Is Instagram worth the effort?

Craig Hoggins
March 16, 2016
Social Media

Tips on how Instagram could work for you

Instagram continues to grow exponentially. Take a look at the statistics: 400 million active users; 40 billion photos shared; 80 million photos per day; 3.5 billion likes daily; 75 % of users outside the United States.
Is Instagram worth the effort

There must be something to it, right? Instagram is almost exclusively a mobile site and is accessed from a smartphone.  Its content is made up of photos, videos and captions.  This means that 90% of the users that it attracts are younger than 35 years old! That may raise some questions for you.

  • Is this the right demographic for my business?  
  • Does my business or brand lend itself to be shared in photos?
  • How will I establish a presence on such a big platform?  
  • Is it worth the effort?

In light of the numbers, the better question seems to be, “How do I leverage the power of Instagram for my business?” To make it simple, here are a few do’s and don’ts that will help you make a success of your brand’s Instagram account.

Top Tips on how to use Instagram:

1. Take a look over here Instagram is visual.

This means photographs and short videos of your product or service. Remember that quality counts more than quantity when it comes to photographs on Instagram. The app was created to appeal to an artistic niche market and, whilst it has expanded, quality photographs are important. It could be a sneak peek before the launch of an upcoming product or service.  It could be your product in an exciting location. It is not just about blatant self-promotion, though. Nobody likes a show-off.  Think about how you caption it, and remember to keep it interesting and engaging. If your product or service doesn’t lend itself to photos, it is time to get creative.  

Share your adventures with followers:

Pictures of how your office looks; quirky staff members; products being manufactured; team members at work and company events. Share your “behind the scenes” pictures and make your fans part of your story. And only post things directly related to your business, product or industry. Not pictures of cats you think are cute …  unless cats are your business.

2. No, don’t go!

With so many choices available, you need to give your fans reasons to stick with you. Make them want to follow you. Offer discounts on Instagram. You could provide fans with a promotion code for use in your online shop. Or give followers a password to be used in store for a special prize or discount. Run competitions and get people talking. Create a company or brand hashtag and ask followers to use it to post photographs of your product in creative ways or in exotic locations. You could award a prize for the best post, or you could manage it as an online raffle. People love to win things, even if the prize is something small.

3. Keep it freshest new content every day:

Not just one post, and not all at once.  To make your Instagram account work best for you, you should spread a few posts over the course of the day. Use pictures that have not been seen before, not just stock photos.  Rather use pictures you have taken yourself or have received from your followers. The winners of those competitions you ran? An excellent way to get user-generated content.

4. Respond, Engage, Interact

Respond to every comment you receive from followers.  It shows your fans that you are listening. Follow other users in your industry and comment frequently. It builds your presence. Share the photos of your fans and always, always, always give credit to the photographer.

5. Use hashtags wisely

Choose hashtags that relate to your business directly, or make up your own. Don’t use hashtags just because they are trending; if they aren’t relevant to your business it will simply annoy your followers. Choose a few hashtags and use them consistently.

6. A little goes a long way

If you add Instagram to your social media strategy you do not have to double your effort. In other words, you do not have to go into every app to add your new post. Although you cannot include hyperlinks on Instagram, you can feed your other social media sites automatically from Instagram. You can also embed a link on your website which tells users that you are active on Instagram. It is easy to measure if your Instagram strategy is working. There are a number of analytic apps, many of them free, which will tell you how well you are doing. Implement these tips and you could soon be reaping the rewards of your Instagram account.

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