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.
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