Instagram – going beyond snap happy posting

Instagram Part 2 copy

So, you’ve got an Instagram (IG) account and probably gone a little crazy taking images and admiring those of others. And now, you’re wondering how you can use IG for your business rather than it becoming another time drain – so easy to do with Social media.

  1. Focus on QUALITY not quantity. It’s ok not to post images all day, everyday. I’ve even been known to have a day off posting any IG photos.
  1. Create a hashtag. I use #poppysparkles to tag images that relate directly to Poppy Sparkles and my handmade jewellery. It also means that others can use it to tag their images of jewellery they’ve bought from me.

If you have a few distinct topics that you cover you might consider creating a few hashtags enabling people to search your feed by topic. So, I could have #PSJewellery #PSFashion #PSFood enabling those interested in my jewellery to look only at those images, those who want to nose at fashion to filter out just those photos and those who want the foodie pics to select them.

  1. Use relevant hashtags for keywords e.g. I also tag my jewellery images with #jewellery #handmade #birthstone etc. This is to help people searching these terms to find you. I prefer to post my images with just a caption and then go back and add hashtags in a second comment . This keeps the caption clutter free and allows people to just focus on your caption. A long list of hashtags can be off putting, but putting them in a follow up comment on the image helps people ignore them. It also means if you are posted to your FB page, where hashtags are irrelevant they won’t feature there.
  1. Tag relevant people. If the piece you are creating is a commission and they are on IG, then tag them so they are sure to see it and hopefully comment. This also encourages people to then photograph and share your work when it’s received providing you with the Holy Grail of marketing – word of mouth advertising.
  1. Reply to comments. Take time to reply to comments (tagging the person you are replying to so they will receive notification of your comment) – it’s common courtesy, but will also encourage further comments both from the original poster and prompting those who have so far observed your images into engaging with you.
  1. Connect with other Business users who have a similar target market to yourself and comment on their images. Please do this in a positive way and not just spam them! Comment on THEIR image and do not go posting your links everywhere! If you contribute positively people will check you out and be more likely to connect with you.

And lastly, if in doubt always remember point number one. QUALITY. Focus on quality rather than quantity. Fewer, better quality images are preferable to a deluge of imperfect ones. Nurturing a few good connections with other businesses, customers or potential customers is better than spreading your networking too thin and not making any lasting impressions or connections. And as with all social media don’t get hung up about how many followers you do or don’t have. Numbers are irrelevant, it’s engagement that’s key. Focus your energy on engaging people.

Are you on Instagram? Post your links below so we can connect. If you have any questions or would like to open discussion on Instagram then leave a comment as I will check them and respond.

Viv Smith was the designer and owner behind Poppy Sparkles, making sterling silver Pearl and Birthstone Jewellery which sadly ceased trading in 2015. Although Viv can still be found on Instagram posting a plethora of lovely things.