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Heading Off To A Conference? Instagram That!

instagramWith around 1 million followers and thousands of likes per photo, Starbucks is extremely active on Instagram. Not only does the company participate in this form of social media, but the fans of the company are involved as well. Search for “Starbucks” on Instagram and you will be inundated with over 3.6 billion results. While getting to that level of notoriety is extremely difficult for a small business, getting more involved in the platform isn’t.

Social media is one of the best ways to connect with current and potential customers, and Instagram is the preferred choice of many smartphone users. According to the Instagram Press Center, there are 100 million active users a month, 40 million photos posted per day and 8,500 likes per second. Fortunately, it is one of the easiest ways for a company to have a social media presence, and it does not require a lot of technical knowledge. That said, it is definitely a good idea to set up an account for your business.

If you haven’t signed up for Instagram, it is easy.After you download the app to your iPhone, iPad or compatible Android smartphone, you can create an account by following the app’s simple step-by-step instructions. Take the time to carefully consider what your user name will be, as this will help people find your account. Additionally, it is important to fill out your profile completely. Although you have to initially sign up through a supported device, you can then use a standard computer to complete your profile. Adding a main picture that is eye-catching and represents your company is vital, and you will also want to include your URL and use the bio section to provide more details.

Once you have successfully set up your account, plan to virtually take your customers to your next conference or trade show with Instagram. If your conference is in San Diego, for example, consider taking a photo of yourself wearing a pair of sunglasses behind the swag you plan to give away. The next image you could submit is the departure board at the airport that says “San Diego, here we come!” Make sure that you put a caption on each of these photos to explain that you are headed to a conference and will be posting more images throughout the trip. This will encourage people to revisit your profile.

Once you get to the conference you should post a photo of your booth, and it is also a good idea to show images of the local scenery. Additionally, you can gain exposure by posting pictures of a team member shaking hands with some of the most prominent leaders in your industry. Make sure that each photo contains a caption and several relevant hashtags, including a tag for the convention. After all, hashtags are the number one way that new people will find your photos, and this can easily lead to additional followers and customers.

Some business owners may look at this social media platform and other sites as a waste of time, because they do not understand how to fully harness their potential. For example, some people who have not utilized social media before may think that the idea of posting fun pictures throughout a convention will make your company look unprofessional. However, the reality is that your customers will get a more personal look at your company by seeing you have a little fun. Keep in mind that one of the easiest ways to sell something is to connect with consumers on a human level. Every time your staff posts an image from the convention, they will be showcasing the people behind your business, and this will make your followers feel more connected with your company. Therefore, using Instagram is actually one of the best ways that you can enhance your level of customer engagement – for free. As an added bonus, it is also one of the easiest social media sites available. As long as you can take photos with your smartphone and upload them via the Instagram app, you can share fun images with your followers.

Along with Instagram, it is a good idea to diversify by expanding into multiple social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest. However, it is important to note that the strategy for attracting followers is slightly different for each site. For example, Pinterest users are looking for items of interest to their life, and they place a virtual pin through photos that inspire new ideas. Christine Landry game a good example of this in Pinterest Basics for Small Businesses. She said. “If you run a coffee shop that’s a popular study spot, you could have a board dedicated to coffee, another to pastries and a final one devoted to study tips. Make sure you follow enough pinners pinning on these subjects.  – this way you’ll regularly see new information on these topics that you can repin.”

The most crucial thing to remember is that no one likes to visit a social media page that has not been updated for a long time. Therefore, if you are planning to share information about your company via all of the applicable sites, make sure that you remain committed to providing regular updates.

Whether you share your company’s adventures at a conference or in the shop, it is easy to bring your business to life via the Instagram app. Make sure that you advertise your username on marketing materials, and you will soon have a list of followers who will be reminded of your company every time you post a photograph.

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David Soto has worked with small businesses on developing strategies for their social media assets. He likes to write about best online practices for businesses and professionals.

Posted in Social Networking. Tags: , ,

One Reply

  1. Instagram is a great visual tool to market a business. Not everyone enjoys reading lines of text, much like on Twitter, so Instagram allows companies to use a visual to initially attract or catch the attention of the public. This is a great opportunity for a company to feature an image that describes their brand or they may even like to post a picture that reflects the kind of work they do. As a photographer, Instagram is a great way for me to promote my business. I like to capture behind the scene images so people can see me working, as well as peeks of the finished product. Instagram also allows captions, hash tags and tagging, which is very helpful in attaching your company name or an individual to a post. When I work with local vendors I like to tag them in the caption to give them credit for their work and also in order for their followers to find their way back to me. Additionally, Instagram makes it very easy to simultaneously copy the same post onto various social media sources like Facebook, Twitter or Email. Using Instagram is one of the best and easiest ways to promote a business and reach as many people as possible.

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