Instagram. Most people have one. Most people waste 74903275903759 hours scrolling up and down looking at pictures of holidays and nail varnish and avocados. But, these days there is a different trend happening and it's definitely a growing industry that has only been developing the past 18 months or so. That is; the generation of the business Instagrammers. People have made entire careers out of Instagramming and you don't have to search far to find someone who is making a name for themselves via photos. It's been no secret the way people consume media and information is changing and the rise of bloggers and vloggers alike is something you can't miss. #instafamous
Whilst some people make $$$$$$$ out of Instagram, even the smallest of businesses can use Instagram as a new platform to market themselves and reach an even wider audience. Whilst it might not over take Twitter just yet, Instagram is a a fantastic way to promote yourself, especially for those in a creative industry job. Here are some of my tips and tricks for being a business on Insta.
Hashtags are so vitally important on most social media platforms these days. They allow people to connect with you, connect with what you're about and keep people engaged. Audiences like to find something online that keeps them going and to keep clicking on hashtags means they stay interested and is doubly handy if you regularly hashtag the same things so you stay top of the pecking order.
2. Good Photographs.
I wrote a blog post all about taking Instagram worthy promotional photos which you can find here. It is vital to looking professional, sloppy photos and shoddy camera work make you look a bit inexperienced.
Now this one is pretty hard as Instagram is yet to jump on the bandwagon, listen to what the people are calling for and with the exception of hashtags and links to other uses, the platform doesn't have a function for accessible links. Websites, links to Twitter, links to other social media platforms, all come up as flat text so linking to relevant media is pretty difficult. Because of this you need to plug links in every way you can, link to other companies who have accounts, shout about your website/Twitter/Facebook enough and people might just be interested enough to actively Google it themselves.
4. Big Up.
Networking is vital for any business on any platform and Instagram is no different. Share things other people have posted, brag over other people's work, big people up, congratulate them, show your support-whatever you do for other people they are very likely to do back for you.
5. Photograph Your Work.
As a business on Instagram you have to show off what you are doing. Because it is such a visual platform you need to photograph what it is you are selling or promoting, whether it be a physical product or simply a concept or idea. Make sure you keep promoting it, keep selling it, keep shouting about it in amongst every day posts and lifestyle ideas.
6. Stay Current.
People love a topical theme. It's the same kind of reaction as linking to a Twitter hashtag can give you. If there's a current story in the news, something in the press, if it's the world cup or the olympics, if there's a new trend spreading-whatever it is, if you can jump on something topical, make it your own and reflect it back on what you're doing and your work, you're onto a winner.
7. Keep Up To Date.
The worst Instagram accounts are the ones that have 12 posts on and the owner has had an account for 18 months. If you aren't into it and you aren't using it-delete it. It looks sloppy like you can't be bothered to keep up to date with your self promotion which, lets face it, is a massive part of the job description nowadays. Keep regular, don't go too overboard, try and post at least every other day. If you do have a run of a few days that aren't noteworthy, the next time you post make sure to boast about how busy you've been working and haven't even had time to stop and whack a filter onto a photo.
8. Be Fun.
Instagram is generally a fun and lighthearted social media. We all know the lives on Insta aren't always real, they are a highly edited, glossy, white background, wooden flooring, Pinterest enviable, XX Pro filtered version of our lives. Keep it fun and informal, whilst remaining professional. It should be engaging and good spirited and people will always relate. It's amazing what social media can do for a business.