How to Use Instagram For Marketing: A Bright and Beautiful Beginner's Guide
I have a confession. I love Instagram. One of my favorite things to do is walk around my home city of San Francisco and, when I see something that captures my imagination, take a little creativity break and post my image to Facebook.
Instagram makes it easy to create and share entertaining and beautiful images — no complicated software like Photoshop required.
You can, of course, also use Instagram to market your business.
This post will explain how Instagram:
- Benefits your business
- Can be used for marketing and provide some
- Instagram pro tips
How Instagram Benefits Your Business
Instagram benefits your business by being another social channel driving traffic to your website and also by allowing your customers to interact with you. Instagram gives your brand visual dimension and tells your story like no other social media channel.
How to Use Instagram for Marketing
Start by using Instragram for marketing in these three ways:
- Research and “findability”. Using hashtags (see how to use twitter for marketing), you can research what people are saying about which topics. For example, ANNACOLIBRI uses the Instagram hashtags #annacolibri, #webpresence and #truthandbeauty. That means that if anyone searches those hashtags, up ANNACOLIBRI will come.
- Engagement. Once you have started to use hashtags for research and findability, you can start engaging people in conversations. The best way to do that is, using hashtags, find interesting images and conversations and start posting on them using your hashtags. It’s a hashtag world.
- Awesome images. As a business, you will want to use awesome images. It’s great to be artistic and original, but remember that you are selling something — your brand. So make your images shine and make them reflect your brand.
Research. Engagement. Awesomeness. These are the basics of using Instagram for business.
Instagram Pro Tips
Here are some pro tips that will enhance your Instagram for marketing experience:
Pro tip #1: You may be asking yourself how to achieve awesomeness. That your images should be beautiful goes without saying. But, more importantly, they should be relevant to your brand and inspire your potential customers.
Pro tip #2: If you don't like an image, you can always delete it. How to delete a less-than-awesome photo.
Pro tip #3: Share user content. If ever you run across someone who is sharing images of your products or talking up your services, reach out to them and ask them if you can use their content.
Pro tip #4: Share images (and hashtag appropriately) that aren’t necessarily about your product, but are related to your product and are of interest to your customers. ANNACOLIBRI, for example, focuses on consulting for women and mothers who are new to technology. These same women are interested in work/life balance. So, inspirational quotes and images fit right in.
Pro tip #5: To get more followers, like other people’s photos. Do a hashtag search related to your brand and then like all the best pictures you find.
Et voilà, the basics of how to market with Instagram. For more inspiration, check out this list of brands that use Instagram with style to engage their customers and share their messages.
What do you think of Instagram? Is it a good fit for you brand?
Neal, Thea. How to Achieve Brand Marketing Success with Instagram. Ignite Social Media. June 19, 2013.
Parkin, Lisa. How to Use Instagram for Business: Stop Talk and Listen. The Huffington Post. June 25, 2013.