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Want to Use Instagram for Your Business? Step # 5 – Hashtags

Want to Use Instagram for Your Business? Step # 5 – Hashtags

hashtag

This will be my last post in the Instagram for Business series.  And I am going to talk about the use of hashtags.  Before I do, however, I would like to go on a bit of a rant.  I love Instagram.  I love social media (except Facebook).  But I have a really big problem with people who over use hashtags.  I mean do you really need to hashtag every single word in your post?  Is that honestly necessary?  This is actually relevant to this post.  It’s a turn off for me, and I mostly see it in terms of social accounts.  Meaning, not for businesses.  Which annoys me so I can only imagine how I would feel if I saw 30 hashtags in your post.  I would immediately unfollow you.  Or really consider following you in the first place.  Further, I wouldn’t be thinking about purchasing your product.  Why?  I already told you I’m fickle.

That being said, you need to be careful with hashtags.  Consider the following when thinking about hashtags:

  • Are they relevant?  Make sure that they fit your brand and your audience.  Let’s go back to the bakery example that I’ve been using throughout this post.  If you are a gluten-free bakery, perhaps you don’t want to #gluten.  Gluten is not relevant to your brand.  #glutenfree, however, is.  Do you see where I’m going with this?
  • Do you have at least one hashtag that’s branded?  Maybe consider hashtagging the name of your business.  
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Want to Use Instagram for Your Business? Step #4 – Engage Your Clients

Want to Use Instagram for Your Business? Step #4 – Engage Your Clients

instagram for business

In the business that I’m in, engaging your clients is a big deal.  And it should be for your business also. The more engaged you are with your customers and clients, the more likely they are going to want to buy your product or use your service. The interesting thing about engagement is how much feedback do you really want to receive from your customers or clients? You have to be prepared to respond to the feedback, and make changes to your business or product if necessary.  Which means, you need to be prepared for some negative feedback.  That being said, hopefully your customers will also provide you with positive or constructive feedback.  But that isn’t usually what happens.

Engagement is usually about a two way conversation between you and your customer.  Feedback, in my opinion is one way.  You have a product or service, and I comment on whether I like it or not.  That doesn’t mean you will follow up with me, nor does it mean you will improve your product or service.  Engagement, however, does.  Engage your customers to find out what they are liking and what they aren’t.  Don’t take the negative feedback personally.  You want your customers to feel like they’re being listened to, and that you care about them.  You should after all.  They’re buying into you and your brand.

One thing to consider is how quickly you are responding to DM’s.  This is kind of customer service 101, if you think about it.  … Read the rest

Want to Use Instagram for Your Business? Step #3 – Have Great Content

Want to Use Instagram for Your Business? Step #3 – Have Great Content

instagram for business

The third step in this series is to think about your content.  You have identified your goals, and you have decided what your brand and voice are.  Now you have to figure out what content you want to show to the world.  Your content needs to be consistent, but it also needs to be great.  It needs to be better than your competitors.  You want to give people a reason to choose your business over another.

If I’m being honest, I can be fickle when it comes to why I make certain choices.  I’m specifically talking about products, services and brands.  I recently went to a store, which will remain nameless, where I had a bad customer service experience.  I am not one to ask for help a lot.  Almost rare, to be honest.  I was buying clothes and someone approached me and asked me if I needed help.  I didn’t really need help, but I was looking for something specific and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss it.  I then asked for the item that I was looking for, and the response I got was astonishing.  The sales associate actually said “I don’t even know what that is”.  But she didn’t give me the opportunity to explain and she didn’t seem interested in learning about it.

All that being said, I am not going to be returning to that store.  Which brings me to this point about being fickle.  … Read the rest

Want to Use Instagram for Business? Step #2 – Identify Your Brand

Want to Use Instagram for Business? Step #2 – Identify Your Brand

instagram business

The second step when using Instagram for your business is to identify your brand.  You need to first understand what your business is and what you want to achieve.  Which, you should have already figured out.  The first post in this series talks about goal setting.  Based on your goals, you determined who you were going to target.  But now you’re going to shift slightly and figure out what you want your brand to look like.  This will set the tone of your business, so make sure it’s something that you truly want.

