Instagram for Business

instagram59% of the world’s top brands are now active on Instagram. Make your brand visible by creating a brand profile on Instagram.

Images

Instagram provides increased web real estate which businesses can use to post images about the business. The trick is to post a balance of fun images and images from your business.
A great example of this is the Anthropologie profile on Instagram – a great example of a good balance of images. Their followers like fun images as well as business ones and a puppy picture received 7,640 likes. A picture of their personal shoppers posing at a company luncheon event received 3,457.
Tracking the engagement of your images will indicate which images your followers like!

Cultivate a Following

• Connect the business Instagram profile with its Facebook account
• Use relevant and popular hashtags
• Engage by following others and liking their photos

Cross-post selected images to your Facebook page with a hashtag that aligns with your campaign or brand image to help people who don’t know you’re on Instagram to find you there.

Videos

Instagram offers “Video on Instagram” which provides a 15 second, filter enabled, editable video functionality which, compared with Twitter’s (Vine) of 6.5 seconds, beats it hands down!
Honda made its debut on Instagram with an Instagram video by making a joke out of the choice between Instagram and Twitter videos. Fun idea!
So when the business makes its debut on Instagram it will gain an advantage if it posts a video.

Embed Instagram Video in Your Blog or Website

Instagram has a feature which enables videos to be embedded in websites so, since you never know who will see your shares on a social networking platform; it makes good sense to embed your Instagram video in your blog or website to extend the reach of your content.

Follow your Followers Back

It’s not necessary to post on Instagram every day. The ‘feed speed’ on Instagram is still mostly laid back. If you start posting a lot, you might saturate your followers’ feeds, and you don’t want to force yourself into the noise too often. Decide what you have ready to post and create a schedule to help you remember what to post when and to track what is working once you get going.

Instagram Apps

There are around 20 apps that will enhance your photo-sharing. They allow users to print images, search tags and keywords, subscribe to Instagram profiles via email, download all Instagram photos in a single archive folder, and much more.
It makes good sense to use these apps to make Instagram a significant part of your social media marketing strategy.
Inspire Potential Customers
Check out this example of Whole Foods Market which posts representative photos to promote healthy, wholesome food products, store events, sustainability and their active community of customers and employees.

Use the Different Image Filters

Here are the choices made around filtered photos based on user engagement: “Lo-fi is the filter of choice for 14 % of brands’ filtered photos, followed by Valencia with 12%, Rise with 12 %, Amaro with 11%, Hudson with 9%, Sierra with 9%, X-Pro II with 8% and Hefe with 7%.”
Filters are also more than a question of aesthetics, they can say a lot about your business!

Change Your Perspective

Get past your inherent interest in selling and instead:
• Share a distinctive view of the world
• Cultivate a unique visual sense
• Capture things that are interesting to the brand and to the core target customer
• Train your eye to focus on what makes a great, provocative, engaging image
Entrust your Instagram presence to someone in the organization who understands how to align images with the interests of your target customer.

Photo Contests on Instagram with Facebook

Businesses can host photo contests on Instagram using hashtags to organize submissions and an RSS feed to follow along with new photos as they’re added.
Samsung Camera used the hashtag #LiveInTheMoment to successfully promote their Instagram photo contest on their Facebook page.
Use Facebook status updates to encourage your fans to enter your Instagram photo contest.
instagram-coca-cola

Use Trends to Market Your Brand

Businesses on Instagram can use a number of trending hashtags to join in a bigger part of the visual community storytelling.
Charles Mazzini goes through the days of the week beginning with #ManCrushMonday and ending with #SelfieSunday.
Find a trending hashtag that’s relevant to your marketing strategy and participate with images from your brand.

Network on Instagram

3 essential ways to create a network:
• Engage—like others’ photos and leave comments
• Follow your already established followers from other social media platforms
• Include your hashtags—if your brand uses specific hashtags on Twitter or Google+, use them on Instagram as well

Optimise Your Profile

Brandon Gaille has a helpful list of what to include in your profile and Gerry Moran provides an easy-to-digest graphic illustrating where everything shows.
Complete your profile with all of the information customers might need to find you and do business with you. Include brand information employing the maximum number of characters, specific image sizes and with attention to branding.

Promote Your Business on Both Facebook and Instagram

Instagram and Facebook, as a duo, offer brands a unique opportunity for promotion.
Brands create Instagram videos, share them to their Facebook pages and then boost them into paid media that hits the Facebook news feed, in the same way that they boost text or photo posts. This enables brands to reach Facebook’s 818 million monthly active mobile users, which dwarfs Instagram’s 130 million. It’s profiting from Instagram without having to advertise on Instagram… For now it’s all about capturing and sharing the world’s moments—and paying to distribute them on the world’s largest social network.
Capitalize on Facebook’s integration of Instagram to reach a wider audience.

Check the Stats

The way to discover how your popularity translates into added followers on Instagram and capitalize on that popularity by using image analytics tools such as BlitzMetrics and Curalate that provide detailed insights.
Check out how Denim brand 7 For All Mankind used the platform to identify that an image was resonating on Instagram and then pushed that out as a Facebook ad, resulting in the brand’s most engaged ad on that platform to date.
Use image analytics to identify images and video that resonate with your fans and followers.

Reward Your Followers

Deliver perks to your followers so they will make viewing your feed content a priority.

Check out how American Express offers its followers backstage entries to events such as fashion shows, concerts and even the U.S. Open. There is an opportunity for every retail business to reward its followers with discount codes and promos.

Showcase Photos of Employees

Showing your employees, using images of them at work, not only gives a behind-the-scenes view of your company, it’s also a way to celebrate staff and show them how much they’re valued. A great example is Beaucoup Bakery, which shares pictures of their staff with the hashtag #beaucrew.
Acknowledge staff members’ skill sets, successes and milestones on Instagram.

Use Industry Related Hashtags

If you are attending an event or you are at a location that’s designated by a hashtag (something like #smmw13), then you add it to your photos so that event coordinators and other attendees can find them.
Track the relevance of your Instagram hashtags with Nitrogram, the Instagram analytics and engagement platform that provides key metrics on hashtags including contributors, content, engagement and context.

Capture Important Brand Moments on Video

Capture your company’s important moments in 15-second videos and share them with your followers so they feel included. Share unique branded experiences, highlight brand advocates, co-create content with audiences, preview products, highlight a specific cause, extend the brand’s persona via video, preview upcoming events by adding visual context, share important news, drive promotional awareness, leverage Instagram video for promotion and create videos that show fan appreciation.

Widen Your Exposure to Other Brands

It’s good practice to follow other brands on Instagram. Statigram is a great tool for finding brands and hashtags that relate to your brand. Simply enter the brand name or hashtag into the search box and click Search.
Target has a profile on Instagram.