Last time we introduced you to the beauty of Instagram and this week we will talk through the signing up process. You will then be able to take and share images with your followers and customers!
Creating your account with Instagram is free and very straightforward. You need to download the Instagram app on your mobile or tablet (you are unable to create an account on a computer) and then will be talked through setting up.
Just like Twitter, choose a username, a good profile picture and write a short bio. This should all be consistent with your branding, and presence on other social media sites. It makes sense to use your logo as a profile picture and (if you can) your business name as your username.
You can edit your details at any time, so don’t worry if you change your mind later on down the line. Like with your other social media channels, you may want to make seasonal changes, or add any accomplishments in your bio.
When writing your bio, remember you only have 150 characters to describe yourself. This is slightly less than Twitter, but remember to make it punchy and clear about who you are, and what you do. You want people to see that bio and think you are the kind of business or person they want to follow.
You can also put a link to your blog or website within your bio. This is the only place you can use a link, as you can’t do that in comments or captions. Make sure the link takes the customer to exactly where they need to be – usually the home page of your website or your blog.
Once you have filled in all your information you can link your Instagram page with your other social media channels. In the right hand corner of your home page choose ‘share settings’. You have the option of sharing to Facebook (either your personal or your business page), Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare. This enables you to share your Instagram posts on any of those channels, but be careful not to inundate them with your imagery – especially a business page. And think about what images you do want to have on your Facebook and Twitter pages. You can decide each time whether to share the image or not.
Instagram will give you recommendations on who to follow – this could be accounts that Instagram thinks you will like, or friends and colleagues from your other channels. You can ask who of your followers are on Instagram and encourage them to follow you on there too!
You are ready to start snapping! It may be an idea to take a few photos and get used to the filters available before posting any – you want to have a consistent style of images to give an insight into you and your business. Followers are interested in seeing quality images rather than just snaps of your day, so if you can, try to make them interesting. Tens of millions of people visit Instagram every day and visit to be inspired – so give them that inspiration!
Ideas of what kind of pictures to post:
- Work in progress
- Behind the scenes
- Staff members
- ‘Out and about’ photos
- Pets – everyone loves #dogsofinstagram
Make sure your images are in focus, clear and uncluttered. You can see below some great examples where Instagram works very well.
For more information Instagram has a great ‘getting started’ page which gives you some great tips, including how to post strategically for your business.