If you’ve been using Instagram for your personal photos, you know it’s an interactive, fun, creative platform. Beautiful images from around the world are shared by billions of people, everything from food to landscapes to family fun.
If you own a small business, chances are you have shied away from using Instagram for business purposes. First, it’s been inconvenient to sign in with different accounts, and second, it’s embarrassing when you accidentally post that cute picture of your daughter under your company account. Instagram has rolled out a feature recently, though, that makes it far easier to switch between multiple Instagram accounts. If you can afford the time to test Instagram for your company, you may find a path to open up new opportunities.
Here’s a beginner’s guide to getting started with Instagram for business, starting with some key do’s and don’ts.
INSTAGRAM FOR BUSINESS: DO’s
Do your homework.
If you don’t already use Instagram, try it for a while. Get the feel for how it works. If you do, see how others are using it successfully.
Follow Instagrammers from your industry.
Try competitors, industry gurus or other businesses you work with.
Follow your followers back.
It’s the right thing to do.
Fill out your profile completely.
Good bio, location and website address. Considering pointing your URL to a mobile-friendly landing page for an optimal user experience.
Only post good images that would appeal to your target audience.
Know who you’re posting for, and make the images look good. It’s a visual tool. Good content, smart cropping, and eye-catching filters.
Show your product and what you do.
If you make something, showcase it. If you do something, show your work.
Use industry hashtags, and add some fun ones (including one of your own). #twistedpuppy FTW.
Queue up images when you have time.
Since you should be posting regularly, plan for not always being able to create content. Have a few spare posts ready.
Show pictures from behind the scenes.
Show a bit (not too much) of how the sausage is actually made. Make it look interesting (not you in a boring meeting).
Look at “the grid” of images and see if you can make it nicer.
The default way to view your profile shows rows of three posts. You can make them “fit together” for an added appeal.
Watch what gains likes & followers.
Do more of what works. Do less of what doesn’t. We say that about most things. 🙂
Pay attention to locals.
Be part of the community, especially your local scene.
Mix it up.
Don’t show the same posts over and over. It’s a sure way to lose followers.
75% of leading brands post at least one time each week.
Comment on other Instagram posts.
When viewers comment on your posts, it’s good. Be good too.
Introduce your team.
If you have a business, showcase your people. Your fans really want to know. Pictures of your team always make your company seem human.
With experience, set some goals.
Once you have experience and momentum, set targets for likes, comments and followers. Expand your momentum – learn more about the platform and ways to grow.
With planning, you can create story lines with a series of photos or videos. “A day in the life!”
Add Instagram links to your website & email.
With a library of photos in place, make sure people know you have an Instagram presence.
INSTAGRAM FOR BUSINESS: DON’Ts
Don’t be negative.
Don’t post too much post sales material.
Think of a ratio of 1 in 9 posts that can be an “ad”.
Don’t post your lunch photos.
Seriously. It got tired with Twitter 7 years ago.
Don’t forget about a style for your brand.
If you have a look to your brand, be brand consistent. Developing a style (same filters, same borders, same concepts), your followers will notice and (probably) recognize it.
Don’t ignore feedback.
Engage with your followers as often as possible. It’s a social network.
Don’t get too personal.
Have a likeable voice, but don’t overshare your personal information.
Don’t use lame Get Follower services.
We tested a couple, and it’s way more trouble than it’s worth. They’re not high quality, which defeats the point.
Don’t post at odd hours.
Like any social media posts, you want them to be seen. Post when your audience is looking. If it’s 4am and your audience arises at 10, use a scheduler like @latergramme.
How to Add & Switch Between Instagram Accounts
As mentioned earlier, there’s a new feature in Instagram to switch between up to 5 accounts. Here’s the help provided by Instagram.