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Instagram For Business: Basics and Beyond

This is Part 2 of a 3 part series about getting started on Instagram. Find the first part here.

Now that you’ve gotten started with Instagram, you have to figure out what to post, how to attract followers, and how to drive sales/web traffic.

What should you post to Instagram? You should create visually appealing images and share them regularly. Look at the images posted by Instagram users and consider what is draws you in.

Tips and strategies to help your photos stand out:

 

Here are some examples of great Instagram posts:

Tarina Tarantino posted this beautiful photo – of course it has likes and comments in the first few minutes! It is bright and fun and has great detail.

Aida Mollenkamp is a food expert, cook book author, and more so it makes sense that she posted this pic of food. Note she also got 45+ “hearts” in less than 30 minutes. This is how you know you are “doing it right” – your audience responds positively. I am going to check back later because I want to see what she makes with all of these ingredients. That is “good social media” – she has my attention (and the attention of lots of other people).

Great use of white space by Tip Junkie – you can use an app on your phone to add white space to your photos before posting to Instagram or to use the full size photo, which will add white space to the square photos that are posted within in Instagram.

Using text and doing a giveaway — this isn’t the BEST example but an idea of what you can do by adding text to your photos before posting to Instagram. You’ll need another app to add text to your photos before posting to Instagram.

Can you post links on Instagram? if you were posting a photo of a new product in your online shop, it might make sense to paste the url to that product in your Instagram post. You can post urls but they won’t work as hyperlinks, making it challenging for your followers to actually follow your link.

Here are some work-arounds:

For more advanced users, there are several paid and free online tools and apps that interface with Instagram to help users manage their accounts. One of the most popular is Statigram, which recently became IconoSquare. You can access metrics and analytics for your Instagram account as well as easily unfollow and follow other users using Iconosquare. Other advanced tools allow you to repost other Instagram user’s photos.

Always consider what message your posts say about your brand when you’re posting. Start posting photos and then a week or so later, go back and check out what you posted by looking at your profile. Identify what themes and colors emerge the most. Do those represent your brand and the message you want to send out into the world?

Check back for the third part in our series soon, where we dig into building a community on Instagram.

By: Jennifer Priest from Hydrangea Hippo

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