What you need to know - Instagram for business

We explore a number of ideas on how to make Instagram work for your business.

The number of users on Instagram reached 200 million in 2014, with around a quarter of Fortune 500 businesses posting on average five times a week. And out of the top brands on the social network, 43% post videos and photos daily.

To take advantage of this trend, we take a look at a few ways to get Instagram to work for your company.

1. The key to engagement

Start a conversation

You should do a bit more than simply post a nice picture. Ask a question or submit a call to action. This will encourage users to respond, and will enable you to continue the dialogue or help your potential customers out. The more engaging you are, the more likely other users will take notice.

Join a conversation

When you find a conversation you can take part in, do it! Users will appreciate your knowledgeable insight on your chosen field. Try following brands that you can learn something from, or ones that you can compliment when engaging in their conversation.

2. Creating a content strategy

Take note of these simple rules when creating your content strategy.

  • Ensure your images are clean, professional and sharp.
  • Do not post irrelevant pictures. Each image should add value to your followers.
  • Try to make sure each post tells a story, shares a tip, gives an idea, highlights a company milestone or empowers a thought.
  • Vary your posts to avoid boring your followers.

3. Use #hashtags

By putting a hashtag (#) in front of a word or group of words, it designates it as a discussion topic or a search term. Try devising a number of hashtags that relate to your business. These could be product or service related, branded, keyword driven or community based.

4. Tag others

By tagging others with the ‘@’ symbol, you can amplify your message beyond your regular set of followers. After tagging, the person will be notified, and you don’t even have to have them following you for this to happen!

Tagging someone encourages them to engage, and if they’ve got a massive following, that can’t be a bad thing…

Read and comment on the original Entrepreneur article.