How to Use Instagram for Business: A Beginner’s Guide

Instagram for BusinessImages are worth a thousand words, and mobile app Instagram is proof. With Instagram, users can take photos, adjust them to their liking, and publish them to all their friends. Instagram is another opportunity for businesses to brand themselves and attract more followers.

Instagram for Business Marketing

If you create a company Instagram account, you can publish your photos on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous, and Foursquare, or send them to email addresses. Other Instagram users can choose to “follow” your company account, allowing them to instantly see your photos in their feed. From there, they can “like,” comment on, or Retweet your company’s photos, allowing them to go viral.

Yesterday, I walked around the SOMA district of San Francisco, the birthplace of Twitter and many other tech startups. Founders and employees happily posed in front of their company logos for some example Instagram photos below. The photos also appear on our MediaFunnel Webstagram account. (I’ll explain the term “Webstagram” later in the article). Click on an image to view information about the photo on an Instagram page.

Instagram Photo Instagram Photo

Instagram for Business: How Does It Differ From Other Image Blogs?

What differentiates Instagram from other image blogs is the ability it provides the photographer to add filters to their photos. As a brand marketer, you can create a specific color, shade, and look for your photos to match the message or mood that you want your audience to sense. Don’t limit yourself on the types of images that you post; catch followers’ eyes, and then show the connection between the image and your brand.

Instagram for Business: Are Users Posting About You Already?

Instagram users may already be posting images related to your brand. To find these images or mentions, go to your Instagram app and tap “Profile” in the menu at the bottom of your screen. Tap “Search Instagram” and then “Tags.” Type in the name of your company or sub-brands, and let the images load. You’ll gain insight into the aspects of your brand to which people are attracted, and you’ll learn who your fans are. You can then Retweet these images to enhance the community feeling around your brand.

Put Your Business on the Map

Make sure to geo-tag your photos. In other words, make sure to note where your photos were taken before uploading them to your account. Your company’s location on the map is another valuable entrypoint for potential followers. To accomplish this, take a photo, tap the green checkmark, and tap “Enable Geotag.” Tap “location” to choose a location option. You’ll be automatically shown nearby establishments. If you don’t see your business, try entering your establishment in the “Search or add a location” bar.

Your Instagram account is also viewable on the web on Webstagram. The URL for your Instagram account is simply http://web.stagram.com/n/<your username>

Users can browse your photos on their computers, and not just their mobile devices. Let’s say you work at the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, and you’ve been geo-tagging your company’s Instagram photos there. If a user searches “transamericapyramid” on Webstagram, your photos should come up, in addition to a Google Map of exactly where the Transamerica Pyramid (and your company) is. 

Instagram for business is only growing; start capturing more mindshare today with this fun and fairly simple set-up.

Posted in: Social Media

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  1. Chahal February 13, 2012

    Remember when mobile phones first appeared in the market with a built-in digital camera? So many people were asking why a phone needed a camera. A decade later, we should not be surprised at the success of Instagram and can only wonder what innovative uses and applications it will spawn. Thanks for giving me some great perspective on Instagram.

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