A few weeks ago, we began the Chakra Social Media crash course. If you missed Twitter or Facebook, you can catch up here, or here (respectively). Part three takes us to the oh-so-visual, oh-so-kinda-confusing Instagram.

Picture1It may be hard to believe that every business needs an Instagram account, not just clothing stores and restaurants. A business is visual—no matter what. People make decisions based on what your brand looks like, and you have the power to create your image on a powerful social media platform.

Getting started on Instagram can seem intimidating. Here are some tips to follow so you can use this platform effectively for your business.

Create goals. Like any other decision you make for your business, your Instagram account needs to serve a purpose. Lay out a list of goals you want your Instagram to achieve. This could be anything from top-of-mind awareness or driving traffic to your website. Only you know what your business needs.

Create the space. How are you going to take your company message and translate that into a series of photos? The first step is to make sure your username is your business’s name and your profile picture is the logo. You want everyone to know who you are as soon as they see you.

The next step is your bio. Keep it simple, but also give it a voice with a personality that reflects your brand. Announce what your business does, where you’re located and include a website link and branded hashtag.

A branded hashtag: a hashtag that you create specifically for your business. It’s a word or phrase that represents what you do and your business’s philosophy. Make it creative, catchy and relevant to your industry. The goal is to get your followers to catch on and use it, too.

Posting. Before you make your first post, decide the vibe you want your photos to give off to your followers. Create a color palette and stick to it, sticking with only a few different filters. When you have a uniform format for your photos, everyone will immediately know it’s you.

Your posts don’t need to be too literal. Don’t think you have to post exactly what your product or service is all the time. Instead, think of the lifestyle your target market leads. Catering your posts to their interests, while staying relevant to your industry will make for exciting content people want to engage in.

Instagram photos are different from Twitter or Facebook posts. You don’t want to bombard your followers with ten photos a day. Instead, post quality photos once or twice a week. That way, you’re consistent without irritating your followers.

Instagram is an important social media platform, arguably the most important with 400 million monthly users. Once you get the basics down, Instagram is a fun and exciting way to promote your business and create top-of-mind brand awareness. Contact our social media experts today to get started on the perfect social strategy for your business.