A Beginners Guide: Instagram for Business
Who is this for? Small Businesses Looking to Up Their Marketing
What is it About? Social Media – Instagram
Reading Time 2-3 Minutes

Instagram for Business

Instagram is a booming social media platform, so if you’re considering getting involved (or more involved than you currently are) with Instagram for Business I certainly don’t blame you. It might be the platform of choice for younger generations but with its monthly active users reaching 1 billion in 2018 and still climbing – it’s clearly attracting more and more people every day. In the last year, Instagram has made some serious businesses-friendly changes to its features making it a platform that I believe anyone using e-commerce should seriously consider; as well as learning and adapting from other platforms such as Snapchat to add its 24h stories feature to keep users engaged(we’ll talk more about that later though).

So you’ve set up the profile, added your profile picture…now what? Where do you start, how do you get people’s attention?

Register as a business

You’ll need to have a Facebook business page for this- if you haven’t got one or just want to have a look at my recommendations for that too then feel free to check out my previous blog A Beginners Guide: Facebook For Business. Registering Instagram for Business will allow you to add contact details to your profile, post pictures to your Facebook profile and your Instagram for Business profile at the same time if you want to and give you access to analytics about your account among other things, so it’s well worth doing!

To register on Instagram for Business, go to your profile and click on the gear symbol in the top right corner. This should bring up your options list and if you scroll to the bottom you should see ‘switch to business profile’. It should take you into a little wizard that will ask to connect to your Facebook business profile, and then you will be good to go. It might take a little while to change but it’s usually pretty much instant.

Filters

Instagram for Business

Filters are great for if you aren’t the most experienced photographer and you want to give your image a little something extra, but use them with caution. My personal feelings are that filters have had their day, I’ll happily use them on my personal account for silly selfies but for a Instagram for Business profile, I tend to avoid it altogether and edit the tones myself. If you don’t feel confident doing that don’t worry about it though, my top tip would be to use some of the softer filters such as ‘Valencia’ or ‘Gingham’. When you select the filter if you press the filter again, it will bring up a slider so you can choose the strength of it and if you make sure you don’t use this at more than about 50% you should get the benefit and still appear perfectly professional.

 

Explore

If you haven’t had a look around properly yet, Instagram for Business has a handy feature called explore. Make sure you are on your Instagram feed and look at the bottom of the screen there should be a bar, the second icon from the left is a magnifying glass and this is where you will find explore. When you click the magnifying glass lots of tiled images will appear – these are all the things which are popular at the moment, you can also search (and follow) hashtags on here if you want to look at what’s popular in particular areas such as electrical, for example. Looking at the explore feature and the images/videos should help to get a good idea of what kind of images are capturing people’s attention to help inspire you when planning your own.

 

Hashtags

Hashtags can be a very handy way to get yourself seen by new customers and if you’ve ever used Twitter, you’ve probably already come across them. A lot of people become overwhelmed by how many options are available when it comes to hashtags but if you follow a couple of key rules below you’ll be fine.

·        Do your research – as I mentioned, explore is a great feature so spend some time looking around at what’s popular and what people who are in your market are using

·        Don’t go crazy – less is definitely more when it comes to hashtags and mix them up frequently, I also recommend putting a line or two between the comment and the hashtags so your post will in effect hide them unless someone presses ‘see more’ or add them as a comment after posting.

·         Only use relevant tags – I know, when you see that #ootd (which means ‘outfit of the day’ by the way) has 230m posts on it, it will be far too tempting to start using the tag. But the reality is if your valve or light fitting (or whatever it is you do) shows up on this tag one of several things will most likely happen. People will switch off and stop paying attention to your posts, you will end up with a lot of spam comments on your posts / direct message scams and/or you will have a lot of Korean, Chinese and Japanese teen girls who will start following you out of confusion. None of those would the best outcomes which will help your business.

Location Tags

Instagram for Business

Like Facebook, you can add location tags to your posts. This is really useful particularly if you have a physical location such as a store as all the information needed to entice a customer to find you will be available in one post, so make sure you always make use of it! You can add your location by starting a new post. On the screen that allows you to add a caption, your second option down is to add location and Instagram even makes suggestions of places nearby to help you. My top tip would be to switch between tagging your actual location, and the city or town you are located in to give you more chances of people discovering you while they are looking for new accounts to follow! Once tagged it will add a hyperlink to the top of your post which when clicked, will show the location on a map and be visible when people search this location on Instagram. You can see a screenshot of how it looks and where it appears highlighted by the blue box.

If you keep working on these points, keep an eye on what people are posting and keep checking on your tags Instagram can be a great way to spread your message and company image. If you just want things to work and you don’t have enough hours in the day as it is, why not give us a call?

Blue Strawberry Elephant

0114 255 9993

If you’re looking for some slightly more technical tips check out my next blog about e-commerce and social media!

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