instagram photos

Can Businesses Use Instagram?

After Twitter, Instagram is my second favorite social media hang out to connect with readers and writers. I must admit that at first, I did not understand how it worked. Instagram is all about sharing photos instead of tweets or written status updates, but once you start using it on a regular basis, you will quickly learn how easy and convenient this app (or the web version) is. Can businesses use Instagram?

Yes, definitely. I think it is a great tool to promote your business, be it an author website, an online store, digital tools, online courses, etc.

How do Photos Help Promote Your Business?

instagram photo

Most people are visual, and the importance of using visuals (photos) cannot be stressed enough, especially online. Imagine this article without any photos? Would you still read it? Some people still would, but not as many. Generally speaking, a plain text does not do as well as an article with a catchy headline and related photos.

Let’s say, our product is an e-book. You can use a screenshot of this e-book and post it on Instagram. If you want to show a paperback copy, it would be a good idea to create a nice background for it. For example, place your book on a coffee table. Add a cup of coffee and perhaps a simple vase with some flowers; or film yourself holding the book. Simply put, create a photo that states, “look what I got here”.

Your photo is your headline on Instagram. Make it catchy.

Edit Your Photos

can businesses use instagram?The great thing about Instagram is that it allows you to edit your uploaded photos. You can add text to it, adapt the hues, add background color to your text or change the text color. This tool gives you the opportunity to work on your photo and really use it for your business. You could add the name of your website to your photo, which makes it more visual.

The Instagram phone app is easy to use. You can download it free from Google Play Store.

Additionally, you can provide your website link in your text below the photo, so visitors can copy and paste the URL.

 

Instagram Videos

This feature is still new to me, but it is also a wonderful tool to use. As a writer you could film yourself reading an excerpt from your book, or typing away at a new novel. If you’re a musician, you could record yourself playing a song or a small piece.

Videos can last between 1 and 60 minutes. According to experienced YouTubers, it is best not to make your video too long. Keep it between 5 and 20 minutes. More than 20 minutes may be too much.

If you’re at a conference or at a book fair, you could share a video of the event and add a link to your product in your text description below. There are many ways to make good use of this Instagram video feature.

book fair

What Info Should You Add to Your Instagram Post?

It is best to keep it short and simple. You can, of course, write as much as you want if you prefer that – there does not seem to be a limit – but long texts with no paragraphs tend to look overwhelming, especially if you’re using a photo sharing app. When I see an IG post with a text that looks like a long essay, I tend to skip it. That being said, I love reading – I’m a writer, after all 😉 – but I don’t like to stare at the phone screen too long, especially if the text is not divided into paragraphs.

short text

Instagram may belong to Facebook, but it is not like Facebook at all. So, I would recommend keeping the texts under your photos short.

Hashtags Connect with Likeminded People

As I mentioned in my previous article on Twitter, hashtags are essential to get your posts noticed. If you’re posting about a new article you wrote on your website, you could add hashtags like #amwriting #blogging #stayhomeandread, including hashtags that relate to the subject of your blog. People who are looking for blogs or the topic you are writing about will then see your post.

Creature cups' shark cup is fierce!

When you type the beginning of a hashtag, Instagram will show you several suggestions. For example, you type in #selfpub and a list will pop up, featuring #selfpublishing #selfpublishers #selfpublished #independentpublishing etc. Each suggestion indicates how many publications there are under each tag. Some may have several hundred thousand, even more than that.

hashtag

You can certainly use hashtags with a high amount of publications if they relate to your topic, but if you pick a tag with a lower volume of views – let’s say, a few thousand – your post will be less likely to get swallowed up in the Instagram maelstrom. Hashtags with fewer publications will have a longer visibility.

Finally, you also have the option of creating a new hashtag. Then, others may pick that one up and create posts under your hashtag as well.

