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Instagram for Business: What? Why? How?


What is Instagram?

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service owned by Facebook. It allows users to edit photos and videos then share them across multiple social media networks. It allows you to:

  • share images and interact with your audience
  • promote your latest offers with targeted advertising
  • use hashtags to reach a wider and relevant audience
  • build relationships with consumers and increase brand credibility

Instagram wiki

Instagram’s numbers are impressive and a compelling argument to engage with the platform:

  • 300 million monthly users
  • 75 million daily users
  • Over 40 million photos posted every day

Instagram help

Instagram may seem to be a youngsters’ repository for mediocre holiday snaps and uninspiring plates of food but engaging with the platform can bring real benefits for businesses. Among other things, Instagram can:

  • Improve the quality of your images quickly and easily
  • Identify the latest social trends
  • Promote your content
  • Engage with your customers wherever they are
  • Act as a shop front for your business

Instagram sign up

Setting up an Instagram account is very straightforward and should be no barrier to your exploration of the potential of the platform.

Step One: Download the Instagram Account App

Instagram is a free download from the app store available on Apple, Windows and Android.

Step Two: Create an Instagram Account

Creating an Instagram account couldn’t be easier

  • simply sign up using your existing Facebook account
  • or create a new account simply by entering your email address and creating a username

instagram-business-retina

 

After your account is registered you can then edit your profile and add a bio about your business, add a profile picture and start to spread the word of your new account.

Instagram search

Exploring Instagram through the search function can offer great insight into what your competitors are doing (and what they are doing wrong), as well as what the people you want to appeal to like. Don’t feel like you should slavishly copy whatever comes up via an Instragram search though: coming up with your own approach that fits both your business’s branding and your own unique voice, as well as fitting into any niches you spot.

Tips for increasing interaction and engagement on Instragram

Using Instagram is simple but a few simple strategies can really increase how successful you are:

  • use hashtags to increase your reach (much as with Twitter)
  • follow and interact with influencers within your niche (much as with Twitter)
  • post images to Facebook and Twitter from Instagram to encourage more people to visit your page.
  • run competitions from Instagram to increase followers and image likes

When should you post on Instagram?

5pm: People are finishing work and school are browsing through their phones to relax as they commute home.

7-9am: Users are waking up and checking their feeds to see what they missed while they were asleep.

#throwbackthursday: People post the most on a Thursday, trends such as ‘throwback Thursday’ –posting or reposting old photographs (often from childhood) with the hashtag #throwbackthursday –are a way to find reasons to post and join a trending topic.

Sunday: Users tend to interact most on a Sunday, giving your post a better chance to be seen, liked and commented on.

Post videos in the evening: During the day most people are either at school, college or working, so are reluctant to watch videos with volume. Post your videos after working hours so viewers aren’t afraid to watch and get caught!

Sources:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/instagram-for-business-tips/

http://www.businessbee.com/resources/marketing/social-media-marketing/top-4-ways-instagram-can-help-your-business/

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/important-instagram-stats/

http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/17/instagram-reports-90m-monthly-active-users-40m-photos-per-day-and-8500-likes-per-second/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/25/get-instagram-likes_n_6751614.html

http://webtrends.about.com/od/Instagram/fl/Whats-the-Best-Time-of-Day-to-Post-on-Instagram.htm

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