The main reason that some people take opportunities when they arise, and others do not, is that some people are ready.
They have their Business Plan ready and all they need to do is take advantage of the opportunities.
Where can you find the right Business Plan?
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If your Business is based in the U.K. - click here
Are you wondering how to use images and short video to enhance your customers’ experience?
Have you considered creating a brand profile on Instagram to make your brand visible to a new market?
Getting started on Instagram is fairly straightforward.
Simply sign up for an account (e.g., use the same name as your Twitter handle), add a profile photo (e.g., brand logo) and a link to your website, connect your account to Facebook and let your followers know they can follow you there.
It’s what to do next that presents a difficulty for many brands.
Acquaint Yourself With How to Use Instagram for Business
Businesses have been flocking to Instagram in droves. In response, Instagram started the Instagram for Business blog, which offers tips, brand spotlights, API examples and news from Instagram HQ.
Instagram's blog will help keep you in the know. Check it out and add it to your reader to keep up to date on some of the coolest ways to use the Instagram platform for business.
Balance Fun Images With Pictures From Your Business
Take advantage of the increased real estate you have with the Instagram web page to tell a story with the images. Have a healthy balance of fun images and business pictures.
Anthropologie has struck a good balance with their images. Their followers like fun images as well as business ones. A puppy picture received 7,640 likes and a picture of their personal shoppers posing at a company luncheon event received 3,457.
Track the engagement on your images to find out what your followers like best!
Cultivate a Following
- Connect your Facebook account
- Use relevant, popular hashtags
- Engage by following others and liking their photos
Cross-post selected images to your Facebook page with a hashtag that aligns with your campaign or brand image to help people who don’t know you’re on Instagram to find you there.
Instagram’s recent Video on Instagram has given Twitter’s Vine a serious competitor to contend with. Most notably 15-second, filter-enabled, editable video functionality compared to Vine’s 6.5 seconds.
Honda debuted an Instagram video by making a joke out of the choice.
Embed Instagram Video in Your Blog or Website
Instagram have released a new embed feature for its desktop web browser version. Since you never know who will see your shares on a social networking platform, embed your Instagram video in your blog or website to extend the reach of your content.
Follow Your Followers Back
The people you follow on social networking platforms make all the difference in the world. Curiously, many brands on Instagram (some with very large followings) don’t follow back.
To create strategic relationships on Instagram, find the brands and people you enjoy and can learn from in your followers and follow them back.
Generate a Flexible Posting Plan
You don’t need to post on Instagram every day. The ‘feed speed’ on Instagram is still mostly laid back. If you start posting a lot, you might saturate your followers’ feeds, and you don’t want to force yourself into the noise too often. Decide what you have ready to post and create a schedule to help you remember what to post when and to track what is working once you get going.
Harness the Power of Apps
There are apps that let users print images, search tags and keywords, subscribe to Instagram profiles via email, download all Instagram photos in a single archive folder, plus many more. Use these apps to make Instagram a significant part of your social media marketing strategy.
Inspire Potential Customers
Attract your target market with images that share a compelling and inspiring story.
Juxtapose Use of Filter Types and No-Filter Images
Instagram provides a number of filters to change the look and feel of your photos.
A study conducted by Simply Measured earlier this year found 59 percent of the world’s top brands are now active on Instagram.
Their findings also shed light on choices around filtered photos: Lo-fi is the filter of choice for 14 percent of brands’ filtered photos, followed by Valencia with 12 percent, Rise with 12 percent, Amaro with 11 percent, Hudson with 9 percent, Sierra with 9 percent, X-Pro II with 8 percent and Hefe with 7 percent.
Shake things up a little every now and then, and try out a new filter or go the no-filter route.
Kickstart Instagram Efforts With a Change in Perspective
- Share a distinctive view of the world
- Cultivate a unique visual sense
- Capture things that are interesting to the brand and to the core target customer
- Train your eye to focus on what makes a great, provocative, engaging image
Entrust your Instagram presence to someone in the organization who understands how to align images with the interests of your target customer.
Leverage Photo Contests on Instagram With Facebook
Businesses can host photo contests on Instagram using hashtags to organize submissions and an RSS feed to follow along with new photos as they’re added.
Samsung Camera used the hashtag #LiveInTheMoment to successfully promote their Instagram photo contest on their Facebook page.
Use Facebook status updates to encourage your fans to enter your Instagram photo contest.
Market Your Brand Using Trends
Instagrammers can use a number of trending hashtags to join in a bigger part of the visual community storytelling.
Find a trending hashtag that’s relevant to your marketing strategy and participate with images from your brand.
Network on Instagram
- Engage—like others’ photos and leave comments
- Follow your already established followers from other social media platforms
- Include your hashtags—if your brand uses specific hashtags on Twitter or Google+, use them on Instagram as well
Optimize Your Profile
Instagram profiles—like their counterparts on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking platforms—need to include brand information in specific ways (e.g., maximum number of characters, specific image sizes, attention to branding).
Complete your profile with all of the information customers might need to find you and do business with you.
Over to You
These are just a few tips on how you can use Instagram to create a presence for your business. Check them out and see what works best to enhance your brand.
What do you think? Are you inspired to try Instagram in your social media strategy? Do you see a tip that will make a difference in your marketing?
A Great Business did not just happen - It was planned that way.