10 Tips On Using Instagram for Business

In Episode 3 of the T.J. Mousetis Podcast I shared 10 tips on how to use Instagram for your business.  I thought I would also post the 10 tips in a blog format, with visuals, to help you as well.  Make sure you listen to the podcast though because I talk fast and fit a lot into each episode!

1. Have a mission statement specific to your brand's Instagram.

The walk in love instagram mission statement is this: The @walkinlove instagram exists to connect with our customers, promote our products and inspire our followers.

EXAMPLE :  Even in this screenshot of 9 photos you can see us doing all the things in our Instagram mission statement. There are photos promoting products and sales, there is a re-post from our customer using the hashtag #iwearwalkinlove and there is general encouragement!

2. Ask yourself questions about your posts before you post them.

We ask a lot of questions about our posts before we post them.  Like - Does this fit our mission statement? Is this the best time to post this specific photo? What did we post last?  Does this photo add a good variety to our feed?  Is it up to our standard? When did we last post something similar to this one? And so on.  Asking questions about every post is always a good idea because it will help you not to simply post all willy-nilly.  Having a plan of action is always better than not having a plan of action and asking yourself questions is the first step in helping you stick to the plan!

EXAMPLE : We try to post our celebrity photos during a time people will search for them. Like this photo we saved  of Russell Wilson. We posted it while the Seahawks were playing because, you guessed it, more people would be searching for him on social media.

3. Have a schedule.

Do you post once a day? Twice a day? Three times a day?  What is your schedule and are you sticking to it?  With @walkinlove we try to post every 2-4 hours while we are awake on EST.  It's the schedule that works for us and we have the content to support it.   If you only post sporadically, you will have sporadic followers  If you have consistent posts, you will have consistent followers. And consistent followers make consistent customers!

EXAMPLE ABOVE : Here are three photos we've posted today with a 4th on the way.  Stick to your schedule!

4. Post should be good, but don't need to be perfect.

I think it's easy for creatives to obsess over every little thing, insisting that it's gotta be perfect.  We can agonize over every little detail and with that mentality our content will never be "good enough."  But sometimes, most times actually, done is better than perfect. And Instagram is a great place to practice that!  Make sure things are as good as you can produce them at the time, but don't worry about every post being perfect.

EXAMPLE : Brooke takes and edits almost all of our Instagram photos with her iPhone.  They are good, but we don't feel the pressure to take them with a real camera and edit them in Photoshop.  We snap them with an iPhone because, again, they are good, not perfect!

5. Batch create content ahead of time.

This will help you stick to your schedule.  Spend a few hours creating Instagram posts for the next week and you won't have to scramble to post something whenever it comes to your mind.

EXAMPLE : Anytime we get a new shipment of shirt Brooke takes them all to this white wall and takes individual shots of them on the sparkly hanger she made.  It's great filler content for our feed and provides us with lots of photos to spread out over time!

6. Don't overkill aspects of Instagram.

#Have #you #ever #seen #a #post #like #this?  Did I make my point?  Aspects of instagram like hashtags, giveaways and specific types of post are great... but don't overkill them!

EXAMPLE : Sometimes you just need to keep it simple.

7. Rarely try to sell.

When you are always trying to sell something to people they will get really tired of it.  Instead, use Instagram to interact with your customer base!  Keep the sales pitches to a minimum, so when you do need people to purchase something, you can go all in on the posts about your sale or the  new items in stock!  Just like point 6 above, over-selling will create a lack-luster following, who will quickly get sick of the constant sales pitch.  Add value to your followers lives so when you do sell they jump in!

EXAMPLE : See example 6.

8. Interact with your followers.

Answer questions, comment back and re-post photos of your fans interacting with your products.  It's pretty easy!

EXAMPLE : Someone comments and asks a question.  Comment back and answer it!

9. Don't copy.  Be original

I feel like there is a commandment about this one.  Try not to rip people off. Try to be original.

EXAMPLE : If I were to post a photo, don't recreate that same photo and post it. Especially if you're a brand.

10. Have Fun!

It's fun to have fun.  Don't take Instagram too seriously.  Have fun and show your customers your personality.  People will appreciate it.  One of my favorite things is when people tell me, "I feel like I know you because of Instagram."  That's exactly what I want!

EXAMPLE : Have fun.  Think about the things you think are fun and feature them on Instagram!

If you have any questions that you'd like me to answer on an upcoming podcast comment on this post or ask on one of my Instagram photos - @tjmousetis