Because we are talking about Instagram as a marketing tool, you should first assess what your Instagram account looks like?  Is it an extension of the rest of your business, or does it look completely different?  It shouldn’t.  If it does, now is the time to change it.  Think of some big name brands out there.  Take Starbucks for example.  Their Instagram account includes pictures of their products.  Mostly drinks.  Always with the Starbucks logo on the cup.  This tells viewers what the brand is and who they are.  Regardless of the size of your business, a potential follower should be able to look at your Instagram account and immediately get an idea of who you are what your business is.

This includes your Instagram handle and bio. First of all, you want your handle to be something related to your business.  Maybe a little kitschy.  But not too kitschy.  … Read the rest

Want to Use Instagram For Your Business? Step #1 – Set Some Goals

Want to Use Instagram For Your Business? Step #1 – Set Some Goals

Instagram marketing strategy

Do you use Instagram as a marketing tool for your business?  If so, you need to be continually thinking about your strategy and goals.  How dated are your goals?  What are they exactly?  It wouldn’t hurt to audit your Instagram account to see how you are performing.  If you don’t know where you’ve been, how can you know where you are going?  We all have goals.  Personal goals, professional goals, fitness goals etc.  They have to change from time to time.  You have to adapt as well.  The best way to do this is to stay on top of what you want to achieve, and make sure that your plan is working for you.

What are your goals?

I’ve mentioned goals about 12 times in that first paragraph, so you had to know that this was coming.  Regardless of the platform, or what you’re trying to achieve, you need to understand what your goals are.  When it comes to your business that specifically means marketing and business goals overall.  Instagram is a tool for your business.  It’s a way to drive more people to your service or product.  It needs to reflect that.  Instagram itself isn’t the goal though.  You need to understand what your business does, or what stage you are at with your business in order to understand this better.  Let’s say you’ve got a new business, are you trying to bring people to your site?  If so, your goal is probably going to be around followers and engagement.… Read the rest

This is how to upload Photos to Instagram from computer

This is how to upload Photos to Instagram from computer

instagram logo

Sometimes you have that perfect picture on your computer that just want to upload to Instagram but you can’t or can you? The answer is yes. Since May Instagram’s mobile version of the website has allowed developers to publish images. It’s really meant for administration and developers of the service but now you have the same access. Here is how you do it.

  • Open up Chrome (Sorry Safari and IE)
  • Go to Instagram.com
  • Right click anywhere on the screen and click Inspect
  • Instagram page source code will be on the left side of your screen.
  • In the top list of tabs, click on the icon with the image of the smartphone and tablet.
  • Now you will have access to the Instagram mobile website version.
  • Congratulations, you can now post a new picture.

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Instagram Update – Search Stories by Hashtag and Location

Instagram Update – Search Stories by Hashtag and Location

instagram stories

Instagram has added a new feature to their Stories platform.  Now, you can identify new stories or people to follow based on your location.  You can already search through the Explore tab, but this new feature will determine what you want to look at based on where you are.  For example, if you’re in New York City and you hashtag a concert, Instagram will make suggestions for you.  I have a couple of possible concerns with this, but I’d like to explore this a little bit more first.  Is this a good idea?  Will it give you what you’re looking for?  Right now, if I open the Explore tab, I’m getting fun basketball videos.  Presumably because I follow the NBA and sports based accounts?

I often use the Explore tab to see what is happening in the world of Instagram, but I would say that most of the accounts that it presents for me aren’t of interest to me.  Instagram states: “posts are selected automatically based on things like the people you follow or the posts you like. You may also see video channels, which can include posts from a mixture of hand-picked and automatically sourced accounts based on topics we think you’ll enjoy.” That being said, would this update be a way to qualify what I want to see?

Another interesting feature of this update is that you can search for locations around the world.  So if you want to see what’s happening somewhere in the world, you can do that by searching for location.… Read the rest