Many small business owners find it difficult enough to keep up with website updates and blog content. We all know that you need to keep your content current and your blog rolling, but a large majority go beyond that and integrate social media into their marketing solutions. The problem with social media is that it’s like an old watch: you have to keep winding it or it will stop working.
There are a slew of social media platforms that are full of people all around the globe looking for your products and services. Most of you are familiar with the popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but there is a image centric platform that is very popular and a great way to engage users. Hint: it’s not Pinterest!
Instagram can be a great way to gain exposure and engagement with users that are interested in your brand or service. While it isn’t fully suited to every industry, it is particularly powerful for retail and manufacturers. Here are some quick tips to get you started on your Instragram journey!
1) Add a link to your Instagram profile
Instagram only allows you to place a clickable link in one spot: your profile page below your bio. A lot of people forget about this feature or set it and forget it. Don’t fall for the same mistake! You can use this link to generate traffic to your site, and you can change this link as often as you like. If you want to promote a certain product or service for a few weeks, change your URL and point people to the new page.
You can also track clicks on this link using a custom URL (such as Google’s URL shortening service, or Bit.ly) to capture the metrics on these profile clicks.
2) Use Hashtags!
Similar to Twitter, Instagram also allows the use of hashtags in your content. Unlike Twitter, it is not uncommon to see 15-20 hashtags per post! Try to include a large range of hashtags when you are inserting them into your post, looking for some that are very popular, some that are moderately popular, and some that have little traction at all. You can also create your own hashtag by simply inserting it into your post.
Using hashtags and including a wide spread will increase your coverage and ensure that many users are able to see post because it will display for popular hashtags that has a short halflife, and slower hashtags that will display your content for longer.
3) Use clear headlines
We all know that clarity is good and getting the message across is even better, so don’t forget this when you are crafting your post titles. Figure out what action you want your users to do, and then tell them. If you want them to like the image, tell them: “Like this image of a dog!” If you want them to share it, tell them to share it. That doesn’t mean title every post “Like This!” or “Share This!” – Get creative with your content but don’t be afraid to direct the user a little bit.
4) Use text overlays in your images
One of the best ways to get engagement with images is to include text overlays. This is a pretty common tactic in this day and age for one reason: because it works! Including an image of something and then headlining the actions or options on the actual image is one of the best ways to drive engagement and action around your posts. Have a big Fourth of July sale? Post a image of some fireworks with a text overlay that tells your users about the sale, etc.
And there you have it, 4 quick and easy tips to get started on Instragram. Do some serious research about your product offerings and don’t underestimate the platform, it has over 300 million monthly active users!