Should You Try Instagram for Business
My take on Instagram is that it is a combination of Pinterest and Twitter and so you can of course use Instagram for Business and brand promotion. But the real question is whether you should.
When a new Iphone or tablet comes out then people want to see what it looks like so it makes sense to include Instagram in the social media strategy.
But if your business is local rather than national or international then the decision becomes harder. If say you offer snow removal services in Ontario does it do your business any good to have followers in Melbourne Australia?
The strategy for a local business will be very different from that of a national business. So you need to be clear about what you are trying to achieve.
Know Your Audience Before You Start
You know what your product or service is and so you would search on Instagram to see what others are posting. You do this by using hashtags.
There are sites you can find by Googling “hashtags on Instagram”
or “business hashtags for instagram”. The results will show you sites that have the most used/popular hashtags. Choose the appropriate ones for what your business is about and search Instagram for those hashtags.
To get you started here is a list that I have used. It is a Word document and simply click this link to open it.
Then look on Instagram at what people are posting and saying. Read their profiles to get a feel for the age and location of those people. See what interests them by looking at what they have posted…..and their profiles. That will tell you what to post for them and how to talk to them.
Be Social When Using Instagram
Again I must stress that you do not “sell” anything other than your friendship. Like all platforms Instagram is a community and as such you need to invest time in being part of that community. You do have to visit others and leave a comment about their pics….even a short one is better than none.
The idea is to build trust and get people interested in what you are sharing. You are not going to be like Jim and only ever talk about yourself.
So be prepared to put up an interesting image with a message that has nothing to do with your business such as “for all of you out there who like……….” and use the right hashtag.
OK, but Should I Use Instagram for Business?
As you have read these articles you will have gathered (I hope) that there is a lot more to social media marketing than just signing up for the account……remember the cartoon on the home page!
If Instagram fits into your strategy then of course you should use it…… but only if it does fit.
How Will I know if Instagram Does Fit?
Well you wont until you try it and when you do then give it at least 6 months to see if the goals you set were reached.
My view is that it is best used as an extension to an existing campaign/strategy.
If you have used any of the obvious platforms (Facebook, Google+, Twitter) then you will have already had some success or failure with social marketing.
The posts/images/videos that worked can be reposted on Instagram as it will be a new audience.
If what you have tried so far has not worked then it probably wont work on Instagram either so you will just be wasting your time and energy.
And that would be a shame as the experience may very well put you off doing social media online marketing altogether. But it is OK to make mistakes. Just try not to make the same ones twice.
I have no doubt that Instagram when used properly can be good for a business but it will depend on what that business does offer to its customers.
Think of it (and all of the platforms) as a tool. You do not use a chisel as a screwdriver and it certainly wont be any good as a spanner.
Now its time for you to read about the how of using Instagram for Business in the next article.
And if you want some training then you can read about that by Clicking Here or on the banner below.
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