I recently joined the Hot Dog Marketing team as the content marketing specialist. As such I am to be the guru of not just white papers and blogs, but also social media. While I am more than familiar with Twitter and Facebook, Instagram was as unfamiliar to me as how to fix a problem on the International Space Station.
But when Jessica, the principle of Hot Dog Marketing, told me I was going to set us up an Instagram account and write about a “how-to” article on my experience I was excited. Instagram really realizes the value of businesses on their platform and has begun catering to them through their Instagram Business site, making the task of writing this article fun and easier.
I present to you “The How-To of Instagram” –business edition.
- You need to download the Instagram app to either your iOS or android device. While you are able to view your profile and pictures on the web all edits and uploading of photos must be done on a mobile device.
- After the Instagram app has downloaded to your phone open the application and you have the options to “Sign-up”, “Log-in” or “Log-in” with Facebook. Logging in with Facebook will help you connect with your followers from Facebook.
- If you choose to not sign-up through Facebook the first thing you may want to do is find people to follow. There is a slight difference between Android and iOS.
- On an Android tap the 3 dots on the top right of your profile page. It will take you to a page with a “Find Friends” button. Tap this and Instagram will help you connect.
- In iOS it is virtually the same but instead of the three dots you will tap your settings icon–the little gear looking thing.
Instagram will suggest followers for you to connect with and will also search for contacts saved to your phone if you allow it. To edit your profile tap the icon at the bottom far-right. It looks a bit like a camera with three lines. There you can edit your profile by adding a username, a profile picture, a link to your website, etc. Make sure all these are representative of your brand and the image you want to cultivate.
After you have set up your Instagram account you may be wondering how to leverage it for business. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? To effectively tell your story first decide why are you using Instagram. To garner brand recognition? Reach a new audience? Change or update your image?
Then choose your story theme. The cool thing about Instagram is you have the possibility to tell many stories about your company through the use of photos and videos. However, make sure the stories you tell are cohesive and relevant. And most importantly, your content is high quality.
For more tips and advice checkout Instagram’s business site. They have a great blog, case studies, and inspiration to help you get started and stay involved. Lastly, make sure you thoroughly review Instagram’s policies, guidelines, and terms of service. Most social media platforms are very protective of their image, too. While they want interesting and unique content they want to ensure it is safe for all their users.
I’m a mom, a small business owner, and I’m a marketing professional with over a decade helping businesses with their branding and online presence. When I’m not spending time with my family or on my business, I love cooking (and eating) and snuggling with my dogs while I binge on TV shows. My favorite authors are Malcolm Gladwell and Steve Martin. My favorite movies are L.A. Story, Little Mermaid, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Trainspotting.