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Instagram for your business

Are you a business owner and not using Instagram to market your business yet? You cannot afford to NOT take advantage of Instagram’s current popularity. Find out what and how you can unleash its power.

Not sure if you know that Instagram recently hit a staggering 400 million users. Ironically, many businesses still do not understand the marketing potential of the social media site. If you are one of them and are not using it yet for your own business, you could be missing out.

Tips to help you use Instagram marketing

As we spend more and more time on social media sites (recent studies have shown that the average user is now spending 46 minutes a day on Facebook), so it’s no surprise that social media marketing has become a must-do for most businesses today. It is natural that we spend our time and energy using Facebook for marketing. However, not too many businesses are realising the potential of Instagram. When used properly, it offers an amazing opportunity to give your brand exposure and attract traffic to your business website at a much faster pace and lower cost. Here are tips to help you unleash its power.

1) Getting an account on Instagram

When you first set up your Instagram account, make sure you add the link/ URL of your main website. It will help as your username will hyperlink to your profile page where it is prominently displayed. Try to choose an Instagram account name that’s as close to your business name as possible, so that your brand, that you are trying to build is easily recognised across all social media platforms.

2) Building Instagram followers

Instagram is all about followers, if you don’t have any then no one is going to see your posts! So when you get started, you can use your existing facebook list to see who is on Instagram and start from there. If you can master this tool you will be surprised how quickly you can grow your followers in no time.

3) Power of hashtag

With around 55 million posts uploaded to Instagram every day, it’s important to find ways to stand out. This is where adding the right hashtags to your description can really catapult your visibility. Hashtags allows anyone looking for information on the topic will see your posts too.

So make sure you are keyword savy about your product’s features, and search to find out what other people in your industry are using. For example, if you sell designer clothing, you may want to include ‘dresses’ and ‘luxury’ as your hashtags. Think about seasonality too – use popular festive keywords around Christmas, or join in events relevant to your industry, such a national day for your product, or a big international conference.TIPS & HACKS

4) Strategize and stretch your Instagram content

When it comes to Instagram, it is all about what you post. In other words, it’s all about the content. It is hence important to have a strategy on what you post. Also, when you post on Instagram you have the option to automatically share it to your linked Facebook and Twitter accounts too. This means that your visibility can explode in a very short time, driving even more traffic to your website and spreading the word about your product or brand.

5) Be influencing 

Affiliate marketing always works where you ride on someone’s credibility. A clever strategic way to build your Instagram page is to align your business or product with an influencer. This should be someone that your customers can relate to, or an industry figure they trust.

You can do this through shout outs to help you gain a new audience that you may not have otherwise been able to reach. A co-hosted webinar with an industry leader can help expose you to a wider audience, and give you an all-important reputation boost too.

6) Be a relationship builder

Know what your ideal customers are looking for, make sure you deliver it. Use language they will relate to, and share content that will interest or help them. Make your business and brand popular and friendly, and give them a reason to follow you and engage with you. Instagram is a brilliant opportunity for you to build relationships with your customers – but first you need to be really clear about who your audience are (and what they need).

Like anything else, it works when you are consistent. Make sure that the tone and manner of the type of content you share looks and sounds like it comes from the same brand, and don’t dip in and out of Instagram. If you start posting daily or weekly, make sure you keep it up to build trust and keep your fans keen.

7) Engagement is everything

Engaging the audience is an art and you can do it in Instagram. Instagram now has more users than Twitter. So this means that your audience are more likely to see your image posts than your tweets while they’re on the way to a meeting, for example.

So why not take advantage of this inside knowledge and give them a mention? Make your fans feel like a valued customer – if nothing else, it will raise a smile on their commute to work!

Do what works for you

While there are some basic rules to successfully using social media that apply to all platforms and all users, only you will know what your customers are looking for and will engage with on Instagram.

