7 Tips for Using Instagram for Business

Vishal Pindoriya Sr. Marketing Analyst, Sendible

Posted on December 12th 2012

7 Tips for Using Instagram for Business

ImageThe image-based social network, available on iPhone and Android smartphones, boasts more than 100 million users. Many are brands: Starbucks, NASA, MTV, and NBC News are some of the most successful Instagrammers.

Instagram, the rapidly-growing photo sharing community, can boost your business's exposure, increase brand recognition and build demand for your products and services. With over 100 million users, businesses are increasingly turning to Instagram to engage consumers and boost their brands.

The Instagram team started a Tumblr called Instagram for Business. In it you'll find best-practices for enterprises, new service offerings of interest to brands (like the new photo maps), and a list of ways to make yourself an Insta-success. Here are 7 Tips For using Instagram for business: 

1. Show Your Products

Promote mobile window-shopping by using Instagram to show off a collection of your products. Snap photos of new products to build a buzz, or zoom in for a close shot on one product and ask your users to guess what it is. Photos attract users, but conversations engage them.

If your small business is service-oriented, show off the supplies and equipment that are essential to the services you provide. For example, show off your favourite workout gear if fitness is your business, or reveal you’re most impressive lenses if you are a photographer.

2. Introduce Your Employees

Introducing your followers to the people who keep your company going humanizes your brand. Cast the Instagram spotlight on special employees, and use the caption to share a bit about the employee. Make spotlighting an ongoing campaign that features staff from different departments within your company to put a human face on your brand.

3. Expand your audience. 

Connect Instagram to your other social networks and use relevant hashtags (#yourbrandhere) to make it easier for people to find your account.

4.  Show What Your Products Can Do

Use Instagram to increase demand by showing customers new or novel ways to use your products. Engage your followers by inviting user-generated content. Challenge them to post pics showing off creative uses of your products.

If your business is service-oriented, show the impact of your work with before and after shots. These are especially effective for landscaping, interior design, fitness, makeup or auto-body

5. Engage directly with users. 

Ask questions in your photo caption, and respond to comments. You can also organize local Instagram meetups.

6. Build Anticipation

Keeping customer interest is an essential part of an effective marketing campaign. Reward your loyal followers by letting them be the first to know about new products, services or events. Snap teaser photos that satisfy curiosity but build anticipation for your new releases, office openings or stores. These exclusive previews make your Instagram followers feel special and keep them coming back for more insider information.

7. Show How It's Made

Customers have a natural curiosity about where their products come from, and you can use Instagram to show the origins of all their favorite products. Snap photos throughout the manufacturing process, from planning to delivery.

Sendible is excited to announce integration with Instagram. As part of this integration Sendible has introduced a way to bypass Instagram turning off Twitter cards.


Vishal Pindoriya

Sr. Marketing Analyst, Sendible

Sendible is an online marketing service for businesses and marketers to promote, grow and track their brands through the use of Social Media, Email and SMS messaging. Sendible is the easiest way to grow and build your brand online and is a one-stop-shop for all your marketing needs.

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Posted on December 12th 2012 at 2:21PM

8. Monitor activity on Instagram! It's important to keep track of what your brand's community is sharing on Instagram. Nitrogram is the leading analytics platform for professionals on Instagram.

Posted on December 13th 2012 at 11:19AM

Definately agree with your tip. Monitoring activity is key! Happy to check out Nirogram and see how Sendible compares. 

Posted on December 12th 2012 at 4:24PM

Another great way for businesses to use Instagram is to bring their Insta-feed back to their website using a social media aggregator, such as Postano. By bringing it back to their site, their fans can engage with their Instagram content without having to be on Instagram. Postano is also a great tool for monitoring content and activity on Instagram!

Posted on December 12th 2012 at 9:56PM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this seems to be a blatant disregard for the rules of not self-promoting oneself or business. It reads "Sendible is excited to announce integration with Instagram Now available in the Add/Edit services section of your dashboard. As part of this integration Sendible has introduced a way to bypass Instagram turning off Twitter cards." Why would that be the introduction to an article titled "7 tips for instagram for business". This is a blatant new feature release self-promo and I hope is seen as unacceptable. Said company is not a relevent tool and so many other tools offered Instagram eons ago and they're not mentioned. The authors hiden agenda is extremely overt here and to my knowledge this is an impartial site. The author is using it as promo of new feature releases and that is unacceptable for a site like this. Can you imagine ever tool began using this site to promote every new insignificant features? For a list of tools better than sendible see sprout social, spredfast, hootsuite, and about 5000 others.
Posted on December 13th 2012 at 10:46AM

Thanks very much for your comments. As usual, always very insightful. Although the tools listed are really good, I believe only one of the tools you listed actually supports Instagram. Would you like to see a demo so you can properly compare Sendible to the 5,000 others? Sign up here: Bit.ly/sendibledemo

Posted on December 13th 2012 at 2:18AM

I think it's vital that businesses not only provide content themselves but encourage their customers to Instagram about their brand. A great way to do that is using a live Instagram screen at an event, conference, product launch or even in your office! http://eventstagr.am is a great web application that allows brands of all sizes to stream Instagram photos from a hashtag live to a big screen. 

Posted on December 13th 2012 at 11:04AM

Sounds like a really great idea!

Posted on December 13th 2012 at 12:31PM

Instagram is a coming force and businesses should be prepared and be represented on the platform as you outline.  

We've found it helpful to offer Pages on Facebook the ability to add a Instagram tab so that a Pages Facebook fan base can learn about their Instagram presence and also follow them on Instagram.