Hot Instagram tips for your business

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Instagram is the new darling of social media. It isn’t just for sharing photos with friends. For clever businesses, it’s a free marketing platform, and a super easy website gallery tool.

What is instagram?

Instagram is a free application for mobile phones (iPhone or Android) that lets people take photos, apply filters to change the look of the photos and then share them. Users can share them on Instagram while also choosing to share them to Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare etc. Over 80 million smartphone users love Instagram.

What can your business post photos of on instagram?

  • Share daily shots of things happening around you.
  • Staff, events, products, fun, industry news,
  • The idea is to give your brand personality, so allow people into your “background”.
  • Make your Instagram personal too, not just about your business.
  • Hold a contest. Capture the details in a photo on instagram and use a #hashtag you can easily track.
  • Invite your followers to post their own Instagram photos of your business product or service, then repost those images to create a sense of community among the business’s followers.
  • Users don’t want to see images they can tell are obvious advertisement tactics; they want to see visual proof of a company they’re doing business with. Avoid only posting photos of brand logos or your storefront, and mix in some interesting images of an office ping pong game or a funny piece of wall art in the executive suite hallway.

EVERY business is interesting to someone. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have nothing to show. Every business does.

Top tips for getting started on Instagram

  • Sign up for an Instagram account and choose a username that clearly represents your brand (if possibleuse the same as your twitter name so photos shared on twitter will link to your account).
  • Add a profile photo of your logo or key team member, a short catchy biography and a link to your website.
  • Start sharing photos on Instagram and across your other social networks.
  • #hashtag your photos so you can start collecting followers.
  • Follow others and like lots of photos relevant to your industry. People will follow and like you back.
  • Create a unique #hashtag for your business to make it easy for you to collect photos from your followers around a certain theme.
  • Follow your customers on Instagram if they are there. Brand advocates are very important.
  • Love your customers? Print Instagram photos from your customers and put them on your store or your website.
  • If your fans are sharing your photos online, share their photos with your followers.

How to create an instagram photomap location page for your business

For a photo to appear on a location page in Instagram, it needs to be tagged with that location in the Geotag field you see just before uploading your photo. All locations that appear in search results on the Location screen are provided by Foursquare’s location database. Sometimes a place may not be listed here, but you can add it to Foursquare’s database (and Instagram) by following these steps:

  1. Download and sign up for Foursquare from the App Store.
  2. Go to the Check-in tab and search for the name of the place you want to add
  3. Tap the “Add this place” option
  4. Once you’ve added the place to the Foursquare database, you should be able to search for it on the Location screen in Instagram and select it to tag your photo with the place you’ve created
  5. Upload your photo, then tap on the place name (in blue text) that appears above your photo to see the location page you’ve created, where your photo and all photos tagged with this location in the future will appear