More than likely, at this point, your brand is already on Facebook or Twitter and you’re looking to add one or two more networks to your arsenal. Instagram is a good choice for a lot of brands, especially if you’re interested in a large community of engaged users and a platform with mass appeal.
So, you’re ready to get your brand started on Instagram? Follow these 6 steps and be on your way to Instagramming like a pro.
1. Download the app
Instagram is primarily a mobile social network so you need the app to use it (download it here). While Instagram does provide each account with a page that can be viewed on the desktop, posting to Instagram must be done through the app.
By using Latergramme, you have the option to schedule and manage your Instagram posts from your desktop; including the ability to search for and regram photos from accounts you are following or based on specific hashtags.
2. Create your username and profile
Sign up for Instagram either via email or Facebook. Once you sign up choose your username. It’s a good practice to choose the same username across platforms both for consistency and to make it easy for your people find you. At Latergramme, you can find us @Latergramme on both Instagram and Twitter.
If you cannot choose the same username, make sure the one you do choose is recognizable and as close to your other usernames as possible. For added recognizability, enter your full business name when prompted for your full name. This will make it even easier for people to find you through Instagram’s search function.
When filling in your 150 character bio about your business it’s important to be clear and concise. Your bio is also the only place where you can have a clickable link; links in captions and comments are not currently clickable. Take advantage of this by having the most relevant link to your Instagram followers in your bio.
3. Add a profile photo
The dimensions for an Instagram profile photo are 110 x 110. This is yet another area where it’s important to be recognizable and consistent. For brands, more often than not, the best choice is to use your logo as your profile image.
4. Incorporate social sharing
Use this feature judiciously. Don’t share your photo to your other social platforms without editing the caption for length, checking the usernames of people you @ mention, as well as reviewing and editing hashtags. While sharing from Instagram to Facebook looks good and will show the photo you posted, sharing directly from Instagram to Twitter appears only as a link in your timeline. Ensure the text you include when sharing to Twitter is interesting and encourages users to click through.
5. Post a photo!
Your account is set up and it’s time to post your first photo. Instagram has a number of photo editing features and a variety of filters you can choose from. By double tapping the filter, you can add a border or alter the strength of the filter. Once happy with the photo you can add a caption, hashtags, @ mention people and also add your location should you choose.
Excited to launch your Instagram account and have a great library of content at the ready? Latergramme can help you schedule and manage your images to post throughout the week at the most optimal times. You won’t overwhelm your followers with 50 posts on your first day, and you’ll have more time for engaging with your fans and followers.
6. Build your audience
After you have some photos posted it is time to get followers for your account so your content is actually seen. Use Instagram’s search function to find people and other brands to follow. You can also use Latergramme’s Save feature in our desktop app to find new accounts to follow. Search by username, or choose a hashtag that is relevant to your business.
Engaging with the people is a key component to building an audience on Instagram. When someone likes or comments on your photo or tags you in their photo you will receive a notification via Instagram. Take the time to respond to comments, thank people for likes, and follow back relevant followers. When connecting with new users who don’t yet follow you, take the time to look through their content, like some of their photos, and post relevant, genuine comments.
Avoid posting spammy, repetitive comments asking for follow backs or posting comments that focus on selling or aggressively promoting your brand. Remember, you’re not just trying to get followers; you are building a community and relationships. Take the time to get to know people and the content of their accounts and be genuine in your interactions. A little human touch goes a long way when building relationships on Instagram.
Applying these tips will help you get started on Instagram. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on Instagram, Latergramme, and visual content management.
Header image by Alejandro Pinto via Flickr