Instagram - Overview
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social platforms and it has gained immense popularity over the years. It has become one of the most essential social networks amongst people, and continues to develop in popularity with over 400+ million dynamic users a month. It’s no wonder then that businesses of all shapes and sizes are seizing the opportunity to use Instagram as one of their main marketing channels for brand awareness. If used properly, Instagram can be a great marketing tool for all sorts of businesses, whether you are selling a product or a service.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is an online photo sharing social Web service that lets you share your life and experiences with friends and others through a series of pictures captured with a mobile device or any other camera. Instagram also supports video uploads and lets the users instantly share photos on several social sites.
Instagram was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October, 2010. Its success caught the eye of the most valuable social network in the world. In April, 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of stock, a total purchase value of nearly $1 billion.
Instagram’s social intrigue was not simply to influence the existing social networks for sharing, but to build its own, supplemental network. This was a vital choice. The value of a network is fundamentally in its connections. Through Instagram you can not only connect and share with your friends, but you can also increase your professional network. Instagram can be used as a marketing strategy to market your brand.
Advantages of Using Instagram
Some of the advantages of using Instagram that adds to business opportunities are discussed below.
You can invite more users to window shop
With this social media app, you can provide window-shopping experience for your followers, giving them an essence of your products and services. Share relevant and valuable information in the caption, like location details, sales, and something else to get the interest of your followers. Ensure you explain all relevant product information, in case your followers wish to purchase the product you feature in the photo.
You can promote your brand
One can use Instagram to post marvelous photographs about your firm's services and products. On the other hand, maintain a strategic distance from any sort of exhausting, content heavy images, or any other infographics. Take and post pictures of you and your workers at work or at any company event. Utilize the captions to share correlated and interesting information about the workers and what’s happening in the picture.
When you attend a special event, begin work on a new project, or do anything energizing and photo-worthy, ensure you capture the event. Knowing what is going on in your world keeps your organization on the mind of your customers. Integrating Instagram into your social media marketing campaign can be a great tool to promote your business while being imaginative at the same time.
You can attract fans and boost sales
Instagram can be a staggering way to draw in more followers to your organization by promoting coupon codes and selective discounts. You can do this with any of your services and items. Creating exclusivity and favored status for particular audiences is a proven technique for driving engagement.
Instagram – Business Strategy
Instagram being a part of your business strategy can go a long way for successful business outcomes. Following are some of the points to remember:
Engage your customers
Utilize the @mention to promote the "follower of the day" on Instagram, and you will connect with a considerable measure of potential clients immediately. This will advance your customers, which will urge them to work with you significantly further.
The @mention is used to tag any client in comments inside Instagram, and you can employ it to generate the growth of your audience over time. This method can develop a relevant and engaged audience of high value to your brand or business. You can also use hashtags (#) as a method of growing your audience.
Instagram is a predominantly visual type of online networking, and a perfect stage for flaunting items through video or pictures. While building a strategy, you will have to figure out which strategy will work best for the service or products that you are promoting. Video is frequently the most ideal approach to publicize viable products. For example, tools, as you can exhibit the utilization of the item. For products such as garments, pictures are more appropriate.
Using hashtags on Instagram is basic for your business. Hashtags enable users to discover content or brands which they would like to follow. Once a user has been directed to your profile by means of their search, you can then lead them to your website. Instagram allows a maximum of thirty hashtags to be included in a post or comment. However, ensure that you do not overuse them.
Connect to other forms of social media
Sharing your Instagram content with your other social media accounts will surely save your time and will help to increase your leads. Connect your Instagram profile to a variety of other social media platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr, and Foursquare. For example, if you have a Facebook business page you can arrange it so that all your Instagram posts and photos appear on your Facebook business page as well.
Use sponsored ads and posts
The use of Instagram’s sponsored posts and advertisements have finally spread worldwide and are proving very popular. Instagram advertising is still in the early stages of availability. Ads are available in 30 second video format, as images, and in carousel format too. These adverts are an ideal way to direct consumers to your website or to tell the story of your brand in a better way.
Post according to an editorial calendar
Instagram was designed as an app to create content via a mobile device. As a result, it is only practical to use one of the various scheduling tools available, so that you can post systematically.
By the help of using an editorial calendar, you are able to schedule regular posts in advance, to keep your followers engaged. It is also a useful method to use when you are promoting something, or attending an event. By doing so, you will never forget to send out content, and that content can be scheduled to be released when you are because of some reasons not available to do it manually.
