personal use, rather than Facebook. This has the potential to be of enormous use for businesses looking for new marketing audiences. Let’s have a quick look at how to make Instagram work for your business.
Hashtags, #, are one of the most important tools to learn how to use if you want to get the most out of Instagram. Hashtags are a simple way for users to search for a common topic. The most common ‘hashtagged’ word on Instagram is #love. There are three ways to use hashtags effectively; general, specific and trending.
a. GENERAL – When you upload a picture, you hashtag some words that described the image. For example, if you are having coffee and cake with a friend, you upload a picture of your drink and hashtag #caffeineboost #sweettreat #gossip. General hashtags are a nice way of getting more followers who have stumbled across your content through searching those hashtags.
b. SPECIFIC – These are slogans or words that have been created specifically for use in your marketing. If you are having an open day, you could write #NAMEopenday2016. The benefit of specific hashtags is that it is easier for you followers to share your content.
c. TRENDING – Trending means what the popular hashtags are on Instagram. They usually come with pop culture or news or sporting events, like #superbowl, #election2016, #rhianna. It is not always easy to make these relevant to your brand, but if there is a real link then it is a good way for you to gain more followers. One thing to be careful of, however, is to make sure you understand all the connotations of the hashtag. There may be multiple meanings, or affiliations to opinions/ politics that you do not want to be associated with.
What you post on Instagram is up to you. You do not always have to make it product related. You can offer little peaks behind the scenes in the office, or teasers of your next product or promotion. It is a good way of being creative and appearing interesting to your followers.
Post some content solely on Instagram to make your followers feel exclusive. Don’t just regurgitate what you have already put on Facebook or Twitter. You are far more likely to keep followers if you have engaging and unique content for each social media platform.
As a promotional tool, ask your followers to post content for you, with a hashtag of your business and the promotion your running. So, if you run a bookstore, get your followers to post pictures representing their favourite reads, with the hashtag #NAME/PROMOTION. You can also repost, share, your follower’s photos. Just make sure you give them credit for the original post.
These days it is important for a business to have an online presence. Most businesses have both a website and profiles on several social media sites. Instagram is just another way to connect with the millions of Internet users out there.