Social Media Focus: Ten Tips on Using Instagram for Your Business

In our more advanced local marketing packages, we use Instagram as one of our social signals. Instagram is an Internet photo and video sharing services that actually is a social network. Users are able to take pictures and videos and automatically share those on various other social network platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. The service was launched in October 2010, and in the first 18 months gained over 100 million users. By now, that number has nearly tripled. Facebook bought Instagram in April 2012.

Two-thirds of Instagram users are female. Most users are in urban areas, and 90% of users are under the age of 35.

How can Instagram be best utilized by a local business? Here are ten tips:

1. Connect Social “Channels.” By hooking an Instagram account to your business Facebook and Twitter, photos and videos (note: the maximum length of a video on Instagram is 15 seconds) will automatically post to those profiles. From there people can click to see your Instagram “stream,” like images, comment and follow your brand.

2. Post what people want. Real life, behind the scenes stuff. Photos need not be perfect. A lawyer preparing for trial, setting up for a play at the school, reminders from CPA’s about filing deadlines. Insightful, fun, educational – the possibilities are endless.

3. Video really works. Keep them short and sweet. If a viewer likes it, they can find more at your “stream.” Since the videos are so short, they may watch several.

4. Hashtags. You can categorize images using hashtags – allowing you to reach new viewers following certain activities, products, persons, etc. and they in turn may start following your business.

5. Comment responses. Since people can comment on images, be sure to keep an eye on them. This may provide you the ability to engage and converse, creating relationship.

6. Get others to upload images. Others can upload images in your stream. Fire up a new idea, and get others involved – really involved. Here’s where your business can have fun and drive traffic: Run a contest. Let users both post images and select the best one, or let you viewers do that.

7. Use Instagram’s uniqueness for branding. Create a vibe, a feel, for your brand. Since you are using images you have a unique advantage over other platforms like Twitter. Tell a story. Start a movement.

8. Monitor your likes. What about your business is drawing attention. For instance, if a product comes in two colors, let users vote on their favorite.

9. Be blue. Studies reveal that images that have blue as the dominant color get 24% more likes. Not sure how you can use that, but it’s good to know.

10. Consistency. All social media requires consistency. Post regularly and relevantly. Be current and creative.

Contact us to learn more about how social media can support your overall local online marketing.

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