NAVIGATION

Using Instagram for your business

There are several benefits of using Instagram for your business, but among the simplest are – it’s easy and fun to use. Here are eight Instagram questions most often asked by small business owners and some practical tips posted by other business owners on how to use it successfully.

WHAT IS INSTAGRAM? Instagram allows users to take pictures and videos from a mobile device, apply digital filters and a caption, and then share the image on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. Instagram makes it easy to create stunning photos that make you, and ultimately your business, look professional and creative. Tip #1 Make an Emotional Connection: Visuals are a great way to showcase your connection to your community, your business mission, and values.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INSTAGRAM AND PINTEREST? Similar to a search engine, users can use Pinterest to search for specific content or products. They can then create visually appealing boards by pinning and grouping the content they discover. On Pinterest, every pin is a link to the source of the image, usually an external site. On Instagram, users want a personal experience with the brands they follow. Tip #2 Introduce your Employees: Show the human side of your company.

WHY WOULD A BUSINESS WANT TO USE INSTAGRAM? Instagram gives you the opportunity to show customers a personal side of your business, tell your business story and connect with the people who matter most to your business. It helps build a level of trust and familiarity. Tip #3 Offer Inspiration: Share quotes or a personal anecdote so others can associate positivity with your business.

WHAT SHOULD I SHARE ON INSTAGRAM? Small businesses have an advantage over big brands when it comes to using Instagram for visual storytelling. Small business owners know every detail of their business and are present every day to capture authentic, timely content. Adding a personal touch, you can humanize your business, show off your values and personality, and foster customer loyalty faster. Tip #4 Have Fun: Through engaging and lighthearted posts, businesses can create a personal connection between its brand and followers.

HOW CAN I GROW MY FOLLOWING ON INSTAGRAM? Leverage all of the social channels you currently use to tell customers and supporters about your account. Let your contacts know you’re on Instagram in your next email newsletter. Find your customers on Instagram by accessing Instagram’s ‘Find People to Follow’ feature within your Account Settings. Help your customers find you by adding an Instagram badge to your website or blog. Tip #5 Get Customers Involved: Encourage the use of a specific hashtag, by capturing your customers in the moment; you create authentic content that truly connects your audience to your business.

HOW CAN A BUSINESS MEASURE THEIR SUCCESS ON INSTAGRAM? Iconosquare is an easy-to use, free analytics platform for Instagram that easily allows you to check which of your photos are generating the most engagement, track your likes and comments and more. Tip #6 Provide a Glimpse of the Past: Include the hashtag #TBT for ‘Throwback Thursday’ or #WayBackWednesday with an image that highlights a milestone or a good time from an earlier time.

CAN YOU CONNECT YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT TO YOUR FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE? Yes! Under Share Settings in your Instagram Account Setting, you can connect to your Facebook Business Page making it easier to share your Instagram photos on Facebook and for people on Facebook to connect with you on Instagram. Tip #7 Show the Steps: Let your audience get involved by offering a sneak peak at a new product.

CAN I USE INSTAGRAM FROM MY COMPUTER? Unfortunately, you can’t post to Instagram from a computer, but you can use the web browser version to look at profiles, follow people, and comment on photos. Tip #8 Go Behind the Scenes: This will leave a lasting impression on current and future customers.

For more information on using social media and Instagram to help grow your business, contact the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. Conveniently located in Camarillo, California, we’re here to help.


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