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Choosing the right social media sites for your business – Instagram

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grzegorz knec / Alamy Stock Photo

Ever wondered if Instagram could help boost your brand or business? We’re here to help with the third part of our blog series aimed at helping you choose the best social sites for your business.

Instagram is mainly a mobile photo sharing platform but it does have a desktop presence too (we’ll cover the pros and cons of this next). Launching back in 2010 with the first photo uploaded to the app by Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom, it seems only right @instagram remains the most followed account. Total users today have reached the dizzying heights of 800 million.

So, let’s get into how Instagram can be a powerful tool for your business.

Instagram is good for:

Inspiring photography and videos – the platform is all about amazing content and it sees 95 million posts shared each day. Whatever your product is (food, tech or fashion), give users a chance to see what you’ve been working on. You can engage with users by asking what they think of your latest product, or share photos of your product being used

Hashtags – there are lots of theories about how many tags to include in a post. Our guidance is that you should make each one count. By using relevant tags, you’ll benefit from increased exposure on the platform, attracting new users who are searching by tags

Trendsetting – it only takes one post to start a new trend amongst the Instagram community. Post something unique and inspire the community to re-post or help get your topic trending

Ease of contact – as a business account (see useful links below) users can get in touch with your business by phone, email and even find directions to your business

Insights – get analytics on your posts to see how they’ve performed with your followers (this is only available on a business account)  . This will help you see what works for your audience and what doesn’t, and help you make the right decisions about the content you post

Promote a post – if you want to push your content further try creating a promotion for it so it reaches a new audience that aren’t in your following . This is a great way to target people who might not have found you yet!

Tag a location – stand out from the competition by adding a location to your posts. More and more people are searching for local businesses on Instagram instead of Google or Yelp

Making sales – add a link to your website in the bio and drive your audience to make simple purchases from your store

Instagram is not so good for:

Usage on a non-mobile device – all uploads and editing is done on a phone. There are third party sites that allow for these functions to happen on your computer so there is a workaround available, but its more time-consuming and can be fiddly

Small budgets – when Instagram was bought by Facebook a new algorithm shortly followed and it’s become divisive amongst users. Businesses with deeper pockets benefit from being able to promote their content more and get their name out to a wider audience of new followers

Analytics for Instagram Stories – it’s the newest feature catching the attention of Instagram users and like Snapchat, content only lasts for 24 hours before vanishing . It’s a move that keeps Instagram relevant but there’s very little available on the analytics front at the moment

6 useful tips and links to get the most from this blog and Instagram

  • Watermark your posts to protect your brand and help raise your business profile for any re-posts
  • Create and manage ads to promote a post within the app or by using ad creation, Power editor or the ads API. You’ll reach existing customers and new ones within minutes of the ad going live.
  • Tip – make sure your account is not set to private
  • ‘Go live with’ has recently been introduced and allows users to add friends into live broadcasts. You can also share through your stories
  • Schedule your posts for Instagram. If you can’t manually upload posts as often as you’d like, try a third party website to help with scheduling your posts – Later.com is quick to navigate and it supports other platforms like Pinterest and Twitter
  • Use a plugin to link to multiple URLs. One of the most frustrating things about Instagram is that you can only have one URL link in your bio and it doesn’t allow for links in posts. You can get around this with a plugin, we love Linkin.bio from Later.com

We’ll be back in 2018 with our final blog in this series, so check back in January to read how Facebook can help take your business to the next level.

Check out and follow the Alamy Instagram – we update our feed every day so there’s always something new to discover.

 

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