With all of the social media platforms and “noise” online, it is hard to find which to focus on. Businesses need have a presence in most of the social platforms but it is important to figure out which platforms perform the best for yours.
With hundreds of millions of users, Instagram is the best performer for many businesses. If you have not used it for business purposes, I have to say you’re missing out on a great opportunity.
Instagram as a photo and video sharing application is a perfect place for many businesses, if done well. And it’s pretty simple to use. Unlike the other existing social media sites, it was made only for posting photos with a brief caption and tags under it. Instagram guaranties that everyone who follows you will see all the photos you upload. So it is one of the best ways to reach out your audience. Below, I put together a few tips and tricks on how to create buzz and spread the word about your business, using Instagram.
Here are some tips to get you started and for long term success:
Post Relevant Content
Try to upload the photos that are valuable for your viewers. Everyone likes to take a quick glimpse into the world of creative people. At the same time, everyone is quickly getting tired from all these people who overload their Instagram feed with irrelevant content.
On a recent post I viewed this week from a national mattress dealer they posted a photo of a skier stating "thinking about ski season". Other than breaking your back and using their mattress to recover, this post is totally irrelevant to their market.
Be sure to draw the line between pics of your dogs and non-business related posts. Use your personal account for fun and silly family images. It's important to have personality with your business but make 95% of your images be for your prospective customers. Post some iPhone-taken photos of the monitor where you edited the photos from the last shoot some breathtaking shots from your travels; sneak peak of your upcoming works; family photos; your work place; and, of course, selfies.
Use Hashtags & Geotags
Hashtags can be annoying and difficult to read sometimes, but they are a great tool for exploring and organization. When adding hashtags to your posts, follow the simple rules:
Use hashtags on each photo you upload
Try to keep your hashtags relevant to the posts you added, instead of using some common tags like #followback and so on. This may lead to irrelevant followers and likes, which are useless for your business
Use broad, still relevant hashtags
Use specific hashtags to promote your brand and stay organized
You can also specify your location with hashtags
Moreover, geotags are pretty useful for promoting local business. Instagram integrates with Foursquare that lets users to locate their photos and videos. This, along with Instagram’s photo map gives local businesses an advantage over companies with no set location.
Keep it Consistent, not Annoying
Just like blogging, you should keep your Instagram posts consistent. A dead rarely updated Instagram accounts say people that you have nothing to share,you have no clients, or you are not able to keep up with what you do have. At minimum try to post weekly, five posts per week would be just fine.
The unspoken Instagram rule of one or two photos maximum per day (I break that rule with great photos). Stay selective, interesting and creative. It’s better to upload one really beautiful shot and get a lot of “Wow!” comments than to upload 5 “nothing special” photos.
Instagram is a great place to build new relationship, find new vendors and clients. Follow the other vendors you want to work with like models, designers, stylists, florists, and others. Comment, compliment and like their photos to make them notice you. The more you give, the more you will get.
With recent updates to Instagram you can now search hash tags and locations. I use this to look for relevant fitness model competitions, events and other tags where I can find people, in my area, that may be interested in my services.
Create a Proper Bio
The only spot for a hyperlink on Instagram is your bio. Make sure you have specified your name, location, profession, and link back to your photo portfolio or blog.
Just get the most advantage out of it! Make it as easy as possible for your followers to find your website, watch your works, or get in touch with you personally.
Tag Your Clients
When you post a client’s photo on Instagram, tag them by typing @ followed by their profile name. This will ensure that they see the photo, if they are not already following you on IG. The client can then like the photo, make a comment, and share it with their friends by simply typing their friends’ profile names in a comment below the photo.
I have taken clients from 200 followers to nearly 2000 followers in a short time. I have almost 3000 followers and when we work together, tagging between us builds followers for the client and me. Make sure that the relationships you build are good ones and that the people that leave your studio want to be tagged and associatated with your business. This will go a long way for both of you.
Share Your Blog Posts
Promote your blog on Instagram by sharing one photo from your blog post. In the caption, mention “link in profile” to direct people to your blog post.
The most important thing is to have fun. Your social presence for your business needs to be professional but also feel human. If you can balance that, then you will see great success from Instagram as a tool.