When Instagram first hit the scene in 2010, it was considered an app that entrepreneurs needed to establish a presence on to add to the ever-growing pile already in place of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. But it was also an app that seemed easy to dismiss too, in terms of content. If one didn’t do anything special that day, they’d snap a picture of their Starbucks cup. And again, and again, until most of their photo album contained whatever they had drunk or ate that day rather than conveying news about their brand or product.
If you’re worried that your brand’s Instagram account is one of the ones currently buried in coffee cups or that you haven’t updated in awhile, now’s the time to revamp it and give your customers an up close and personal, stylishly filtered, look at your business.
1) Know your #hashtags.
Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all offer methods to pay to promote what you post and to expand your reach and engagement. Instagram had yet to offer anything like this, but it holds a very strong promotional symbol in its court: hashtags. Consider the keywords that work for what you’re promoting and also look at successful Instagram accounts in your industry to see how they’re approaching hashtags. Try to make sure you have some unique hashtags in the mix, but don’t make up so many that your audience has no clue how to look you up! Always include the name of your business as a hashtag and add in five or six other relevant keywords to go along with the picture.
2) Build your following by following.
A lot of businesses strive to have their “followers” number be significantly greater than the number of people they follow, as it tends to make your brand appear in demand and influential. That negates the meaning behind “social media” quite a bit when all you want is for people to follow you and you to do very little in return though, doesn’t it? Follow like-minded influencers and users that like your posts and leave comments and start building up a rapport together, which in turn will lead towards others wanting to be a part of your community action!
3) Don’t forget to #regram!
A great way to show a little Insta love is to #regram a photo someone else has taken onto your own brand’s page. See any customers using your product in a picture? That’s a #regram! Did a partner of yours post a quote you think is really inspirational and applies to your business? #regram it up!
You can #regram simply by screenshotting another user’s photo and posting it to your own account. Be sure to credit in an @ mention the user you got the photo from and complete the post with the #regram hashtag when you’re done.
4) Instagram doesn’t just lead you to customers …
… It can also lead you to employees! Are you on the hunt for some summer interns to help out with your business? Skip Craigslist or a college job listings board and post a fun photo on Instagram calling all summer interns with a link included, copied and pasted into the description, to allow fans to apply for the job. Don’t forget to include a few applicable job search hashtags to the photo too!
5) Take your followers behind the scenes each and every day.
If you want your followers to get to know you and get them excited to follow you, a Starbucks cup photo every day won’t cut it. Show what all goes into the day-to-day work process by snapping photos from company meetings, special office treats brought in to beat the heat, and the team all at work giving back within the community. Instagram is often referred to as being “more about the brand and less about the products” and your team makes up a big part of that brand so let that shine through on your account!
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Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.