Social Networking for Success: Instagram

Social Networking for Success: Instagram

Expand Your Business One Square at a Time with Instagram


Instagram may look like a bunch of colorful squares as you cruise through pages of images and videos, but those small squares can help build your business by inspiring and educating your customers. With more than 25 million business profiles on the social platform, if you aren’t there you are missing a chance to communicate with your customers. It’s time to get into the box of Instagram.

Expanding Your Business

To help you stand out, make your account on Instagram a business account. Not only will your customers be able to find you, as your account gains followers, they will instantly know you are a business actively participating in their space. You will also gain real-time metrics on how your Instagram Stories or promoted posts are performing. In addition, the business feature gives you the ability to include business hours, your location and contact information. It’s like having another virtual storefront.Instagram-Logo-w-Name-2018

Getting Started

There are things you can do from the start to help gain more traction on your Instagram account. Creating your profile is the first thing; making sure you put the right effort into that profile can lead to greater success on Instagram. You want your current customers to recognize you, and of course, you want new potential customers to know who you are when they begin to fall for your cool creative content.

This is why you should use your company’s logo as your profile photo. The same holds true for your account name and user name. Make these your business name and the same as your other social media accounts. Finally, your bio is where you have the chance to attract other users to your Instagram account. Make sure you describe your business in a way that people will be able to use this information to connect with you.

Creating Content

Fortunately, you are in the imaging industry. You are creative people selling to creative people. You should be the best at this medium. Instagram is a visual experience that lets you tell your story and the story of your products though beautiful photos, engaging videos and rich captions. If you create visually exciting content, you will reap the benefits.

Keep these three areas in mind when creating content for your Instagram account. First, make sure the images you post are truly eye-catching. They should really pop off the page. Second, using your customers’ images and highlighting how they used a product from your store to create their masterpieces will show off both your products and satisfied customers. If you offer photo classes, you could even highlight a customer’s success after taking the class. Finally, include a specific call to action in the post message. This can be as simple as a share request.

With all three of these in place, you will have the best chance of gaining some momentum from the hard work you are doing to stay on top of your social media.

In addition, Instagram offers online training. If you are overwhelmed with the thought of taking on one more social marketing venture, their training can guide you through the process. It will take you from setting up your account to creating content that will get you noticed.

Building Your Story

Determining what your company’s story is going to be on Instagram can be as simple as looking inward at marketing materials you already have in place. Even your company’s tagline can be the starting point for your story. Are you the photo store that educates customers with classes and online tutorials? Maybe you are the technical experts in the industry.  Social-Networking-Instagram-7-18Perhaps you are the friendly store where you feel like family when you shop there, whether it’s online or in-store. Once you determine the story you want to tell about your business through your Instagram account, stick to it. The images you post and captions you write should convey that story time and again, so people look forward to going on this journey with you.

Finding Followers

If you connect with some Instagram power users, your business could become an instant destination. Finding influential photographers or imaging industry manufacturers with major Instagram followers is a great place to start. Commenting on their photos and tagging them in your posts will send them a notification. If you do this enough times, they will become familiar with you and are more likely to connect with your business in return.

Consistency is key when you are managing your business Instagram account. You will want to create a look and feel that is unique to your business, so your customers will know it’s you when they see it. Consistent posting will result in more traction and a better response rate for your content. Whether you post daily or weekly, either way is fine but being consistent will allow your customers to look forward to your content.

Since you are in the imaging industry, storytelling should be second nature. Instagram Stories let you do just that: tell a story with multiple photos and videos. The stories are posted for 24 hours; keep that in mind when you create them. If you spend hours creating an Instagram story, be sure the 24 hours it is live is worth your time. Planning the right 24-hour period should be considered when putting in the effort to tell your story. With more than 250 million people using Instagram Stories every day, get on board and start telling the story of your business.

Instagram Advertising

Moreover, Instagram offers advertising options for your business. Since the focus of Instagram is to get your customers, and potential customers, excited about your business, consider advertising to reach a broader audience.

Connecting with core customers already on Instagram is a simple way to get your message out while promoting your best customers. Give them incentives to tag you in their posts. By doing this, you’ll have your products highlighted while showing the Instagram world you’re connected to your customers. Giving a shout out to those same customers will create even stronger customer loyalty.

Instagram can seem a bit overwhelming if you are just getting started. So instead of going after the enormous hashtags like #digitalimaging, try to narrow your scope. Finding hashtags with groups of people that are more specific toward your business, location or offerings will help you get in the door and build an audience that is focused and will be more engaged in your Instagram content. Thinking smaller at first will give you a larger return and help grow a stronger customer base. Furthermore, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, hashtags that are location specific will help you get even more feet into your store.