A picture is worth a thousand words… so why not get your business onto the photo-sharing community of Instagram? With a user base that currently boasts 90 million active monthly users, including international brands like GoPro, Nike, and Intel – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t utilise it to leverage your business’ reach. Below, we’ve covered some key steps to get you started on using Instagram for your business.

1. Create your profile

Create your business profile with a bio, username and display picture – but remember to keep business elements in mind. For example; use your logo as the profile photo, add a link to your website and make your business name the username.

2. Photograph

Your products and services are the best starting point for capturing photos on behalf of your business – whether or not it’s delicious foods, fabulous clothes or an employee working hard. Start basic, then get inventive with sneak peek photos, guessing competitions (etc) when you get the hang of it.

3. Edit

Instagram currently utilises 6 editing tools which are relatively basic, but can greatly change the look and feel of your photographs. Crop and rotate can better focus on the object you’re photographing, whereas the borders and blur are optional effects that add a different dimension. The creative filters are the most common edits, which change the photo’s feel with different color effects (e.g. black and white, saturation).

4. Tag and Caption

Hashtags get your images indexed across Instagram (and Twitter) search results. By tagging #coffee – you’re essentially telling people that your photo has coffee in it, or has to do with coffee. It’s best to be specific and relevant when tagging – so your images are seen in the correct searches. You could make your business it’s own unique tag (#examplebusiness) to help track your business trend across social platforms.

5. Locate
If your business is a physical location, you’ll want your customers to be able to check in. Initially it must be created as a place on Foursquare, but from then users can add their photo’s location (your business) to their Instagram photo map. Don’t forget – Roamz is a great app for checking nearby Social posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So if customers are wandering nearby looking for a place to eat, drink or shop – having your business established as a place is a great way to get them to  come your way and even share their visit with their social networks!

6. Share
Sharing your Instagram photos with any channels your business has (Facebook, Twitter, Website, Blog etc) is the best way to get people clicking on your photos online. You can also link from your social channels to your Instagram web profile (when logged into instagram.com).

7. Engage
Cultivating communication between your business and possible customers makes it much more humanized and approachable. Remember, there are approximately 8500 Likes and 1000 comments on Instagram per second – so perhaps pose a question or some trivia to cultivate discussion. Alternatively, comment on other users photos. Note; spam can be reported and comments can be deleted. 

Images are highly effective in communicating a brand’s success, especially when properly executed on a platform as successful as Instagram. The best thing to do is get out there and start photographing… Goodluck!