Monday, May 30, 2016

Instagram's Business Networking Application

tv commercialChances are, the thought of using Instagram as a business networking application hasn't crossed your mind. There's no shame in that - very few practiced users of the popular social app apply its potential toward their professional projects. By providing creative and interesting content that engages readers, an Instagram account can be just as effective as a 30 second commercial on network television. The focus should be on originality and eye appeal, drawing on the strength already inherent in the application. Pairing this with short and punchy copy can capture the imagination of your followers, transmit your message, and prompt them to interact.

So far, this isn't too much different from posting a social media piece on Instagram. What a business networking application does is use the tools available to reach your target audience. Instagram, and Twitter for that matter as well, both have a built in targeting feature called the hashtag, often seen as "#". By determining exactly what audience you wish to engage with is as simple as choosing the right hashtag for the biggest bang.

But in the battle for practical application, Instagram wins over Twitter hands down. After creating the mandatory visual image, the typing field will inform the user of the popularity of the hashtag being typed, while at the same time suggesting similar tags.

For example, if you choose to post an image of the dinner you are about to eat, and you want to share it with the largest appropriate audience, spend a few moments thinking of possible hashtag communities that might enjoy the image. Good examples are #Food, #Foodie, and my favorite, #Foodporn. A recent post using these tags showed 210,340,675, 34,068,828, and 92,545,997 posts, consecutively. I also like to use #MMM at 3, 735,238 posts, versus #MMMM at 700,364, or even #MMMMMM at 291,724 posts. The more posts a hashtag has, the more followers pay attention to posts in that community. This translates to more views of your business networking application.

Using the post counter that populates below your writing area will help you utilize valuable real estate on your post to gain the largest audience with the smallest and most concise selection of hashtags. Though there is a greater amount of space in an Instagram post versus a Twitter post, you still want to be aware of your 140 Twitter character as you can create one post on Instagram, and share it via Twitter.

advertising onlineOn the screen asking you to tag people, or add your location is a selection of five social media platforms outside of Instagram's control that you can post to. These are Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Swarm, and the inevitable Twitter. Simply activate the platforms you wish to share with and your message will be forwarded to those accounts. Be wary, however, as the one fault on this sharing is that those social media platforms will not post exactly the same way - though Twitter will post your message, it will do so as a link back to Instagram in order to see your image, meaning your audience will need to actively engage in order to see your full message.

Keep your message concise, engaging, and accessible.

If you wish to learn more about how social media can work for you, contact us at Spotlight Publicity for a free consultation - we have been the small business solution to media management since 2003.