Instagram – And how to use it for business

I have been using Instagram for a while now. Mostly to follow my friends and post a few pictures here and there, when I remember (ha!). Then I realised, that Instagram has an advantage that other platforms do not – they deal only with pictures (or short 60-second videos). This means you have a possibility to connect with followers in a way that is more emotional than just words. Seeing that I deal with food and cooking products, images are a great medium for me to explore.
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As it stands, Instagram also has the advantage of not following the “Facebook posting protocols”, where the most popular posts are put first on your wall, but are posted in chronological order. That means that unless they have paid advertisement, you will show up on the walls of your followers in the order of when your things were posted and not hidden by more popular posts.

How do you get those followers? Hashtagging is the name of the game in the Instagram world. It is suggested to put five to seven on your original post, but you can put up to 30 in all aspects of the post, so you can add the rest in the comments down below. Because hashtags are how you find followers, it is also important to know what your “ideal” customer would want to see. I normally use #yeg, #food, #cleaneating, #toddlerfood, or anything that relates to my post and my target clientele.

There is a great search option where you can see all the pictures tagged. A great way to gain followers is to actually “share the love”. Go to a new account and find pictures that you enjoy. You should like at least five of them and put a conversation starter comment under two. This is social part of social media, the one that is often forgotten. This helps build relationships, help gain followers, and make Instagram so much more interesting.

You can also regram pictures- this requires you to download an app as there is no <share> button in Instagram itself. Just remember to ask permission and credit the original account.

And make sure your biography is stellar and to the point. This is the location where you can post links to your website as you cannot have “live” links under the pictures or in the comments.

I know I missed plenty of great Instagram tips for business owners, so please help me out. What have I not mentioned? What is your favourite regramming app? What do you do with your Instagram account that is a success?

3 thoughts on “Instagram – And how to use it for business

  1. Your post came at a perfect time, when I was thinking I should investigate the use of Instagram for a community event that I head up. I actually created an account, only to discover that photos cannot be loaded from a desktop computer. Guess I had better explore this a little further, or get a crash course from my daughter.

    • Instagram (IG) was actually created for mobile devices, so you need to download the app on your phone or tablet.
      That being said- the application is easy to use and looks nice. Most likely because it was made for mobile in the first place.
      You could create an event specific # and then run a contest/fun thread of show us your doing (activity/item/etc) and we will regram you.

      Best of luck with your event!

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