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This blog post marks the halfway point for our guides on social media–Thanks for following along and we hope you’ve learned a lot! As always, contact us for more information!

Today we’re going to guide you through some basic tips and tricks for using a popular casual photo sharing site called Instagram. With over 80 million users, the social media platform has grown over the years from a free downloadable app for iPhones into an online facebook-esque timeline with wonderful features and capabilities. Again, it is a very casual form of social media, and the pictures that are posted are by no means professional. In fact, most of them are taken candidly and on-the-fly with people’s mobile phones, and are then put through “filters,” which give you the option to change things such as the lighting, contrast, brightness, and color saturation. Instagram is used primarily for personal photo sharing, but business can easily take advantage of it and get more personal with their customer base. 

There are so many different possibilities for Instagram photo topics, here are a few ideas:

  • Display your products or the materials and equipment for your services
  • Show a “how-its-made,” or do a before and after feature. Use other apps such as Picstitch to combine multiple photos into one.
  • Take your customers behind the scenes! Give them a tour of your office or back room, or give them a glimpse of what its like at a commercial or photo shoot
  • Give a demo of your products or services. If you sell art supplies, create something with your products and Instagram it!
  • Show a sneak peek into a new line of products, new store or office space, or new project
  • Profile your employees so that customers can see who exactly your company is
  • Use Instagram as your online portfolio of your work!
  • See something interesting in your daily life, outside the office, on a trip, anywhere? Instagram it! People love to feel personally connected to a brand by seeing the mundane and every-day things that the brands they follow are interested in. Ex: Views from the office building, cute animals, delicious food at business meetings, funny signs, outside inspirations like street fashion, etc. The possibilities are endless!

The bottom line behind subject matter is just to get creative with your posts and try to make you followers feel as though they have  a personal connection with your brand.

Some tips to remember when using any form of social media (again we remind you) #hashtags, #hashtags, #hashtags! Hashtags with keywords such as the niche of your store, the products, the ideas you can use them for, events, or even trending hashtags will increase the visibility of your posts and the chance that Instagram users will see your posts, follow you, and join your customer base. Instagram also offers free analytics that can tell you who is viewing, liking, and searching your posts as well as the market groups that your followers fall under. Take advantage of this!

Also, don’t forget to share the love! Another important part of Instagram is to follow other users and like their posts. Search through hashtags and keywords to find posts related to your brand, “like” the posts, and follow the users. Chances are that they will check out who followed them, and if they are interested in the things you are posting, they will follow you back and become part of your customer base!

Instagram is a great social media platform to use when trying to give customers a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes aspects of your business and make them feel as though they have a personal connection with you. They will be much more likely to go to or return to you for business and it is a great way to develop life-long customers.

Last but not lease: PLEASE, please, do not go too crazy with the filters. It can be very distracting.