Social Media How-To: Instagram for Business

If you have spent any time looking around on Instagram, you know that it is a straightforward, highly visual platform is built around images. While initially designed for personal use, recently it has seen an upsurge of businesses (particularly retailers) making use of the platform more frequently than before. Should your business be on Instagram?

What is Instagram?

Hands taking photo of lunch with smartphoneA mobile based social media platform, Instagram was designed by Facebook and launched in 2010 (if Facebook had anything to do with it, you know it’s gotta be good). It is made for sharing images and short videos directly from a smartphone. Instagram apps are available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. While it is possible to see an Instagram profile on a desktop computer, images and videos can only be uploaded from a mobile device.

At its core, the Instagram home page functions as a long list of images that appear on a mobile device, one at a time. Imagine you are looking at the home page of your Facebook account. Cut out the menu bars on the left and right, then eliminate 90% of the text so that you only see pictures. That, in a nutshell, is what Instagram looks like. The great thing about this simple platform is that your customers or clients can only look at one thing at a time, with no distractions. This layout creates a highly personal experience, that (when used properly) allows you to consistently place your business in the back of your account follower’s minds.

How Can Instagram Help My Business?

Any business can use Instagram to help develop a personal connection with clients and guests. While businesses that sell highly visual products (clothing or food, for example) obviously have a leg up in the game when it comes to a visual social media platform, you may be surprised to find out that other, not-so-visual businesses can make it on Instagram too, it just takes a little creative forethought.

Take a waste management company, for example. You may be thinking, “Why would a waste management company be on Instagram? No one wants to see photos of trash!” Here’s the thing: a successful Instagram account will convey a message, along with a literal image. Sure, you could post a photo of a stinky pile of garbage and gross everyone out, or you could post a photo of beautiful, majestic tree to send the message that your company is environmentally responsible. See the difference?

But…I’m Not a Photographer

Vintage Sea accessories on wooden background top view. Toned.That’s okay! You don’t need to be. If you have a smartphone and the Instagram app, there is no reason that you can’t create visually compelling photographs. To start, use Instagram’s search tab to do a little research on popular Instagram accounts. Research your competition and businesses that are similar to yours. Learn about what they post on Instagram. What works? What doesn’t work? Take a close look at the way in which the photos are composed. Are they close ups? Are they landscapes? What kinds of colors do you see? A little research can go a long way when it comes to being successful on Instagram.

Take Action!

If you are interested in learning more about how Instagram can help your business reach new audiences, or if you are interested in professional photography, reach out to the experts at Vision Advertising in Worcester Massachusetts. We are experts in all things marketing, and would love to help you grow your business.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by his background, Alex writes “social media content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to whitepapers and beyond. In addition, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision’s clients, along with social media advertising for others. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, compiles tabletop roleplaying system conversions, and cooks a mean Chicken and Dumplings avec Peas. A videogame enthusiast, he is also developing his first video game with the startup game studio, Pretty Weird. He is terrible with plants*.