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Secrets to Social Media Success – Part 4, Instagram

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One of my favorite things about Instagram is how easy it is to use. And I’m not just talking about how easy it is to create visually-appealing images, but also how fast it is to share your new photos to social networks.

Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social network that allows you to create terrific professional-looking photos with a click of a button, using a number of different digital filters.

There are a lot of ways that you can use Instagram for your business, but here are a few ideas to help you begin your journey.

Here are 7 to remember:

1. Get familiar with Instagram before diving in

Play around with the platform, take some photos and share them on your personal social networks. This will help you get used to the technology and will allow you to see how others react to specific pieces of content.

Once you understand how it works, create photos for your business and share them on your business social networks.

2. Connect Instagram with your Facebook Business Page

Whether you’ve already connected your Instagram account to your personal or business Facebook Page or not, don’t worry. It’s easy to connect Instagram to your Facebook Page.

This will not only make it easier for you to share your Instagram photos on Facebook, but also makes it easier for people on Facebook to connect with you on Instagram as well.

3. Utilise Instagram Video

Did you know that you can create a 15-second video (stop-motion or straight through) using Instagram’s filters? It’s not a coincidence that this happens to be about the same length and a short TV advertisement. Give it a go. You can also easily share your new video with your other social networks too!

Now I know what you might be thinking…I barely have time to take a picture let alone make a video. But some things are just worth the time especially because videos can receive even more engagement on Facebook than a text-only post.

Another reason to start using Instagram Video is that you can now embed your video on your blog or website! Who can argue with a tool that helps you create videos easily AND share them with your customers?

4. Use appropriate hashtags

Hashtags are widely used on Instagram to discover new photos. This means that your current and potential customers are probably already searching hashtags on Instagram, so this is a great way to help them find you.

Make sure, when using hashtags, that you are only using ones that relate to the photo and help your target audience find your photos.

But exercise restraint – You do not want to use too many hashtags when sharing your images on Facebook. You may know that hashtags are now operational on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean people want to see five hashtags on Facebook post. Each network is different, and the way they are used varies from platform to platform, so make sure you’re using the correct etiquette.

5. Run a photo contest

Here’s where you start to really build your Instagram audience. Create a photo contest using a hashtag of your choice, and allow entries via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Encourage your Facebook fans to enter the photo contest using Instagram, and don’t forget to let them know how they can find your new presence on Instagram. This is a great way to bring your Facebook fans over to your new Instagram account. And of course, use your email list to tell people about your competition. It’s easy to do with Constant Contact’s campaign templates.

6. Use it like a social network

Like all other social networks, engagement is key. Follow those who follow you and your network will grow.

Engage with your audience and their friends by liking and commenting on others photos too because it increases the chances of your business being found on Instagram.

7. Use Instagram to show your personality

One of the best ways to utilise visual networks is to show the personality of your business. Share pictures of your employees, behind-the-scenes exclusives, and your fantastic customers (with their permission, of course).

Bonus tip: Use your Instagram pictures in your email newsletters

As you probably know, using images in your email campaigns is a great way to get engagement from your readers. Why not use some of your new Instagram images to liven up your campaigns?

Don’t have an email newsletter yet? Try Constant Contact free for 60 days!

RYANAuthor Bio:

I’m interested in helping small businesses and non-profits recognize their full-potential through marketing and social media. I want to hear your story and learn the creative and innovative ways that you’re marketing your business. I’ve worked in small businesses my entire life and now I’m excited to work with them!

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