In our last post we discussed the basic elements of setting up and using Facebook pages to market your small business. Today we breakdown the basics of creating an Instagram profile and proper Instagram etiquette. Instagram is a photo sharing platform that relies on square images, hashtags, comments and ♥s(Instagram’s version of likes).
Creating Your Instagram Profile
Instagram is a mobile social media platform. This means that to create a profile you must first download the Instagram app to your smartphone or tablet from either the App Store or Google Play. Once the app is installed, open it up and click on ‘Sign Up’ and enter your email address. We suggest that you use one email address for all of your social accounts, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org since you will need to create a Google+ account at some point anyway. Click ‘Next’ and you will be asked to create a username and password. Your username should be reflective of your business. It is best to try to get a username that is as close to your business name as you can for branding purposes (@AdaptingOnline). There are no groups, storefronts, or special pages on Instagram. Just as with Facebook, you need to fill out your profile description as completely as possible with a link to your website. This is the only clickable link Instagram allows.
To complete your profile you need to add your profile photo. You should use the same profile photo across all of your social media pages to create a brand consistency. Aside from your profile photo, the images you upload to Instagram are the only other uploads allowed. These images have to be uploaded from your phone or mobile device, and are best if they are square. This means that if you don’t use photos to promote your business you have to create images, get them to your phone or tablet and then upload them from there. Some businesses just don’t have the ability to sell themselves with photos-we are one of those businesses. Therefore, we create and upload all of our images individually. With each image you are allowed to write a description. Make sure that this description is rich with identifying keywords and information that define your image and its purpose.
- Profile Photo: 110 x 110
- Shared Image/Video: 640 x 640
Managing Your Small Business Page
Try to keep your Instagram name and Twitter handle the same, as well as your other social profiles if you use them.
Be social, personable, polite and fun.
Post interesting, inspirational or funny images to create engagement.
If you are using photos, experiment with the popular filters to create your own style.
Add captions and tags to your images when possible.
Upload images consistently. Experiment with times to see when you get the best responses.
Pay Attention to your comments,♥s, and follows, and follow back if appropriate.
Respond and engage with people who comment on your images.
Find other profiles to follow and comment on their images.
Use good grammar and spelling.
Use hashtags (#). Start by creating a hashtag for your company ie #AdaptingOnline, and then use other descriptive hashtags that contain keywords people might search to find your business or images ie #SEO #SEM #SocialMedia, etc.
11 or fewer hashtags are suggested.
Follow the Golden Rule (Treat others as you would like to be treated).
Do not beg for followers.
Do not post gross or inappropriate material.
Do not post images from Google images or other people’s material as your own.
Do not post horizontal images that are not native to the Instagram square preference.
Do not discuss politics or religion.
Do not post personal opinions on your business page.
Do not solicit business on other people’s images.
If you have any questions about setting up your Instagram profile or how it can help your website SEO contact us, we would love to chat with you!
Since Instagram does not allow clickable links in posts, it is hard to measure the traffic going to your site. Google Analytics doesn’t really track traffic from mobile apps either, so this makes monitoring this data doubly difficult. There are some things you can do to track this data though. You can use a special short url specifically for Instagram in your profile where the only clickable link is allowed. You can also use specific shortened urls in your posts. Though they are not clickable, if a follower types it in you will know what post it came from. Finally, use call to actions in your posts to direct viewers to click your profile link to visit your site. If you use the urls in this fashion and configure your analytics correctly you can get a good idea of traffic from your Instagram account. This number will not account for people who see your Instagram account and then search for your business or type in your direct website, but you will get a basic understanding of how your Instagram account is performing.