Why should you bother creating an Instagram account for your business, when you’re already on Facebook? Many business owners are still reluctant to commit to regularly engaging on Instagram, especially when it involves regularly posting new photos and videos. Join Courtney Lane Maki, owner of Glow Social Media, to discover why your brand should be on Instagram, and how to make the most of your time spent on the social network. This was filmed (by UnoDeuce MultiMedia) at Marketing Mondays at the Small Business Development Center in Lansing, Michigan. Watch below: Glow Social Media’s Courtney Lane Maki on “Why Your Business Needs to Get on Instagram (And Post Things)”.
If you’re looking for more in-depth content, here are some of my notes from the presentation. It also gives you a look into how I prepare for these talks! (Note: there are no notes for slides 4-19 as I am walking through the tutorials on the slideshow)
Slide 1: Open
Instagram has taken the best features of all of the top social media platforms and rolled them into one, rapidly growing interface.
- Advertising – easy interface through facebook, better engagement on ads
- Use of hashtags is still alive and well
- 1 minute long video posts with expanded editing options is the best of youtube
- IG Stories took a note from snapchat
- IG live
Slide 2: 300
What IS IG? Instagram is a mobile photo-sharing app and social network created in 2010. In 2012, Facebook purchased the service for $1 billion. According to Instagram, the social platform has more than 300 million daily active users and 500 million monthly users. Instagram is photo- and video-centric, so users can edit and post images and short videos, record Instagram stories, and go live with video
Slide 3: The Lineup
Here’s an outline of what I’m going to cover today. Take notes, and I also encourage you to follow along with your own account. So whip those phones and tablets out!
Slide 20: Other Tags
Hashtags can include letters and numbers, but they can’t contain any non-numerical symbols.
Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags in a post or comment.
Instagram allows you to add your location to your photos when you post them, and if you use this feature, the service will create a photo map of your posts. This shows you, on a map, where all of your photos have been taken, so this is especially useful if your business is related to travel or if you travel a lot in relation to your brand.
- Show off your products or services. Take pictures of cool new products as you get them in, or share pictures of your most popular products. Or, if you run a service business, like a hair salon or a restaurant, take the time to take photos of your work.
- Go behind the scenes. Take pictures and videos to show how your products or goods are made, especially if the process is unique or interesting, or something your customers ask about often. This will not only provide interesting content for your Instagram account, but will also show your customers and followers exactly what goes on in the background.
- Include your employees. Make your brand’s Instagram page more personal by including your employees in your posts. Share pictures of your team members hard at work or having fun at company outings.
- Ask your customers to show off their photos. Put your Instagram handle and custom hashtags on your products or promotional materials to encourage customers to tag you when they share photos of your product, service or work. This way, other users who want to know where it came from can find you easily. Just make sure you’re checking them out, liking them and commenting on them, so they continue to do so.
- Post exclusive deals on your Instagram. Give back to your Instagram followers by offering them discounts for following you. Share an image with instructions on how to use the deal — for example, you can create a coupon code for use at your business online, or ask users (when they’re paying for a product or service) to show they follow you. This will make your followers feel special, and likely get them telling their friends about your business, too.
- Hold Live interviews, Q&As (Refinery, Gary Vaynerchuk)
Links don’t work in Instagram captions. The only place you can share a working link that actually takes users to a website is in your profile (or through a button on a sponsored post). Links don’t work in captions or photo comments, so if you’re trying to direct people to a specific web page, you can change the default link in your bio to that particular page and note in the caption that the link is on your profile.
Make sure your posts relate to your brand. It can be tempting to share photos of food, fashion and animals because they’re so popular on the platform, but if your business has nothing to do with those things, this could make your social marketing look disjointed and could confuse your followers. However, if you can find a way to incorporate pictures like these while still making them relevant to your business, it could make your social marketing strategy more successful.
Run giveaways and promotions. Post an image advertising your giveaway, sale or contest and asking users to re-post that image with a specific, custom hashtag in order to enter. You can then search that hashtag to see who has re-posted it and pick a winner. Promotions like this allow your customers and followers to market your brand for you by talking about your promotion on their personal pages, and it will drive more people to visit your profile.
Respond to other users’ comments. When people comment on your photos, reply to them. Interacting with your customers and followers will show them that you are paying attention and that you care about whether they see your photos and what they have to say. They’ll be more likely to continue following you and interacting with your pictures if they feel like they matter.