With over 300 million active users in 9 months, Instagram is now one of the top three social media networks used in the UK. But if you’re already struggling to keep up with Facebook and Twitter, why use Instagram too? And how do you even get started with it? Don’t panic – we’ve gathered some tips to help explain how it works and why it can benefit your creative business.
1. How to get started
Getting started on Instagram is fairly straightforward. Simply download the app from your app store (FREE!) and sign up for an account. Keep your name the same as your Twitter or business name if you can, to make life easier. Add a profile image (a brand logo works well), write a catchy bio (keep it consistent with what you have written in other social media bios) and remember to add a link to your website. Connect your account to Facebook and let your followers know they can follow you there.
Want more help? Click here for a useful tutorial
2. What is Instagram?
Even if you’ve never used it, most people have at least HEARD of Instagram. If you’re signing up an account for your business, think of it as a visual marketing tool. This app makes it easy to create and share entertaining and beautiful images without the use of complicated software like Photoshop. Users can instantly post pictures with captions and hashtags directly from their mobile phones and tablets, sharing them instantly not only with their followers but also thousands of those searching for images relating to particular subjects eg: #Craft or #Vintage.
3. Use hashtags!
But how to people find the content they’re interested in? Well, they just put a hashtag (#) in front of a word, just like you would on Twitter. If you’re looking for inspiration then Instagram has plenty of hashtags to discover – simply type what you are looking for in the search bar under the magnify glass icon eg.#handmade or #streetfood. Here’s what comes up when we look up #bathartisan
To make life easier for you and to make sure your images are found by people interested in the same topics, compile a list of popular hashtags that relate to what you do eg: #ceramics #artisan and each time you post an image remember use these hashtags underneath it. You could also create a punchy caption that explains your brand, for example, we use #BuyLocalBeUnique so that your phrase becomes associated with your pictures.
4. Inspire potential customers
It’s all very well knowing how to use Instagram, but what is the point? Well, for creatives like you, it’s the perfect place to form a personal connection with your audience by using visual images of your work and insights into your world (everyone’s nosy after all). Here are some ideas for subject matter: Behind-the-scenes at your business, your latest work or product, a photo of you at a market or fair, a picture of an exclusive offer. The more your followers see your pictures and engage with your world, the more likely they are to remember you the next time they are looking for a gift/commission/service. And as it’s so quick to take a pic, this is one social media network that won’t eat up your life – giving you more time for fun which is of course, the key to any creative’s inspiration!
And don’t forget to follow us here! http://instagram.com/bathartisan/