Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social network that allows you to create professional-looking photos with a click of a button, using a number of different digital filters.
One of my favorite things about Instagram is how easy it is to use. And I’m not just talking about how easy it is to create visually-appealing images, but also how fast it is to share your new photos to social networks.
There are a lot of ways that you can use Instagram for your business, but I think there are a couple key secrets to success that will help you begin your journey.
Here are 7 to remember:
1. Get familiar with Instagram before diving in
It’s easy to over think your new venture. Just because you eventually want to build your new channel, doesn’t mean that this has to be your first goal.
Play around with the platform, take some photos and share them on your personal social networks. This will help you get used to the new technology and will allow you to see how others react to specific pieces of content.
Once you understand how it works, create photos for your business and share them on your business social networks.
2. Connect Instagram with your Facebook Business Page
Whether you’ve already connected your Instagram account to your personal or business Facebook Page or not, don’t worry. It’s easy to connect Instagram to your Facebook Page.
This will not only make it easier for you to share your Instagram photos on Facebook, but also makes it easier for people on Facebook to connect with you on Instagram as well.
3. Utilize Instagram Video
Did you know that you can create a 15-second video (stop-motion or straight through) using Instagram’s filters? You can also easily share your new video with your other social networks too!
Now I know what you might be thinking…I barely have time to take a picture let alone make a video. But some things are just worth the time especially seeing that videos can receive up to 100 percent more engagement on Facebook than a text-only post.
Another reason to start using Instagram Video is that you can now embed your video on your blog or website! Who can argue with a tool that helps you create videos easily AND share them with your customers?
4. Use appropriate hashtags
Hashtags are widely used on Instagram to discover new photos. This means that your current and potential customers are probably already searching hashtags on Instagram, so this is a great way to help them find you.
Make sure, when using hashtags, that you are only using ones that relate to the photo and help your target audience find your photos.
It’s also important to remember that you do not want to use too many hashtags when sharing your images on Facebook. Hashtags are now operational on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that your audience is ready to see five hashtags on every one of your Facebook posts.
Each network is different, and the way they are used varies from platform to platform, so make sure you’re using the correct etiquette.
5. Run a photo contest
Here’s where you start to really build your Instagram audience. Create a photo contest using a hashtag of your choice, and allow entries via Facebook, Instagram or even Twitter.
Encourage your Facebook fans to enter the photo contest using Instagram, and don’t forget to let them know how they can find your new presence on Instagram. This is a great way to bring your Facebook fans over to your new Instagram account.
6. Use it like a social network
Just like all other social networks, engagement is key.
Follow those who follow you and your network will grow.
Engage with your audience and their friends by liking and commenting on others photos too because it increases the chances of your business being found on Instagram. And if getting found is important to you, this Tip is extra important!
7. Use Instagram to show your personality
One of the best ways to utilize visual networks is to show the personality of your business. Share pictures of your employees, behind-the-scenes exclusives, and your fantastic customers (with their permission, of course).
Grow your audience in 2014!
By using these 7 secrets to your advantage, Instagram can very quickly become a tool that you’ll love and that will help you grow engagement and your audience on all of your social networks.
Have you tried Instagram for your business yet? We want to know how it’s working for you in the comment section below!