In the first of this series, we featured how to use Facebook to promote your business Facebook gives you the opportunity to connect with customers in their own unique way. After Facebook’s arrival in 2004, it grew to develop a massive user base. However, newer social media platforms, such as Instagram, are also growing their user bases. Instagram is one of the newest and fastest growing platforms to emerge in the social media world. Developing a presence on Instagram gives you access to this rapidly developing user base.
What Are Instagram’s Strengths?
- Instagram allows you to post pictures with captions and tags. Instagram’s highly visual nature produces posts that span across language barriers. With over 400 million active users, 75% of who are outside of the U.S., Instagram may open up your business to world-wide markets.
- In addition to its international appeal, Instagram can help you reach a younger audience. According to Pew Research, more than half of Instagram’s users are between the ages of 18-29 years old .
- The “visual language” created by Instagram is captivating and can promote your business in a new way and to different people.
Creating the Picture Perfect Profile
Your Instagram account is an extension of you and your business. You want to make sure that your Instagram profile projects the image of your business that will show the public who you are.
- Keeping your account’s name and profile picture simple and direct makes your Instagram account understandable and easy to find. Instagram recommends using a logo as your profile picture, if your home business has one. If you don’t have a logo, don’t worry about it. Any photo that represents your business effectively can make a great profile photo.
- Using your business name as your account name is a good way to ensure customers know that your Instagram account is for your business. Using the same account name as your Facebook account will make your social media presence cohesive and easier for customers who follow you on one site to find you on another.
Tips for Effective Instagram Posts
Once you’ve made the picture perfect profile for your home business’s Instagram account, you can start posting. Here are some tips for optimizing the impact of your Instagram posts:
- Play around with caption length on your posts. Some posts require longer captions for information and some are more useful when short and sweet. It depends on you, your business and the post.
- The same goes for hashtags. Hashtags are a great tool to reach relevant followers and posts. When you find something in your post that would be relevant to other Instagram accounts, hashtag it. For instance, if your business is having a blowout sale, you can #blowout sale on your post. Instagram recommends using no more than three hashtags in one post so as not to clutter the caption.
- Tagging the location of where your picture was taken adds interest and gives your followers and non-followers a sense of place for your business. Instagram also allows you to tag other Instagram accounts in a post which can increase your post’s visibility.
- Instagram offers a number of filters that you can use and play with to make your posts pop. Apps like Layout can be downloaded so you can edit photos before you post them, making your posts more eye-catching. Layout allows you to include more than one photo in a post. This is called a “pic-stitch”. You can select the photos you would like to include and then arrange them in various ways on the app. Pic-stitches are relatively new to Instagram and help you stand out from other posts.
Expanding Your Community
Now you have your profile made. You’ve been posting regularly. The next step is to build your Instagram community.
- Click on the explore button on Instagram and look through other accounts. If you see any that would relate to you or your product, you can follow them and, hopefully, they’ll follow you back.
- Click on hashtags and see who else is posting on Instagram. Other small businesses or potential customers may use those hashtags and you can follow and connect with them.
- Once you’ve started following others and have gotten your own followers, you can start to engage. Respond to comments on your posts and like the posts of others. Interactivity and engagement are the names of the game.
Instagram is an exciting social media platform with a diverse user base. Its strength is its highly visual nature. It can allow customers to see what you are all about in a completely new way. Combined with a presence on Facebook, Instagram can help you market your business online.
Before launching any social media campaign, be sure to understand how intellectual property rights may impact your communications. Take the time to read and understand each social media platform’s Terms and Conditions. Protect your content with trademarks, copyrights and /or watermarks to deter any third parties from re-purposing what you post without your knowledge or consent.
- Pew Research Center: The Demographics of Social Media Users
- Instagram Business
- Instagram Business: Content Strategy Tips
DISCLAIMER: This post provides general information related to how to promote your home business with Instagram. Lindbergh is not a law firm. This information is not intended as a substitute for, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice. It is provided for general educational and informational purposes only. Although Lindbergh strives to ensure that its content is accurate, it makes no guarantees. All legal inquiries should be directed to an attorney in your State or jurisdiction. Lindbergh is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this post or damages arising from the use of this information under any circumstances.