So, as promised here is part two of How to use Instagram marketing for your small business without looking like a total Bonehead.

Last week we covered a lot of territory on using Instagram marketing for your business. There was a little Philosophy and some practical information mixed in. The whole thing became huge and didn’t want to overwhelm you in opening this fun and creative side of social media marketing.  So let’s jump right back in.

Filters

This was one of the big cool features back when Instagram has first been released to the iPhone people were able to make changes to their images that allowed their pictures to take one a more professional look.

If you wanted your picture to look like it was taken from an 110 negative and developed in the early 70’s you would use the 1977 filter. Or if you wanted a High contrast slightly moody look you might try the X-Pro II Filter or possibly the Lo-Fi Filter.you can use any of the 40 different filters available on Instagram.

Do the different filters help?

That is up for debate but the most like filter I all of the different states is Clarendon. Which I find funny because there is a town in the Texas Panhandle that is named Clarendon, and it was downhill all the way. But it has a nice cooling effect on the picture with a slight blue tone.

The different filters can help with your different subjects. Nature photos seem to look more pleasing with Valencia or just plain Normal. While Kelvin seems to be favored for Fashion. If you are centered around food many people like the Skyline Filter. Then the beloved selfie looks better in its natural state with the normal filter.

The best suggestion when it comes to filters play with them if you put out a horrible one then just roll with it. You are a human and far from perfect. No one is going o fault you for a bad filter.

So do you use filters? That is your choice and I would say experiment. Compare normal versus a filter you like and see which one get the best engagement.  Then compare that filter with a different filter. Keep doing A-B testing and see which one gets the best results.

Instagram Live

Inside of Instagram stories, there are three options. Normal which does pictures or video depending on if you press and hold or just tap the button. There is Boomerang and this is a 1-second gif that repeats itself. Then there is Live. Live is just like Facebook live in that it allows you to stream what is happening at that moment. The difference is that once you are done and you press end the video is gone. Poof! no more.

Instagram Live you want to start making them at a set time. That way people can plan to attend your live stream. There are a number of ways to use Instagram live.

Behind the scenes

You can show a behind the scenes of your small business. Get specific Hersey’s use to give factory tours. This helped build a closer bond with their customers over their arch rival Nestles. People who were given the grand tour got to see how the chocolate was made and it helped tourists to feel like they were granted special access to inside knowledge. So show them the secret sauce.

Product Reveals and demonstrations

Do you have a new product that has been in development and it is finally done? Why not show it off to the world. That way you can start creating a buzz about the product or talk about some updates to a product. Instagram live is a good way to talk up your products and services.

Special Announcements

Do you have something that is brand new, or newsworthy? Has something happened that makes you want to crow from the rooftops? Instagram Live can help spread the information to your fans and friends.

Questions and Answers

Help your followers learn more about your product. One way to do this is to host a question and answer session. Your viewers can ask you questions through the mobile app and you are then able to answer those questions right then and there.

The trick to using this though is so that you are able to get more interactions, make your video longer than normal. That way they are able to find out that you are life.

Interviews

You can also have an interview on your Live stream. This will help your customers and fans understand your product and services better.

Instagram Advertising

Instagram advertising is probably the best way to grow your following. but it can also be used to sell your services and products. If you have any experience with Facebook ads then you can set up Instagram ads. You do have to have a Facebook page to set up Instagram Ads but You are then able to set up A video photo or if you have a carousel ad in mind you can set that up too. The power of Instagram Ads is just as powerful as Facebook.

Carousel

Carousel images in Instagram are fairly new in the whole Instagram feature set. This is where you can place up to 10 images into a grouping. Many people are using the carousel in very creative ways. The key to using the carousel feature is to keep a theme to that post. Don’t have an image of kids eating ice cream and a motorcycle and a man pushing a lawn mower. There is no connection with these images. Though a purse maker could show all of the different colors available.

Video

Instagram video is another way to show the inside of your companies culture. by making short 3 to 60-second videos. You want to make the videos compelling and try to tell a story.

These are the main parts of Instagram that a small business can use. Yet, out of all this there is one hang up most people have with Instagram and that is, besides for Instagram Ads, there is the lack of being able to post links to your products. the only place you can have a hotlink to your site is on your Instagram Bio.

Many people like to put an image on a product and then put see bio for a link. Then they have to change that bio link with every new post. This is a little cumbersome and can achieve the desired outcome. I am for the one you can sell on your profile but just entice people to your page. Make it your landing page or squeeze page that way you are able to focus on creating content for your followers.

Instagram marketing fo your small business is a great and effective means of helping your fans, followers, and customers to get to know who you and your customer really are. if you would like help with your Instagram marketing please contact me.

 

 

 

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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Using Instagram Marketing for your small business. Part 2
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