Successfully using Instagram for Businesses

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Instagram, one of the hottest apps of the moment! Let me tell you, I am addicted to it. This app is all about taking pictures, filming short videos, adding a filter to it and sharing it with your followers! With over a 150 million users, Instagram is getting as big as Facebook and Twitter. So if companies can benefit by strategically using Twitter and Facebook, then they surely can benefit from using Instagram as well! Learn how you can build your brand awareness thanks to Instagram with these useful tips.

Getting started

Before you can post any pictures and/or videos, you must reflect on WHAT you want to post. What is the content going to be about? Do you want to present your products to the world or are you planning to promote your business’ services? Instagram-ing products and services are two different things. You can take lovely pictures and put them in a good spotlight by adding the right filter, whereas for services you can film short videos to present your service.

Pictures vs. Videos

While the relatively new video feature is getting incredibly popular, pictures are still the most effective. Just because the video integration is still too new and Instagram users are still finding their way to get used to it.
If you are a company which produces nice, interesting products, then you can take pictures and post them on Instagram. When you provide services, you can post pictures of people/clients using your service. Another good example are Behind The Scene pictures where you post pictures of employees at work. This gives a ‘sneek peak’ of your business. Also, posting pictures of quotes is a good way of getting using to Instagram.
The video feature is a new Instagram integration that your business should really be using! With its 5 million videos upload in the first 24 hour release, this feature is gaining more popularity every day! Posting funny videos related to your business is a good way to start. You can also use the feature where people are using your product/service (as mentioned earlier) or organize contests by letting people post their videos (or pictures) using your product/service.
So make sure to balance the frequency of using pictures as well as videos on your business’ Instagram account!

Follow up your Instagram account

Using complimentary apps like Statigram or Nitrogram, is a great way to keep track of your account.
Statigram finds brands and hashtags which relate to your business. As you will read further is this article, hashtags are very important! So, finding and therefore using the most relevant hashtags for your business can lead to more engagement on your account.
Nitrogram will track the relevance of the used hashtags, engagement and analytics of your Instagram account.

When should I post?

TrackMaven has released a huge report on Instagram and its statistics (click here). TrackMaven analysed the best times to post on Instagram for businesses. Weekdays seem to be the most effective, especially between 8AM and 9PM with the peek between 3PM and 4PM.

What are the best filters?

Instead of trying to make your pictures as beautiful as possible, you should focuse on using the filters as effective as possible. While Lo-Fi is the most popular filter, followed by X-Pro ll and Amaro, they’re not the most effective ones. The 3 most effective filters for businesses are: no filter or #nofilter, Mayfair and Inkwell.

Engagement

Make sure to connect your business’ Facebook and Twitter account to your Instagram account. That way your Facebook followers can see that you’re active on Instagram and chances are big that they will follow you if they like your company.
Don’t forget to be engaging yourself! Follow back your followers and like their videos/pictures as well! You do not only want to gain new followers but you also want to keep them.

Hashtags

As said earlier, the use of hashtags is of extreme importance! It makes your business more findable and will lead to gaining more followers and interaction (likes and comments).
When you have less than 1k followers on your Instagram account, 11 hashtags will lead to the most interaction ( approximately 77 likes/comments per post). When you have over 1k followers, 4 or 5 hashtags will do.
Using your business’ slogan or motto as a hashtag can be very effective too. For example, Nike uses its #JustDoIt in many posts!

Do research, prepare how you are going to promote your business on Instagram and #JustDoIt !

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