How To Get Started On Instagram for a Local Business


how to get started with Instagram

Instagram is one of the largest social networks in use and is certainly the worlds leading photo platform. A primarily mobile based app, it allows users to take, upload and digitally filter and enhance photos before sharing them publicly, both online in its own forum and also via other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. It is renowned for its retro feel and look, inspired by the days of polaroid photos giving your photos a classic cool touch.

 

Getting Started

It really is simple, just go to your app store on your phone and search for Instagram and download. Here’s the app on iTunes and GooglePlay. Be sure to use your brand name when registering your handle, keeping it the same as your Facebook and Twitter profiles if possible to give you consistency and make you easy to locate. The same goes for your profile photo, if you have a brand logo, make sure you use that. Link out to your website in the bio section to ensure increased traffic to your own site.

  • Once you have it installed, open the app and start uploading by clicking on the blue camera icon in the bottom centre of the screen.

Take a photo with Instagram

  • From there you can either take a photo in real time or scroll through your gallery to find one.
  • Resize it using the touch screen square option, click the arrow icon top right corner to move on.
  • Select the filters from the row across the bottom of the screen until you find one you like.

Instagram filter options

  • You can also test other options such as blurred edges and frames from the top of the page.¬†Once you’re happy, click the arrow again to select the final control page:

Post a photo on Instagram

  • Select to send it to other profiles such as Facebook and Twitter for maximise publicity. You also have the option to tag other Instagram users if its relevant to do so, it’s a good way of reaching out. If you like, you can even add a location to the photo so people know where to find you. After you have done that, all that is left is to post it by again clicking the arrow. It’s really that easy!

 

How To Use It For Business

It’s a common misperception that photo apps such as Instagram are aimed solely at young people for personal use, and although this is one core marketing group, it’s also a fantastic way to plug your business if you know how to embrace it correctly. The key is to balance the content of your photos from personal and fun, so your audience can see that you’re human and approachable, but also maintain a level of business and work ethics.

  • Posting photos of your team having coffee and laughing during work meetings is a perfect Instagram photo opportunity to help break the fourth wall between you and your consumer base. Whilst these laid back personal touches are welcome and should be embraced, be sure to ensure they retain a level of respectability.
  • Be clever with it as a marketing tool. Have a sale on? Upload an Instagram of a “Sale!” image so your customers know that they can get money off and be more likely to engage.
  • Be sure to use hashtags when you publish. Key ideas would be your brand name, the word sale, the items you sell and are showing in the photo, length of sale, colour of item. These keyword hashtags will help lead customers to you (especially if you also post out to Facebook and Twitter when you publish).

 

Conclusion

Instagram is a great visual marketing tool. Not only can you market items or products, you can show the public that you’re just like them, normal people, having fun and doing a great job. By walking a line of personal touches and business posts, you will have an Instagram profile people will love and connect with. And if people are connecting, they’re appreciating your brand.

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Nikki is a freelance writer and blogger, specialising in social media marketing. Having worked at a social media company for nearly two years, she learnt first hand of the power of social marketing and is keen to share that knowledge to help businesses and individuals grow and expand. Occasionally, she can be found writing about other topics such as music, food, travel and relationships.

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