5 Things Your Business Should Do with Instagram Right Now

Posted on November 29th 2012

5 Things Your Business Should Do with Instagram Right Now

November has proven to be an amazing month for businesses on Instagram. Just within the past week, 649,181 photos were uploaded with the hashtag #blackfriday. Another 25,127 photos were shared with #cybermonday.

Nearly three-quarters of a million people thought to share their holiday gift ideas on the mobile platform. With these recent examples in mind, isn’t it a good time to add Instagram to your business’ social media marketing mix?

Here are five tips to get you and your business out there on Instagram.

1. Understand what Instagram can do for your business. If you’ve read articles about how to be more human in your social media messaging, you’ll find Instagram a great way to show that softer side of your business. When you apply Instagram filters and other effects to your photos, it instantly gives these images a less showy and more homey feel.  In this way, you’ll begin to see Instagram as a tour guide (versus a tour) of your business.

2. Sign up for an account. Use your Android or iPhone, get the free app, and register the name you want — preferably one that jibes with your Facebook and other social URLs — before someone else does.

3. Make your profile photo stand out. Although Instagram is primarily a mobile platform, each user now has a Web profile. Your online profile photo will appear to most slightly larger than the size of a U.S. quarter. Think about an image that will be attractive to viewers at that size.

4. Upload and filter existing photos. The current Web profile features a gallery of seven user photos. If you don’t feel motivated to go out and shoot seven photos, scroll through the photos you already have on your phone. Upload relevant ones to Instagram, add  filters, and share them with your new visitors.

 

Instagram Web profile: Seven uploaded photos and a recognizable profile picture

5. Connect your account everywhere. As Chuck D bellowed in Sonic Youth’s “Kool Thing,” “Let EVERYBODY know.” Use a tool like Shortstack to create an Instagram tab on your Facebook page. Add an official Instagram badge to your Website and email newsletters.

Once you begin to snap photos, be sure click the options that allow you to send your images directly to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or your other existing social channels.

Later on, I’ll bug you to start monitoring, engaging, and measuring. But for now — use these tips to get on your proverbial social media training wheels.

What do you think — are you ready to start your business on Instagram? Is there anything holding you back?

Headline Photo Credit: Flickr CC / dottiemae

 

kalnerwilliams

Lisa Kalner Williams

Lisa Kalner Williams is the founder of Sierra Tierra Marketing, a social media marketing company that provides social analysis, strategy, and instruction to businesses and agencies. Follow her on Google+ or subscribe to her weekly newsletter.

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Comments

Those are all good tips Lisa, and it's true that Instagram for Businesses has never been so hot than lately. The Thankgiving period has proven to rise Instagram's numbers, another sign that companies should jump on the opportunity.

I'm thinking of additional steps that companies can do to manage their Instagram for marketing, and I'd say integrating Instagram on other platforms such as their Website and Facebook page would be a good idea. To do that, there's Nitrogram a platform built for businesses on Instagram. It also provides analytics.

Thanks for the comment and the shout out to your company, Thibaut! I signed up for Nitroboom earlier this week and like what I've seen thus far. Once businesses implement my ideas in this article and get to that "Now What Do I Do?" phase, using an analytics program like yours will be key.