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Get started on Instagram

Instagram has had a meteoric rise from it's launch in 2010, to its aquisition by Facebook in 2012 through to it's 200-plus million users in 2014.

In this time many of the top international brands have taken to Instagram to connect with their audience.  Some of these top brands include Nike, Starbucks and Adidas.  

The success that these brands have had has a lot to do with the way they have used the platform as a way of extending their brand and reaching out to new and existing customers, not simply as another direct sales channel.

Whether you are just beginning with an Instagram account or looking to develop an existing account here are some quick tips to help get the most from your efforts:

 

1. Complete your profile

Making sure your profile is complete is essential for making sure your brand is accurately represented to your followers as well as providing important details like website and contact details.  Include a short desciptiom of what kind of posts followers should expect and any relevant hashtags for users to include in their posts.

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2. Develop a theme 

As a visual medium Instagram is a great way of representing what your company stands for.  Have your audience in mind when developing your theme and ensure you stay relevant to your central theme over time.  Doing this will let followers know what to expect from your feed.  Nike has developed it's theme around it's well known Just Do It slogan

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3. Include Hashtags 

Hashtags are useful for extending your photos reach as users often search Instagram for their favourite hastags, eg. #digitalmarketing.  Be sure to only include relevant hashtags and don't overdo it as it will only serve to attract users that aren't genuinely interested in your brand.

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4. Connect your networks

Chances are if users are interested in what you are communicating on one social platform then they will be interested in what you post on Instagram.  Instagram gives you the ability to post directly to various networks including Facebook, Twitter etc.  You can also directly notify your audience of your presence on Instagram via Facebook and Twitter.  

It is also good practice to include an Instagram badge on your website or blog to let visitors to your site know of your Instagram account.

TIP: When posting Instagram to Twitter use our guide to IFTTT to make sure your photo appears as a image not a link in your feed.

 

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5. Engage with followers

As with all social media, Instagram works best when it is a two way conversation.  Make sure that you follow back relevant accounts, like and comment on others photos to increase engagement with your account.  Your interactions with other networks will attract more followers as your @ handle will appear beyond your direct connections.

 

These tips are a good starting point for developing a presence on Instagram, keep an eye out for more tips in the coming weeks.  

 

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