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5 Ways to Use Instagram for Business

Navigating through the sometimes rocky and ever-changing waters that is social media can be difficult, particularly for a new and/or small business owner. There are so many sites to choose from, and thinking of maintaining all the different accounts can be incredibly daunting – even for the experienced social media-ite. We want to re-introduce you to an app you’ve likely heard all about, but in a slightly different way. In this post we bring you How to Use Instagram for Business.

You’ve probably heard about, or already used, the Instagram photo app. If you haven’t, it’s a much-loved photo taking, editing, and sharing app that was recently bought out by social giant, Facebook. Instagram allows users to create an endless feed of personal photographs and offers different filters with which you can edit your pictures with a single tap. You can also make minor color correction edits, fix red eye, crop, and create blurs.

Most people use Instagram for personal use, and aren’t aware of its many applications in the world of business. If you think about it, though, Facebook wouldn’t have purchase the app if it wasn’t monetize-able. Because it is, especially for the small business owner. Read on to learn how you should be using it for business.

1.Connect With People Outside Your Social Circle with Hashtags

Instagram, like any social media platform, is incredibly helpful when it comes to connecting with people outside your normal social circle. Think about it – how many people would you likely meet on a day-to-day basis? How many social functions or trade shows do you really attend? If you’re not active on social media, chances are you’re missing out on a lot of relationship building that could prove beneficial for your business – both with other professionals as well as clients.use hashtags on instagram to connect with people

Instagram is no different. In fact, it’s one of the quickest, easiest, and most personal ways to connect with others. When uploading a photograph, remember to add hashtags like #makeupartist, #wedding, #interiordecorating or other relevant keywords to help others find your photo when they’re browsing the app. You may also find it helpful to use location keywords like #nycmakeup artist or #seattleauthor. All it takes is for someone to see your photo, like it, and want to learn more about you. And, voila, you have a new follower and growing relationship.

2. Show Off Your Work In a Snap

It may seem obvious when you think about it, but you’d be surprised how few businesses take the opportunity to actually show off their products or work they’ve completed. Instagram is a photo-focused sharing center, so share some photos! Snap a photo of a makeup application you’ve done, room you’ve redecorated, floral arrangement you’re working on, or anything else. Prospective clients love knowing that you’re currently working and actively part of the industry, so even something you may think is small or doesn’t matter could mean much more to a prospective client browsing through your Instagram. Plus, it’s a great chance for you to see how your work appears on camera.

3. Advertise – Upload a Graphic or Snap a Photo of a Flyer

Instagram isn’t just for photos. If you have a promotional ad on your website or can snap a photo of a flyer (even taking a screenshot of a message written in Notes) you can advertise on Instagram. Upload your photo from your Camera Roll instead of taking a new picture and share away. If you want to save some time, sync your Facebook account and other social accounts with your Instagram app to share your photos across all accounts simultaneously. Remember to check your recent activity, however, as you don’t want anyone’s comments to go unnoticed – particularly if you’re offering a time-sensitive promotion.

4. Get Customers Involved With Likes, Comments and Contests

You’ve got to give love to get love, right? Get involved with your customers by liking their photos and leaving comments. Also, be sure to follow accounts that are of interest to you and your business! To get your customers to return the favor, upload interesting photos on a regular basis and try out a contest or two. Social users love contests, and they’re an absolute pinch to get involved in on Instagram. Consider having your clients take a picture with a certain theme, object, or message, and then have them tag you in it to enter. What you decide to give away is up to you!

5. Get Personal

A lot of people have trouble trusting corporations or businesses, and you may find the same when you embark on your career. Getting a little personal with your prospective clients can be a great way to break down the barriers between you and let them get to know you better. Snap shots of things you like, yourself, your favorite meals, and anything else that will let your followers get a peek into your life without being bombarded with too much personal and not enough business. If you’re a makeup artist, it can be pretty easy to do this since you can snap a photo of your daily makeup and upload to Instagram. If you’re an interior decorator, you can take photos of things around your house. If your an event and wedding planner, you could snap photos while out shopping for decor or at events you attend. The options are endless, but you might need to get a little creative depending on the industry you’re in.


What do you think, readers? Are you currently using Instagram for business? Let us know in a comment!


Instagram logo picture via Waxing UnLyrical
City picture via Photojojo