Published: Christina of CIPR on Instagram

Instagram: 3 Ways to Start Doing it Better
by CHRISTINA PILARSKI

Originally Published in Fernie Fix | April 2018 Issue

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Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform. It had 600 million users at the beginning of 2017 – and it started this year with 800 million. This means there are more people than ever to reach on the platform, but there are also more brands to compete with too. Having a strategic approach to standing out is key.  

Instagram makes sense to tackle after Facebook; Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012. Facebook and Instagram have integrated key business features including your Pages Manager inbox, advertising, and cross-posting to both platforms.  

Who should use Instagram? In Fernie – everyone. Instagram is a hugely popular platform in the Elk Valley. And, in general, individuals are increasingly looking for businesses on Instagram.  

Why Instagram for your business? Over 200 million Instagram users actively visit the profile of a business every day. Instagram can increase brand awareness and showcase personality. Think of Instagram as a way to share your backroom with potential customers – what’s the latest shipment? Who’s on the team? What are you doing on an epic powder day? How do you interact with the community? 33% of users are aged 30 to 49 and 59% are 18 to 29; Instagram’s huge millennial audience craves a personal connection with their preferred brands – this platform allows you to directly connect with them. 

Make sure you don’t miss the chance to connect with potential customers by doing these 3 things on Instagram better:  

1 – Be Your Business

Ensure your Instagram account is setup as a business account. This allows you to showcase contact information and connect your Facebook Business Page with Instagram. Remember the Facebook Page settings you adjusted last month? In the same area you will see an Instagram menu – that’s where you can link both of these business accounts.  

This tip is also a reminder to be authentic and to stay focused. Ensure your passion for Fernie and your personality shine through – but ensure you stay relevant. Think about what your potential customers would be interested in and think about your business goals – your content should reflect both.  

2 – Instagram Stories

When you open up your Instagram app you will several circles before the feed of recent updates. Have you ever clicked through those? These are Instagram Stories; a feature that lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. Stories have the most prominent placement on Instagram and 300 million users actively watch Instagram Stories daily. 

Stories can be intimidating but start by posting a photo that features a limited time sale. Next share what the team is doing on a new project. Or show that empty coffee cup on a Monday. Be relatable and have fun. And, when you are feeling extra comfortable, use Stories to go live and talk to your audience in real-time.   

3 – Use Hashtags Effectively 

You are probably already using hashtags (you can add up to 30 hashtags per post), but, as of December, Instagram users can follow hashtags, just like accounts. Now you can reach more people by using targeted hashtags. 

Instagram lists the hashtags each user is following on their profile. You can use this to find a list of hashtags that matter most to your potential customers. Go to the profiles of the people you want to reach and compile a list of hashtags common to them – use those hashtags on your posts to help maximize your reach. 

I look forward to watching you start to create Instagram Stories and featuring your business’ backroom. Share your Instagram success with me at @CIPRComs by tagging #PRPower and #FernieSuccess.