Partner with Instagram influencers
Presently, Instagram has over 40,000 influencers using their platform, and they cover a variety of topics and businesses. They are viewed as the big names of Instagram, and by adjusting your image to the right influencers, you can extend your image awareness and number of followers. Your influencer simply needs to incorporate the handle of your brand in one of their Instagram posts.
Ideas to Flip-up Instagram
The best way to make your post viral is to make it worthy. Following are a few pointers:
- Mine positive things about your products and services. Highlight them in your posts.
- Add inspirational quotes to compel people to read your post.
- Add appealing images or videos. Visuals speak more than thousand words.
- Lay a call-to-action for a definite purpose.
- Compel users to generate content for you by engaging them in your post. Repost fan created content on your Instagram account.
Schedule Instagram Posts
It is very important to schedule Instagram posts. One can do this with the help of the following tools:
- Post now or schedule for some other time.
- You can deal with multiple Instagram accounts through one easy web-based
- Multiple users: Let multiple users sign into your ScheduGram account, schedule posts for your accounts, and see who has scheduled what.
- Collaborate with your group.
- Manage various Instagram accounts.
- Search, explore, and discover user-generated content to repost from the web.
- Schedule and publish Instagram content.
- Monitor and engage with Instagram audiences.
- Securely share access to Instagram accounts across groups.
- Create group workflows, including assignments and endorsement for Instagram.
Paid Instagram Campaigns
It's vital to note that Instagram is trying different things with paid advertising opportunities. The program is generally new, and at this moment it's held for huge brands that as of now have a presence on Instagram.
It is unquestionably something to watch out for, on the grounds that they have more than 300 million users. Advertising on Instagram permits you to get your photographs, your captions, and your messages out to the users that follow you, as well as to the whole community of Instagram users.
If we scroll down the Instagram website at business.instgram.com/advertising, on the page there are some resources that you can consider. You can take a look at an inspiring gallery that shows you how organizations are truly making use and being imaginative on Instagram.
You can also take a look at some of the statistics and results for those organizations that have been able to advertise on Instagram. And those results show an expanded awareness and a high rate of advertisement review. There are also some case studies available on the website that demonstrate how brand recognition has expanded for those organizations using paid advertisements on Instagram.
Again, this open door isn't accessible for everyone at this moment, yet it's unquestionably something to watch out for. If you advertise on Facebook, once this opens up for everyone, you're likely going to want to advertise on Instagram too.
Instagram – Posting & Engaging
This chapter will deal with posting photos and videos on Instagram. It will also cover how to foster engagement with other users and followers.
Post Photos and Videos
The cream of Instagram is, patently, sharing photos. So, in order to upload a photo, first, click the blue camera button in the center of your Instagram navigation panel. Automatically, Instagram activates your device’s camera, so that you may either choose to click a picture at that time, or choose a picture which is already saved in your device.
If you choose the latter, click the double-square button on the lower-left corner of the screen. One thing you must keep in mind is that if you select a photo from your camera roll, then Instagram sizes the photos to perfect squares. So, if you select a photo that was originally taken horizontally, you will have to crop some portions of the image, or live with the default black border.
With Instagram video, you can record short video clips ranging anywhere from three to fifteen seconds in length. In order to record a video, press the camera button and select the video recorder option on the right. If you are not satisfied with the video, you may also delete it.
Once you begin uploading photos and videos to Instagram, your followers are going to start interacting with those photos and videos. They are going to start liking and commenting on them. Hence, it is important to review your activity for a couple of diverse reasons. Mainly, it's important to listen to the feedback of your followers. Possibly, you just posted a photo of a brand-new product and followers are commenting about what they like and what they don't like about it. This is an important information that you can assemble right here on Instagram. Moreover, it's also a great way to measure your prosperity on Instagram.
When we talk about boosting business via Instagram, the main game is engaging people. Social media is not about followers and likes rather it is about your followers take on your posts. How is it benefiting them? How will you know people are engaging with your content? The answer to this is simple.
The more the comments the more the engagement. When we talk about fostering engagement on social media, Instagram people seem to be most enthusiastic.
As per a study conducted by Forrester, Instagram per follower engagement rate for top brands are higher by 58 times than on Facebook and 120 times that on Twitter.
To achieve more engagement:
- Use HASHTAGS. Hashtags make posts visible on the corresponding hashtag page. When your text is followed by hashtag, your page is more discoverable by people searching your query.
