Social Media Series Part 1: Instagram

Instagram

Welcome to the Social Media Series!  We’re here to help you decide which social media channels are best for your business.

The biggest mistake small businesses make in social media marketing is thinking they need to be everywhere.  Although social media seems like a harmless investment, it’s a serious time commitment.  If you don’t have the funds to hire a social media manager, we recommend starting with no more than three platforms.

Instagram happens to be my favorite social media platform.  I absolutely love it.  In fact, I don’t know a lot of people who don’t.  It’s a great visual way to share small pieces of your life and brand yourself or your business at the same time.

My favorite thing about Instagram?  It’s extremely user-friendly and easy to use on your smartphone.

The Basics

Insta1

  1. Take a photo.
  2. Choose a filter and edit.
  3. Write a caption and include any hashtags.
  4. Share! It’s that easy.

Insta2

What Users Like on Instagram

I spend a lot of time on Instagram, so I know what I like to see in photos as a user.

  • Bright, well-styled photos.  Dark photos just aren’t pleasing to the eye.
  • People, not just product.  We want to see people using your products.
  • Thoughtful and engaging captions.  Engage your users to get more likes and followers.

A Word on Hashtags

I read someone’s opinion on Instagram hashtags; he thought they looked desperate and clunky.  Personally, I don’t mind seeing a few hashtags as a user—they can be fun.  However, too many in one caption can grow annoying.  Try putting hashtags in the comments if you don’t want them to interfere with your content.  This way, you can hide your hashtags and still reach a wider audience.

Is Instagram Right for Your Business?

Instagram is an entirely visual platform and was not made to be “clickable” content.  This is the key point in determining if Instagram is the right channel for your business.  Ask yourself these three questions when making the decision to use Instagram for your business:

  1. Does my business offer a visual product (i.e. apparel) or service (i.e. photography)?
  2. Does my business generate a lot of public relations? In other words, do you work in the field or engage in the community a lot?
  3. Can you tie your Instagram posts into your brand, thus driving traffic to your website?

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