So don’t be afraid to play around with your content and frequency of posting until you find a balance that works for you – and then stick at it, and make sure you use these tips to unleash the power of Instagram marketing and give your business a boost.

Want help getting started with Instagram? Contact Subarna Gupta and let me know what you need.

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Persistently Persistent

We have always heard this – slow and steady wins the race. From the story of the race between tortoise and hare and so many more examples given to us. I think it is time to defy that adage and tweak it a bit to achieve success. In my opinion, it is not slow and steady but fast and steady who wins the race. The world and technology are changing so rapidly, so are the learnings and ways of doing business. If you work at a slow and steady pace, you are never going to make it. You need to have a steady pace backed by consistent and persistent work ethic. As easy as it sounds, it is that much difficult to have the discipline to keep on keeping on.

If you are one of the people who believes you need no motivation to succeed, and you are self motivated, you are in for a big fall. Life happens to all of us, and we need to find resources that will keep you motivated so you can put in the consistent and persistent work. We have our highs, and we have our lows; we have things that get us distracted from the task in hand, or it could be just sheer laziness. Whatever the reason might be; we need a system in place much like the GPS we use for our cars to keep us on track.

Here are some ways I have been able to keep my fire up and come back with a bigger resolve every time life happened to me, or I slipped in my work ethic:

Association –you will need to surround yourself with people where you want to be. I hope you understand that these people are not going to come to you and invite you to hang out with them. You need to seek them out. Be it forms of seminars, online or at networking event; you need to find a way to get closer to them. As you get the opportunity to mingle with them, observe and learn. Watch how they talk, behave, what is their thought process, how they are handling situations? I have learned so much by just keeping an open mind, listening and taking notes.

Reading – This is in my opinion the biggest tool you can have in your hand and the most under rated. I am sure you spend enough money on yourself to look good, smell good and not to forget to eat well too. How about the three-pound brain that can give you all the things you are looking for in your life. How much do you spend on that? Do you realize there is not much difference between a ditch digger and a successful entrepreneur from the neck down? It is another story if we consider neck up. So feed that brain with good books and information. I can list out a ton of books but one book that you must have in your collection is Think and Grow Rich by Napole0n Hill

Faith – I know some of you are probably already raising your eyebrows on this sub head, but you need to be spiritually aligned to a higher power. I am not here to preach you or sermon you, but you need to have an unshakable faith. The faith in yourself will only come when you have faith in a higher power and know that universe is aligning itself to make things happen for you. Higher faith results in higher emotional stability which is critical element in achieving success. A great book that has really helped me is Magic by Rhonda Byrne

Disciplined Work Ethic – haven gotten the ability to watch successful people from close proximity, I can tell you that they are disciplined in every area of their lives. You need to be disciplined about your health, your habits, your work ethic, your spends, etc. as everything is interlinked. Without a proper road map, you cannot succeed. You need to be disciplined to work your plan EVERYDAY, I mean everyday without fail. Happiness is in the process of accomplishing and not the final accomplishment. When you are disciplined and follow your plan, there is no way you will not be succeeding and motivated.

Self Talk – Pay attention to what you talk to yourself. Get the book What to say when you talk to yourself by Shad Hemlstetter. It is a book that will teach you the power of self-talk. It has personally helped me a lot in staying upbeat and motivated.

Persistency can definitely be developed; we need to find people who show great persistency and spend time with them; we need to understand what it is that drives them to keep going. From my personal experience, I know that some of my own persistence comes from having experienced success through not giving in, so clearly persistence and success are a self-feeding cycle. The more we persist, the more we will be successful and the more belief we will have in persistence. So we only need to start the circle, we can either do this through our own innate determination or stubbornness, or we can work alongside someone who has it and learn it from them.

One way or another, in order to be successful we need to develop persistence.

LEAF-CUTTER ANT with leaf Atta sp. Amazonian Rainforest, Loreto, Peru
LEAF-CUTTER ANT with leaf Atta sp. Amazonian Rainforest, Loreto, Peru
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