The Best Way to Use Instagram For Business

imagesThe purpose of marketing and promotion simply means communicating with your customers. Many social media channels provide businesses with a platform to communicate, but now a new kid’s on the block! Instagram is basically a photo sharing application for mobile users, which is now part of Facebook. With more than 100 million users, Instagram has become the perfect opportunity for brands to get quick messages and photos to their target audiences. Users now have the opportunity to access Instagram profiles on the web in addition to mobile, giving marketers more possibilities to market on other devices besides Android and iPhone.

Start…

  • Sign up for an Instagram account and choose a username that clearly represents your brand.
  • Add a profile photo, a biography and link to your website
  • Connect your account to Facebook, Twitter and other accounts
  • Capture quality pictures of your products and services and begin uploading them to your community (Photos are the best medium to attract potential buyers and help ignite the conversation, which engages them)
  • Announce to your Facebook & Twitter followers that you are now on Instagram
  • Start sharing your photos across your networks and don’t forget to use hashtags!
  • Adding tags to your photos is a great way to find new followers and share your photos with more people. Choosing specific tags will help you connect with other like-minded people.
  • Give your business brand a face – showcase employees and their achievements or even your customers. Customers can be your brands greatest advocates and are a great way to tell your company’s story from the perspective of someone outside the company.
  • Create engagement by asking individual questions or launch photo contests. Ask users to use a particular hashtag for the contest by tagging their pictures. It’s easy to search through pictures and ask other people to vote for their favorite.
  • Remember to monitor your photos for customer comments and feedback!

3 Simple Steps to Effective Social Media

images v3Relevance – Given the casual atmosphere, it’s easy to post everything and anything. As a business or organisation participating in social media, you want to stay relevant to your business.  This does not mean you need to write only about your business or organisation but the key is to not litter your wall, tweets, or status updates with just sales pitches. Post about happenings in the greater community from industry lead articles to staff winning awards and remember to use related #hashtags for subjects. A nice balance of professional photos, videos and news stories will create your part in a social media conversation that will help to increase your exposure.

Engagement – People gather on sites like Facebook and Twitter because of their common interests or because they want to be in the know. It’s not formal communication like a press release, messages are shorter and in many cases more fun. If you really want to add value to your social media, you need to engage with people. Listening is the key to being effective. You need to listen to what people are saying to you and about you. When appropriate be sure to respond. Show your followers that you know your business and industry by posting links to related articles, notes about other complementary businesses, and by interacting with others on the networks in which you participate.

Remember…be activeHow often to post in social media? Too little and followers may not notice, too often and they may get annoyed. When posting something to Twitter for example you may want to post the same information more than once in a given day. Twitter feeds are fast-moving, so if a customer doesn’t see your original tweet, they may miss out. But remember to change the wording each time to freshen up the content! For Facebook, a single link to a blog post is enough. The same goes for LinkedIn updates. Generally, you can post multiple updates to Twitter, one or two to Facebook, and one to LinkedIn over the course of a given day without the risk of annoying the followers on each site. Just keep in mind: If you’re updating Twitter quite a bit, you may inundate your followers on the other networks with all your tweets.

Todays PR is More Than Just a Press Release

downloaTo manage your company’s PR effectively you need to identify, manage and guide all communications, especially communication over the internet and through social media. Guiding communication requires a deeper understanding of not only how technology works, but also how it facilitates better interactions.

Website Analytics & Measurements

One of the easiest tools to monitor on-line activity is Google Analytics, where you can establish a simple report system of your website user statistics and social media interactions. Once you have established these individual reports you can monitor traffic from social networks, social visits and quality from mobile and the most socially shared content. There are several website statistics that PR professionals should review, which include:

  • Number of visitors and page views
  • Referring keywords
  • Recent visitors locations
  • Inbound link monitoring
  • Bounce rate

One of the most interesting features is Real Time Analytics, which tells you if your site is doing better or worse at any given time. Some of the most useful analytics include how many of your active visitors have actually been to your site before and how long they stay and whether its every second or for the last hour. You should also concentrate on how many people go to certain pages of your site, revealing the most popular areas. When you see that some pages are more popular than others you can evaluate and adjust the content on the less visited pages.

Upload & Mange Your Content

As a PR professional you need to generate and manage your own content from blogs to photos and videos. You also need to understand how a CMS system works whether it’s through web professionals, IT or Strategic Internet Marketing companies, to coordinate how information is shared though social, blogs and the on-line web community. Unlike communication vehicles of the past, individuals are now actively searching out information through search engines, in which press releases, articles and blog posts can appear. Additionally, RSS feeds, other Web sites and blogs regularly pick up articles of interest and link to them or re-purpose them, resulting in even greater exposure. Today’s public relations activities are no longer just a way to generate a short mention in the local daily or to promote an upcoming event. By taking advantage of on-line services and tactics, you’ll discover an affordable (and often-times free) and effective way to educate your prospective customer base about your business.