Three Things You Should Be Doing on Instagram for Business
- Don’t just advertise your products. You can show off the cool stuff that you sell once in a while, but like all social media platforms, it’s really a space to personalize your brand. People use social media to connect with your brand and get a closer look at your business behind the scenes. Post photos of fun things that are happening around the office, like celebrations, social causes, and general company culture. I know I say this a lot but it’s worth a repeat: people don’t use social media to get advertisements from your company, they use it to get a sneak peak at your brand.
- Regardless of how small your business is, it can benefit from Instagram. People love pictures, so starting your company with just a meagre Instagram account can be very powerful. Even the smallest restaurant can have a huge following if the post the right pictures (think: food). Even solo artists and vendors can benefit from this site. People like seeing the life and culture of someone that may be completely different from their own. For example, see Shwoodshop, a small eye glass vendor from Portland, that has over 33,000 followers!
- Photo contests. These are a very easy way to grow followers. I don’t think I have to explain how these work: choose a hashtag and a prize and viola. This brings up a very important point: Instagram is not just for pictures. You can include a lot of valuable text in there as well!
- Cross promote your various social media channels. A presence on another social media platform usually amounts to a particular following. However if your Instagram followers like what they see, they will check your Facebook or your Twitter, at least! Mention that you are available on other channels so fans can choose their preferred medium of communication.
- Give you brand a face. As I said, social media is a place to personalize your business. This is where your fans/customers/followers can put a face to the business and learn about your passion for the industry. This is your opportunity to become likeable! Even Monsanto has managed to get 17,000 followers on Facebook!
Five Business Doing Instagram Well
Virgin America: 20,000 followers
What they do well: Celebrity spotting
They are showing behind the scenes stories! Celebrity spotting. A lot of fun stuff! Their Twitter account has 400,000 followers. They must be doing something right! They sure know how to leverage cute pet photos, like Boo!
Taco Bell: 60,000 followers
What they do well: customer photos enjoying their product
Taco Bell has a great mix of posts: they post anything from regular food pictures, customers enjoying their food, artistic depictions of their products, and pictures of their advertisements. I don’t like Taco Bell, but I would definitely follow them if I was the fast food type.
Macy’s: 55,000 followers
What they do well: Behind the scenes photos
Macy’s goes above and beyond other brands to show people what they do behind the scenes. They show people the events in which they participate and causes that they support to show a more human face to the organization.
Sharpie: 75,000 followers
What they do well: Use fan-submitted content
Sharpie uses content that is submitted by fans and created primarily with the use of Sharpie products to create artistic and Instagram-fitting content. Their page is the perfect mix of creative and entertaining that people love.
American Express: 27,000 followers
What they do well: Admirable culture and interesting history
AmEx manages to portray an exciting and intriguing culture around the card. They show interesting events and have creative images to represent particular evenings. They also show fun tidbits of knowledge about their history, which is also a great way to personalize your brand!