- Build a COMMUNITY. Try to build the largest possible community. When you comment on someone’s post, you tend to follow them. This engagement lets your name appear in their feed repeatedly. This builds engagement.
- Use an attractive THEME. If your article is in a particular theme, it looks more appealing and niche.
- Use beautiful COLORS to give a pleasant look to your account. This makes your feed look beautiful and binds the readers.
- Tell a TALE to earn followers. Your post should not be just an image, it should have an impressive story to tell.
- MONITOR your account continuously. You can measure the growth of your account using Iconosquare. It now has a PRO version too.
Interact with the Community
Social Media is not just about advertising. It is about interacting with people, groups, and communities. To interact with Instagram community, search for magnifying glass search icon at the bottom of page. You can search people of desired interest here. You can look for friends, mentors, competitors, people of any benefit to you.
To start interacting, like the post either by a double-click on the post or by clicking the heart button. To take this interaction to further level, leave a comment by clicking the Chat bubble icon. Mention specific people using a prefix @ before their name.
Instagram community is definitely a new way of interacting with people. Over 150 million people interact with each other every month on this platform.
Instagram – Fine Tuning Content
On the grounds that Instagram is a moderately segregated social application that lives inherently on mobile, it's essential to connect social accounts to get the most out of the experience. You may choose to link Instagram to your Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr, VK, Mixi and Weibo accounts.
Linking Social Platforms
To connect social accounts, head to the Profile Tab -> Edit Sharing Settings -> Linked accounts, then choose the network which you wish to connect.
Each time you upload a photo to Instagram, you will have the option to share to each of the social networks you have enabled, or to none of them. If you choose to share to no social networks, the photo will post only to Instagram, and will be viewed only by those users who follow you on the application.
Hashtag is a tag, label or metadata used on social media platforms to find a specific content. Hashtags are a path for individuals to look for media on social networks that have a common theme. It permits us to interface our posts on an all-around searchable subject.
The purpose of utilizing hashtags is to make a more extensive span than you previously would have on your own. To create them you need to place # character before a keyword, or a phrase that you want to trigger when someone looks for something similar on the result pages. For example, you want people to see your images of green grass, you can utilize hashtag as #greengrass. Some more intricate details on utilizing hashtags on Instagram are discussed below.
Use brand specific hashtags
Make one-of-a-kind hashtags for your brand or business. This ought to be something that represents what you do or characterizes you particularly. Your hashtags ought to be unique and easy to remember. Incorporate them in most of your Instagram posts related to your business. When you post content that is not related to business, then you do not need to use your business hashtags.
Combine popular and less common hashtags
While you may believe it's best to just use popular hashtags, this is a mistake. Yes, you need to utilize well-known hashtags to build your chances of appearing in popular searches. However, if it is a popular category and everyone else is doing the same thing then surely your post will vanish quickly into the depths of the search results.
Rather, fusing less common hashtags will guarantee that your posts live more in the search items. Blending in a variety of less popular hashtags guarantees you the best of all.
Create lists of hashtags
On your device, you can also make a note with your top choice/favored hashtags. You can even make numerous lists if you have different sorts of content which you share on Instagram.
Set the list with your center hashtags and basically copy and paste it into your Instagram post caption to save your typing time.
Monitoring Location Tags
If your organization has a brick and mortar location, it is an awesome thought to make use of Instagram's feature that permits you to tag a location for the photographs that you upload. When you tag a location on Instagram, individuals can search for all of the photos that have been tagged in that particular location, so it builds the visibility of your uploads because some person might just be browsing all of the photos in a particular location, discover your photo, and start following you on Instagram.
To add a location on Instagram, there is an option ‘add a location’ when you are uploading a new photograph. However, you can likewise add a location to a photo that you've already uploaded.
To edit a photo that you have already uploaded, just tap on the three dots below the photo and to the right. When you tap on the three dots, you will have an option to edit this photo. Then tap on Edit.
You will notice that at the top of the screen, there is a link that says ‘Add Location’. Tap on that link. Automatically, Instagram's going to try and search to find out what location you are currently at. But in case you are not at the location where the photograph was taken, you can search yourself in the search box at the top of the screen. After the search, tap on the search box and search for that location. Once the location appears, tap on it. Click Done to save the edit.
