The iPhone and other smartphones are now the most used cameras in the world, which means you need to be thinking about using Instagram for business! Is your Instagram profile or account up for the challenge? Your customer base is a collection of picture takers, picture searchers and picture users, so you are missing out if you are not a part of the conversation!
Instagram has 100 million users who have taken over 4 billion photos (as of April 2013), so your customers are using it daily. This mass adoption of Instagram is an enormous marketing opportunity for you since it is part of your customers’ native behavior. Leverage your customers’ passion and turn them into advocates by tapping into their native picture-taking behavior. If you are a small or large business who can tell your story visually then you need to be using Instagram for business to help generate foot, website and phone traffic!
Before you say to yourself, “Yeah, I know now to use Instagram for my business, I’ll run a photo contest”, it’s important for you to know how to set up your Instagram profile and understand the basic rules of engagement.
How To Build The Perfect Instagram Profile For Your Business
Here is direction to help you build the perfect Instagram for business profile:
- Profile Pic. Use your company logo. Simple enough.
- Company Name. Select a user name closely resembling your company name and your Twitter handle.
- Profile. Explain your business and its purpose for being on Instagram. Unlike other social channels, Instagram profiles cannot be searched by keywords or hashtags.
- URL. Include your company website or Facebook URL.
- Captions. Use relevant photo captions, including asking questions, to grab customer attention. Make it easier for your customers to find you by include your company URL in your comments.
- Notifications. Allow your photos to be found From Everyone for Like and Comment notifications by removing all privacy barriers to make it easy for customers to find you.
- Branding. Integrate your company logo or presence into your photos. Most people experience Instagram through the feed, so don’t rely on your profile to get your customers’ attention.
- Reply. Send a short note to people liking, commenting or mentioning you (in News tab) to start a 2-way conversation. Try to keep comments to a conversational level by asking a question to incite a response.
- Hashtags. Use multiple hashtags, including your company hashtag, to reach people searching on relevant topics. Further increase your reach and keep your content fresh by adding hashtags to past posts.
- Photos Of You. Include relevant Photos Of You photos in your profile to embrace your customers as brand advocates. Also, tag customers in your photos to begin a dialogue by getting on their radar.
Here are some ways for you to use Instagram for business marketing:
- See how Dogfish Head Brew Pub or any other craft beer bar can be using Instagram
- Understand how restaurants can use Instagram can drive traffic to their establishments
- How use use Instagram to make a picture perfect impression at a trade show
If you are a craft beer bar, restaurant, retailer or most any other kind of business, most everyone one that walks into your store or checks your website is a smartphone photographer. They may also be an Instagrammer with whom you can connect on a different level. Jump on that native picture-taking behavior and “strike a post”!