Greetings, readers! This is the second article in our two-part series about Instagram. If you skipped the first article, please read it so you don’t think I’m crazy for recommending Instagram for your business. Yes, even if you’re in a professional services field like mortgages or bookkeeping, Instagram can serve you well.

Are you ready—or mostly ready—to give Instagram a try? Let’s get started.

    1. Set up your account. Clearly, if you skip this step, everything else is a moot point. (It’s kind of like dreaming of winning the lottery but never buying a ticket.) Make sure you set up a business account. To do so, simply tap on the gear icon in the top right corner of your screen, and then tap “Switch to Business Profile.” A business profile looks more professional and gives you a handy-dandy Contact button so that Instagram users can easily call or email you.

    2. Connect Instagram to Buffer.com. Buffer allows you to schedule posts for multiple social media platforms—including Instagram—from a single site. If you’re already sharing a photo on Facebook and LinkedIn, why not put it on Instagram, too? That said, our Social Media Specialist, Karly Nesson, will probably kill me for recommending Buffer, as she prefers Gramblr for Instagram. There are pros and cons to Buffer and Gramblr, which we won’t get into here. But Karly’s not the one writing the article, so just go with Buffer.

    3. Do a reality check. Instagram is meant for sharing photos and videos, and not necessarily links to interesting articles. Understand that Instagram is best for visually bringing your brand to life. Whenever you have a Kodak moment, it can be an Instagram moment! (For those born after 1990, please ignore the reference to Kodak.) Photos and videos of your team having fun in the office or networking are just a couple of examples. Of course, if you sell tangible products, showcase them! Also, play with Instagram’s photo filters to make your images pop.

    4. Think of others. Okay, I just told you to post about yourself, but please do so in moderation. Posting about yourself is like eating ice cream. Too much will give you a brain freeze! What else can you post about besides yourself? Community event flyers and cool local scenery are always welcome. Even better, you can “regram” (i.e. share) others’ posts. Simply take a screenshot of their photo and be sure to give credit to them in your own post.

    5. Use hashtags like there’s no tomorrow. Adding #hashtags to your posts allows your content to be more findable. In general, the more hashtags you have, the better. Two great Delaware hashtags are #NetDE and #delagram if you want your posts to be found by locals. Yes, we will need to have a separate article on hashtags—so stay tuned!

I’ll share additional tips on Instagram as my team and I subtly brainwash you, er, convince you to start using this platform. In the meantime, take the first steps and try it out. You’ll be surprised how easy, fun, and useful Instagram can be.

Happy Instagramming!

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