You can use others content on your account. Instagram does not offer an inbuilt feature to do the same. Yet, there are many other ways to it. Following are the three possible ways:
Doing it manually
You can capture other’s photo and edit it by cropping to the desired level and upload it on your account in same way as you post your pictures. Do not forget to give credit to the original photographer.
Using third party apps
Too simple interface of Instagram hinders us to be creative. You can consider taking help from other options, such as Apps like Repost for Instagram, Regram, Repost, R&R, etc. These Apps are available for IOS and Android. You need to download the App, check for the desired pictures in the App itself and repost the picture. This will directly let you post the image on your Instagram.
Embedding the code
Open the photo you want to repost on your computer. Use Web embed to post the content on your page. Open the photo loaded in a frame on the web browser. Click the share button (located below the comment frame). On clicking, a new frame will open with code. Copy the code to embed the photo on your webpage.
The best feature of this method is, the photo is displayed with the photographer’s name which helps in maintaining the authenticity of it. Insert the code in your post and republish it.
Instagram – Marketing Tools & Apps
While using Instagram to promote your business, it is vital that you monitor your Instagram statistics regularly, with the goal to analyze what's been fruitful on Instagram, and what hasn't been so effective.
We will discuss here some of the tools that you can use to monitor Instagram statistics.
Tagboard is a tool to experience content from social networks. Each tagboard is a collection of social media posts that share a typical hashtag. Tagboards can be inserted on websites, coordinated into mobile apps, and shown on displays. Viewers can choose favorites, retweet, reply, comment, and like right from the tagboard.
Iconosquare is a tool to oversee and promote your Instagram account. Deal with your group, study activity, and follower development. Promote your account over other social networks with feed tabs or photo widgets. Draw in your community with photograph contests. Set up, promote, moderate, monitor, and publish results of an Instagram contest all within Iconosquare.
Crowdfire is a tool to manage your relationships on Instagram and Twitter. It is used to find inactive users and unfollowers, and find significant users to follow. Monitor your social Twitter/Instagram accounts.
Collecto permits you to connect to your Instagram account, and after that it will run some statistical investigation on your Instagram account. It will provide you with information. For example, it will show how many followers you have, how many likes you have received, and how many comments you have received. It will show which filters you have used that have been the best so that you know, later on, it is most likely a good idea to use the same filter that has been so successful.
Instagram – Integrate with Other Platforms
If your organization has a site or blog, you can install your Instagram uploads directly into your site. There are two or three distinctive approaches to do this, contingent upon which stage you're utilizing to have your site.
Embedding Pictures on Website
Visit Instagram.com/engineer/implanting, there are some guidelines on how you can install your Instagram photographs. So, when you can look down this page you will discover which situation is best for you.
You can log into your Instagram account and view your Instagram photos on a computer instead of in the mobile app. To embed one of these photographs, all you have to do is click on the photo and then towards the bottom right of our screen, click on the three dots (circled in red color in the following image).
You will notice that an option to Embed appears. When you tap on that option, you can then tap on the green button that says Copy Embed Code. Now that you have copied this embed code to your clipboard, you can access our web server and paste this code into your website's code wherever you want the photo to show up.
This is an incredible approach to get users that are going by your organization's site to now follow you on Instagram in light of the fact that if they are on your site and they see that you are uploading photographs to Instagram, they might like it.
Create and Embed Badges
Instagram has launched badges to help you link to and promote your Instagram web profile. Its badges are available in a range of sizes and can be added to your website, blog, or anywhere that you want to link to your Instagram web profile.
You can add a basic Instagram badge to your site that generally tells the users, hey, we are also on Instagram. Come look at us. To do this, you visit instagram.com/accounts/badges and log in with your Instagram account. You will have a choice to modify an Instagram badge for your site. Thus, on the screen that you are looking at, you can first select the kind of badge that you would like to create.
You can either make only an icon badge and can pick the size, or pick any View on Instagram badge. You have to simply copy the code in the box, and afterward paste that code into your site where you would like the Instagram badge to show up. Quite the same as embedding Instagram photographs into your site; you may need to get your web developer required for this step.
It's an extraordinary approach to expand your Instagram following by utilizing the users that are as of now visiting your site.
Instagram with Facebook
Instagram allows to advertise within Instagram app, but you are required to be invited to that program which is a difficult task. So, to boost your post, you again need an intervention of another party. Take the help of Facebook to promote your post. Link your Instagram account with Facebook account. When sharing a picture, share it on Facebook too. For this, you need to change some setting on your app.
