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Top tips for getting started on Instagram

Instagram is getting bigger and bigger each day. Over 40 million photos are uploaded to the platform every day with more than 100 million active monthly users, from standard user accounts to celebrities and even businesses.
As with any social network, it’s not easy to promote your brand on Instagram and it can seem rather daunting, but as it’s a more visual platform you are able to use your creativity to capture the attention of your audience and enhance brand awareness.

A lot of people are still unfamiliar with the platform, so if you need some help getting started, here are a few top tips from the team at printed.com.

Set up your profile

Nice and easy to start off with. See if your brand name is available for your Instagram handle and make your profile as ‘on brand’ as possible. Use your company logo as your profile picture and add your company website to your description.

Promote your account on your site

To build your Instagram network effectively, you need to let people know you are there. One of the easiest ways to do this is by targeting your current fan base; add the Instagram buttons to your website and even share your most recent uploads on your blog.

Use your other social channels

Since the Facebook purchase of Instagram in April 2012, it’s now even easier to share your Instagram uploads on the platform so that they are seen by a larger network and so more people know that you are using Instagram. If you choose to share through Twitter as well, the use of Hashtags in your post will cross over and your Instagram posts will become a part of more conversations across the two platforms.

Use hashtags

Just like Twitter, using hashtags in your posts will include your uploads in a much larger conversation. There are lots of ways you can use hashtags to optimise your reach; you can use them in your username (although this option isn’t for everyone), include them in your photo descriptions, include them in comments and even use them to promote your latest offers and competitions. You’ll be surprised how popular #competitions is. Don’t go to hashtag crazy though otherwise you’ll risk looking like a spammer.

Engage with others

Instagram isn’t only about sharing your photos, it’s a social network so you should be using it as one. Interact with other users by liking and commenting on their photos and watch your following grow as you gradually appear in more newsfeeds.

Show your product

As a business one of your main objectives behind using social media is to reach out to new audiences and increase your sales. In order to do this, you really need to be showing your potential customers the quality of your product, how they can use it and how it can benefit them.

Introduce your employees

One of the problems that many people see with businesses on social media is that they can seem robotic and soulless. One way you can counteract this is by introducing your employees. Upload photographs of them or tag them in photo descriptions, this humanises your account and gives your followers a ‘behind the scenes’ insight to your business.

If you want to see what we have been up to on Instagram, you can follow us here (@printedcom) and you can even take part in our latest competition for your chance to win free print.You can even use it to get your hands on some of our Instagram prints or stickers.

Comments

Yasmin French
07 Mar 2013 00:42
I'd like to see galleries of customer examples if possible - would definitely help me make decisions about the finishes I want.

Generally very good advice posted above. There is a definite trend towards humanising companies these days and social media is the perfect tool to help engage directly with customers.
Ashleigh-Jayne O'Connell
07 Mar 2013 09:55
For the Instagram prints? If you head over to our Twitter account (@printed_com) you'll be able to see some of the customer prints we retweeted after they shared them with us.
Nancy Farmer
07 Mar 2013 15:49
Thank you for the intro to a subject I was barely aware of before... at the very least it made me go and look at the instagram site (platform?).
I wonder, though, if it's much good for promoting artwork (which is what i do) - curiously, the sheer attractiveness of the platform could be rather overbearing to material that already has a very artistic content, while at the same time being superbly good at making, say, hamburgers look highly artistic!
Ashleigh-Jayne O'Connell
07 Mar 2013 16:00
Hi Nancy, You don't necessarily have to edit the pictures you up load and you could include the hashtags #nofilter and #art or something which will show that the quality of your artwork hasn't been altered in any way and by using the relevant hashtags you'll also be spotted by more people.

AJ
Nancy Farmer
07 Mar 2013 17:29
Ah, that is interesting, thanks Ashleigh. Actually it was partly also that I couldn't show a whole painting in a little square - I'm used to spreading out across a blog and posting whatever format of pictures that I like. But thanks for the starter info, I'll have a look some more!
Thibaut Davoult
12 Mar 2013 10:16
Great tips to start up with using Instagram! I particularly like the emphasis you put on interacting with others, it's important to know that posting Photos isn't the only thing to do on Instagram.

I'm currently working on an article focusing on Instagram for e-retailers, e-commerce and in general, businesses that ship stuff over the mail. I find that there are plenty of cool use cases there, and if I'm right, I think it could be useful for Printed!

Cheers!
TL
05 Dec 2015 13:38
Useful, thanks

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