How to Use Instagram for Business – Part 3 of 6

instagramSo you’ve decided to start using Instagram to promote your business (or, if you’re already using it, to step up your game). That sounds like a great idea!

Where do you begin?

Don’t just jump in! It’s a good idea to spend some time on Instagram before trying to use it to market to people. Spend a couple of weeks as a regular user, getting accustomed to the norms of the place. Get a feel for people’s expectations; see what’s popular.

Use what you learn to figure out your purpose for being on Instagram. Then you can decide on the tone and style you want your channel to have.

Figure out what people like about your product

productInstagram is mostly about the emotional and visual appeal of your product.

  • What is it about your product that tugs on people’s heartstrings? Most people buy a product or service because of how it makes them feel.
  • Think about the kind of feelings you want to bring out in your customers and how you would translate that into a visual style.
  • Does your product or service have a more nostalgic or modern appeal?
  • What sorts of people use it?
  • What kinds of things do they like?

Do some research and think of ways you can get them to engage with your profile.

For instance, you can look at their Instagram accounts and keep track of what types of images they post. Maybe there are a lot of photos of their families and children, or sporting events, fashion, music – their interests will be as varied as your customers. Even so, keep an eye out for common factors.

Link to your other social media campaigns

social mediaIf possible, the name of your Instagram account should be the same as all your other social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook. If you’re doing a promotion, it should extend over your entire internet presence. It’s important that you keep your online branding uniform and consistent in its identity

It’s wise to use the same username with Twitter, because when your content is tagged and shared on the Twittersphere the @username will link to your Twitter bio, so people who view it can find your Twitter account.

Post the right things

Marketing on Instagram is all about striking visuals. Looks for ways to generate creative, eye-catching photos. Don’t just take a snapshot and upload it. Style that image to fit in with your brand aesthetic and appeal to the people who fit your customer profile.

If you can add some cute animals and clever captions to your posts then so much the better.

When you’re showcasing a product, you can arrange it on a background of bright colours and patterns for a modern look, or perhaps add some lace and a vase containing a single rose for a romantic effect. (Later on, in this series I’ll write about how to use filters to give your photos a specific look.)

A sneak peek

sneak peekOne good type of Instagram post to do is a brief preview of new products. Create some excitement and mystery; intrigue your followers. Tease them with the promise of more to follow. Draw people in and you’ll create more engagement from your existing followers, and perhaps some new followers as well!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the Instagram series so far. Is there anything you’d like me to write about? If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear them! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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