To Instagram or not to Instagram?

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Many business owners are asking me if they should be on Instagram. The question really should be are your potential customers on Instagram?

If yes, then consider it. If no, why would you waste your time on something that would not give you a return on your investment? Even if you run the Instagram account yourself, your are still spending time, and in business, time is money.

A Few Things you Should Know about Instagram Before you Start to Use it

  • Instagram is a mobile focused platform – you will need to download an app on your smartphone to use it. You can Instagram from a desktop, but it is more of a faff to upload photos (you need an application called Bluestacks and I’m not a fan!)
  • It’s still quite a young audience.
  • You won’t be able to add website links on posts (like you can on Facebook and Twitter), only one weblink is allowed and that’s in your bio.
  • Instagram is very visual and time sensitive (it can be scheduled but needs to be done through an app).

Should you Use Instagram?

Certain business do extremely well on Instagram such as Travel blogs, fashion retailers and interior designers. However, because it is so visual and creative, it doesn’t lend itself so well to businesses training companies, estate agents or accounting businesses.

It’s really about weighing it up to see if the energy would be wisely spent on a platform such as Instagram. You don’t need to be on yet another social media platform because someone else thinks that you should.

Consider how much time you need to spend on an Instagram account. As with any platform, you get out what you put in. You don’t need to be on it all of the time, but if you have an account, it is worth posting at least 2/3 original images a day. Yes, that means you need to do some of your own iPhone photography!

Some people choose to be on Instagram as a person, but mention their business website in their bio. I am predominantly on Instagram as Amy Trumpeter to promote my travel blog Globetrotter Guru. I don’t feel that it would benefit me to be on Instagram as Trumpeter Media (my business website) because most of my customers are over on Facebook and Twitter.

Some Great Things that you can do with Instagram

  • You can tag or mention other people in photos. So, for example, if you are travelling with a best friend, you can tag them.
  • Use hashtags! Instagram loves hashtags, so don’t be afraid to use them.
  • Connect to your Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr – this will mean that they automatically post images that you Instagram to your other network sites (however, I prefer to run each one individually and organically).
  • You can now advertise on Instagram through Power Editor.
  • You can schedule Instagram posts through Hootsuite.
  • Interact with others – genuinely like and comment on their posts and you will see your own following grow! (I don’t recommend apps and products that do auto liking and commenting on your behalf)

If you have any questions or suggestions about Instagram, please feel free to comment below.

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