Final Thoughts

Instagram my feed

There are still many features I am discovering on Instagram, but so far it has proven to be very useful for my purposes. I have connected with writers and readers around the world. I also ended up getting in touch with musicians, DJs, motivational speakers, editors, proofreaders, and so on. It is a great place to network and build your followers. Uploading photos has been made easy, and the editing tool is also user-friendly.

If you’d like to give it a try, you can sign up here, and if you’d like to follow me on Instagram, chduts is my IG handle. Please let me know in the comments if you have any more questions, and if you have another good tip about Instagram, which I may not have mentioned in my article, feel free to add the info.

14 thoughts on “Can Businesses Use Instagram?

  1. Aloha and great posts on business use for Instagram.

    As a Social Media Influencer myself, being able to leverage such platforms such as Facebook. Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube has been outstanding for the amount of traffic im able to drive to my affiliate offers or whatever I’m promoting.

    Any and every business should have a Instagram business account.

    Then learn how to build and grow an audience, a fan base that will follow you and value your content.

    I have 10 different accounts, I used to run a marketing agency.

    The possibilities are endless.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Lorenz,

      Thank you for your valuable input! It is much appreciated, especially from a Social Media influencer like yourself 🙂

  2. Thanks Christine. You definitely helped me to learn here.  To be honest if I had not read this article I probably would not have thought too much about instagram at all and that is a bit of a generational hang up on my part.

    It is becoming clear to me that i should be having a view and a plan around all social media outlets that might give me an opportunity to extend the reach of of my online business activity, so thanks for the gentle but very well written push.

    Hamish 

    1. Hi Hamish,

      I’m happy this was helpful to you. Thank you for commenting, and all the best with your business!

  3. Thanks for putting up such a concise article, linking your business with your Instagram account can make you have an edge over your competitor, you will have access to potential customers when you uploads your product . choosing a unique and lovable harshtag can also be beneficial, because it can attract customers to your product and even make your product go viral.

    1. Hi there!

      Yes, hashtags are indeed very important and can attract customers and people within your network.

      Thank you for commenting!

  4. Heloo there, I want to say a big thanks to you for sharing this review it’s really amazing. Instagram is indeed a great platform for the promotion of businesses and other things.  I am a singer, the Instagram is one of the best platform I have been using for the promotion of my songs and my business. So it’s really useful in businesses. 

    1. Hi Sheddy,

      I have come across several musicians on Instagram. It is indeed great to share your music, snippets of songs, excellent to promote your work. 

  5. Instagram is far one of the most used social platform In the globe with over millions of people on it and the quickest way to communicate to the world… With Instagram one stand the chance of making millions of dollar as you can make good traffic for it. So the fact is that Instagram is the best place to promote your business so its definitely a nice play to do your business..

  6. What a well researched article with first hand experience on using instagram.  I have dabbled with instagram but this post taught me some new things, like how to use hashtags.  I had no idea they were so helpful.  I haven’t really gotten into video yet either, but I do know it is getting more and more important.  

    1. Hi John,

      Yes, we learn as we go. Hashtags are very useful, try them out next time you post something and see what results you’ll get 🙂

      Thank you for your comment!

  7. Hi Christine,

    Instagram is one of the great sources of traffic for specific niches, such as cosmetics, cloth/apparel, or something artistic. Because we all get attracted to pretty stuff, right?

    Bur for some particular niches, I am not sure whether we could promote our business on Instagram. For example, make money online niche or related financial niches. Can you share your opinions on this?

    I’ve seen a Japanese real estate agent promote its business on Instagram, which is selling houses on Instagram, and they did get a HUGE success. So, I think there is a chance we could make it work if we proceed creatively.

    Cheers,
    Matt

    1. Hi Matt!

      For making money online niches you could still use Instagram. For example, you could go live with workshops or webinars. You can also post photos of using your laptop in a nice cafe or at the beach, illustrating the life of an online entrepreneur who can literally work anywhere. These are just some ideas. Instagram also offers you to edit your photos and add text, so you can add your website or any other info to your photos and also in the text area below your post. I hope that helps 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support!

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