To share photos on Facebook via Instagram on Windows or IOS phone.
- Tap this symbol on your profile.
- Click Linked Accounts.
- Click Facebook and link by logging in.
On Android device
- Tap this symbol on your profile.
- Repeat the same process as for the Windows phone.
You can also add Instagram account to Facebook page. This lets you create ad in Ads Manager.
- Go to the Facebook page you are admin of.
- Click Settings on the top right of the screen.
- Tap on Instagram Ads.
- Click Add an account.
- Login by Instagram login details.
This will help you reach a large part of your audience.
Instagram – Analytics Tools
Statistics on social media is to be followed thoroughly, especially if you are a business person. Many businessmen ignore Instagram because it lacks in providing statistical data. You need to keep track to be successful and lure traffic, and see what is working for you and what is not.
Tracking and Analysis Tools
There are numerous tools to measure statistics on Instagram. Following are a few preferred analytics tools:
- Collecto can be downloaded from http://collec.to/ Sign up and connect ‘Collecto’ to your Instagram. This lets you see how many people like your post, the number of comments on it, the number of followers you have and most of all shows which applied filters work best for you.
- Iconosquare is another way to collect statistics of Instagram accounts. It also lets you see the number of followers, who we follow, number of likes, comments, and the number of uploaded photos.
- am is another web-based management tool for Instagram. In addition to providing data it lets you take snapshots, manage your recent comments and promote your photos on other platforms like Facebook, etc. It even allows you to run contests.
- Postso is a posting and scheduling tool. It lets you post your pictures later on a particular schedule. However, it is a paid tool with 14-days trial.
- Twtrland which was earlier a Twitter analytics tool, is now open to Facebook and Instagram. It lets you perform competitor analysis. Beyond that it lets you see statistics, photos posted, and your competitor’s network.
You can set custom dates to run statistics for a particular period. You can see your followers’ growth and track them as well. You can check your Love Rate which is your user engagement. These statistics educate us for the use of more hashtags and location tags. It is important to see every activity to grow. These third party analytical tools help you increase your followers, grow your interaction and engagement.
If people are liking your photos, then you are clearly accomplishing something right. If you notice that couple of photographs are significantly getting more likes than the other photographs, then perhaps you ought to recreate whatever it is you are doing with those couple of photos. In the meantime, if you observe some of your photos are really not receiving the likes that most of your other photos are receiving, then maybe there is something about those photographs, that followers are not liking. It may be a smart idea to refrain from posting such photos in future.
Similarly, comments should also be analyzed on Instagram. If followers are commenting on your photos, then it clearly moved them enough to actually write a response. And this might even be more essential than likes, because now that they are reacting, they are most likely going to be probably recalling that particular Instagram post because they actually, had an innovative interaction with it.
It's also essential to look at your followers on Instagram. If you make a post on Wednesday, and then all of a sudden Wednesday afternoon you have 30 new followers. This means perhaps there was something about that post that pulled in new users to your Instagram page. Maybe you used a new hashtag or you tagged your location.
So, it is vital to take a look at these factors when measuring your success on Instagram. It is also vital to listen to the feedback of your followers. If people are posting comments on your photos, do not simply look to see which photos have the most comments and which do not have, but first look at what is the actual content of the comment. Analyze that, do they like the photograph? Do they dislike the photograph? Do they have suggestions for something else in the future? If they do, perhaps listen to them and give them what they ask for. This gives them a feeling of being valued, and they see your organization as being user-friendly.
Check which individuals are discussing about you or your organizations on Instagram. Search and discover various Instagram hashtags. Both industry related and exact match hashtags can uncover a great deal about what individuals are saying in regards to you online.
You should also observe if people are clicking through the link on your Instagram page, once they find you or not. For this, you can also track clicks in Google Analytics. You can simply create a landing page for your Instagram clicks and track the conversions there.
You can measure your own Instagram success just by breaking down the interaction that your photos are getting, and trying to pinpoint why certain photos are receiving certain types of engagement and others may not be receiving that specific type of engagement.
- Create an Instagram profile (if you don't already have one). Use www.Instagram.com or download the Instagram account on the Google play store.
- Link your Instagram account with your Facebook account.
- Create a video on Instagram, of yourself sharing your experiences about the lectures. Tag our Instagram account below on the video: a) @mindthe_gapng b) Your facilitators Instagram account.
- Tutorials Point – www.tutorialspoint.com