June 30, 2014

Today is Social Media Day around the world - the day when all of us who love social media join together to celebrate the power of these platforms and learn more from others around us.

I am excited to be presenting at Social Media Day San Diego today. I'll be teaching hundreds of business owners, marketers, and social media managers how businesses can use Instagram effectively.

In this presentation, I will be covering:

  • Why Instagram is so Important
  • How to Format Your Instagram Profile
  • What Types of Content You Should Share on Instagram
  • How to Use Instagram Effectively

You can check out the full Slideshare presentation here:

Just so you don't feel left out, here's a quick recap of the information I'll be covering.

Why Instagram is so Important

  • Instagram is currently the fifth largest social media platform with 200 million active monthly users
  • It's the fastest site to reach this milestone (behind only Google+, which given that they made everyone with a YouTube or Gmail account become a G+ user, it's questionable to compare them with Instagram)
  • 70% of Instagram users log onto the platform daily - this is a higher percentage of daily active users than other social media sites
  • 60 million photos are uploaded daily to Instagram which generate 1.6 BILLION likes daily - that's a significantly high engagement rate!
  • The demographics and percentage of Instagram users is comparable to Twitter and Pinterest - it's not just the "kids" and millennials using Instagram
  • Visual marketing is one of the most successful means of marketing and Instagram is not only a visual platform but it allows you create powerful visual content for other platforms and even print media
  • Instagram style images create higher engagement, more click-throughs, and better conversions than traditional marketing (studio based) images

How to Format Your Instagram Profile

We look at how to format the five key areas of your Instagram profile

  • Your username and name
  • Your profile photo
  • Your bio description
  • The URL in the bio - the ONLY clickable link on Instagram
  • Privacy settings

If you'd like more information on setting up your Instagram profile, check out my previous blog post on this topic.

The Types of Content You Should Share on Instagram

There are a variety of ways to share quality content on Instagram.

  • Organic images. Create and share images that look natural and less staged (even though they probably are just as staged). Use filters and effects to add to the native Instagram look. Create an environment that viewers can imagine themselves in.
  • Text overlays. Whether advertising something, sharing a message (quote or inspirational, perhaps), or featuring your products, text overlays achieve this effectively. Check out the tools listed in the Slideshare slides for the best tools I recommend.
  • Use images to showcase your products, customers, employees, events, workspaces, milestones or celebrations, behind-the-scenes, or new product launches or reveals.
  • Use videos to showcase your products, answer frequently asked questions or provide how-to tips, offer tours or behind-the-scenes of your business, present product launches or new reveals, or record messages or greetings.
  • Provide exclusive content. Through contests, promotions, or discounts provided exclusively to your Instagram audience, you can track success of the campaigns. Using a regular weekly or monthly series helps encourage followers to check out your account and get access. Share content exclusively to Instagram and tease it on other sites to boost traffic back to Instagram.

How to Use Instagram Effectively

There are key ways to use Instagram to ensure you see success with Instagram.

  • Cultivate relationships. It's still social media so it's not all about you. Engage with your audience, showcase them, mention them and participate in conversations.
  • Have a strategy. Know what you want from Instagram, why your audience/customers are there, and what they want to see. Use this to format what you'll share and then figure out how often you'll post.
  • Use hashtags efficiently. To learn more about an effective hashtag strategy, check out my previous post on this topic.
  • Use calls-to-action. Make sure you are clear about you want people to do - go to your website, call you, come into your store, use a hastag, tag themselves, etc.
  • Track your analytics. If you're not keeping track of what you're doing, how do you know it's working? You need to know when your audience is most active, what types of images work best, etc. Use A/B testing to find what works for you. And incorporate an analytics tool for more data - I recommend IconoSquare (free) or Nitrogram (paid).

And there you have, quickly, how businesses can use Instagram. If you would like to find out how you can use Instagram specifically for your business, please check out my Instagram training offer.

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. I’m so sorry to miss you down in San Diego–this looks like a great presentation. Thanks for the list of programs for text overlays–that’s something I need to work on.

    1. Thanks Ann! I hope you got to do something to enjoy Social Media Day. And I’m glad you found these tools helpful. Creating graphics and text overlays is a great way to boost your visual content strategy.

  2. Instagram is the ‘ugly duckling’ of Social Media for many business – and I have no idea why. It is clear that people are more reactive to visual content than to boring text updates. Your article – and blog in general – is providing a great help for many. Please, keep up the good job!

    1. Thanks Antonio! I just think a lot of businesses are unsure how to use it and, let’s face it, adding *another* social media site to the mix of social media practices is overwhelming. It’s easier to ignore it or hope it goes away 😉

Comments are closed.

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