(Kodak Instamatic X-15, 1970)
I remember as a kid, my folks bought me one of these for my birthday. It was the latest in technology. The flash cube rotated and you got four flashes from it. Totally styling and real cheap, it was the perfect camera.
I would shoot a roll of film, get them printed and display my work.
(Horace Kepart, Hunter Library Special Collections)
I am sure you figured it out, this week’s lesson is “Instagram for Business!” (Alexander, 2016)
Instagram is a digital photo album and quite amazing. The numbers are staggering; 500 million monthly active users, 95 million photos uploaded every DAY! And, 4.2 billion photo likes every 24 hours. Yeah, perhaps there are some business opportunities here.
You and your business, have an opportunity to share rich media, high quality photos and video (60 seconds max) that show off your product, service or applications. There are so many things you can do.
Once again Keywords are important, because they are all searchable. This means write with purpose. Another way to find, or be found, is with hashtags. Instagram provides a page that lists the top hashtags, so go in and look for ones that match your business or product.
To setup you will need a business page on Facebook. In case you didn’t know, Facebook owns Instagram, and there is a fair bit of cross promotion. It is quite intuitive, but be sure and fill out everything on your profile, and start posting content.
Before you begin, the suggestion is to search companies you think might be doing a good job, and study what they do. Our instructor took us into Levis’ Instagram account and it looked fabulous. Great picture of people doing fun and exciting things, while wearing Levi’s. It made me want to run out and buy a pair! Okay, maybe when it stops snowing.
When posting pictures, think outside of the box for some of them. Let’s use the example of a plumber. Images of a plumber aren’t always something you want to see.
But what about the end result? The plumbing crisis is over, and the family can once again enjoy clean, refreshing tap water.
(Tara Moore, Taxi, Getty Images, 2017)
A big part of Hired Gun’s (my company) work load is safety videos. I could post stills of safe work sites.
As you decide how you want to approach Instagram, the suggestion was to brainstorm content ideas. Make a list of products and services and then the different ways your product and services can be used. The example we saw was for Chobani Yogurt. What they did was not only present their yogurt, but also the different things you can create with their yogurt. They even went so far as to provide recipes.
An idea I really liked, was to ask your customers to post photos of themselves using your product. Talk about being able to engage.
You should create a schedule for posts and stick to it. If you decide to post every Tuesday and Thursday, then that is what you have to do. By doing this, you increase user engagement. Your followers know when to expect new content, and they will look for it. It will be easier for you to plan and also consider themes. TBT (throwback Thursday) is big, maybe inspirational Monday, creative Tuesday, What it’s only Wednesday, Thursday not sure I can make it, and weee Friday! You may want to come up with your own.
Theme days have proven to increase user engagement. This is starting to sound like a lot of work, but not to worry; there is an app for that. It is called ScheduGram, and it allows you to schedule all your posts and carry them out without you. You can set it up in a couple of hours, once a week, easy breezy!
So you have a plan, you have a theme, you are ready for the next phase, the exciting one, the phase we have all been waiting for…UPLOAD! Time to start posting pictures or video. I am, at best, a mediocre photographer, but Instagram has the tools to help you with that. I just downloaded an app they recommend called Layout. It helps group pics together in collages.
I have gone kind of nutty with it. It is fun.
(Ben Babchishin/Layout, 2017)
Whatever you do, there are tools to help maximize the impact. Once the photo is set, give it a caption and some context. The images above were taken while we filmed a music video for the woman on the right, Dale Ladouceur. You should tag the people in the shots, with the hope they will like, comment and/or share, which helps you reach more people. As comments come in, interact with people. It is all about “Social Listening!”.
You can also upload video, but they have to be less than 60 seconds. I found another app that I really like called RIPL. It allows you to edit together 8 stills of your choosing, add music and a sell banner that slides across. I would like to share what I created with you, but I am in the trial phase and can only upload to Facebook, twitter and Instagram. So I can’t put it into my blog until I upgrade from free to pay. There are so many apps out there, I really take my time before purchasing. If you are interested follow me on Instagram.
(RIPL/Ben Babchishin/Instagram, 2017)
You can modify easily, block inappropriate comments and add social media platforms and Hashtags. Remember TopHashTags, it’s a good place to start.
You should also consider re-posting other people’s images, especially if you can add your own context to it. The easiest is to take a screen grab, but there are apps such as Insta Re-post for Instagram and Re-post for Instagram. Make sure you credit the owner of the pic.
The analytics are easy to access and to the point. At the bottom of your post is a caption that states “View Insights.” You click on that and you see the number of likes, comments, impressions, reach, engagement and who has saved the image. It is an easy way to gauge success of each post.
Make sure you follow the Instagram Blog for business purposes. You will find case studies and tips for business using Instagram. You can also buy ads that will place your posts on the walls of people that don’t follow you. You can run campaigns on both Facebook and Instagram. You will have to use the Facebook Ad Manager and you need to have a Facebook Business Account. I will talk more of this in future blogs when we start delving into the world of Facebook.
Instagram will walk you through how to embed your posts on your website and add an Instagram badge. And don’t forget to follow Instagram for business on Instagram. It is very visual and stimulating.
That’s it for now, got to run, I need to go out and get way more photos if I am ever going to keep up!
Next lesson is a big one, “Facebook for Business!”.
Till next week!
Alexander, A. (2016, 11 03). Instagram for Business. Retrieved 2017, from Lynda.com: http://www.lynda.com
Babchishin, B. (2015). Safety Hat. Fort McMurray.
Ben Babchishin/Layout. (2017). Music Video Collage.
Horace Kepart, Hunter Library Special Collections. (n.d.). Photo Album. Cullowhe, NC, USA.
Kodak Instamatic X-15. (1970).
Lamb, B. (n.d.). Plumbers buttcrack.
RIPL/Ben Babchishin/Instagram. (2017). Hireed Gun Promo.
Tara Moore, Taxi, Getty Images. (2017).