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Webucator's Free Introduction to Social Media Tutorial

Lesson: Instagram

Welcome to our free Introduction to Social Media tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Introduction to Social Media Training course.

Instagram is photo- and video-sharing social media platform that is growing in popularity. The pictures and videos can then be shared on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn about using Instagram for branding purposes.
  • Learn about using Instagram for sales opportunities.
  • Learn about using Instagram for SEO benefits.
  • Learn about using Instagram for support and customer service functions.
  • Learn about setting up an internal Instagram policy.
  • Learn about tools, services, and management.
  • Learn about tracking activity and results from using Instagram.

Instagram for Branding

There are a number of ways Instagram can be used for branding purposes.

One way is to allow your Instagram followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. In the following image, Burberry posted a picture from behind the scenes at a model photo shoot.

Another way to utilize Instagram is to show customers using your products. Followers can utilize a specific hashtag, and the images and videos can also be reposted on your page. In the following screenshot, Coca-Cola reposted an image of a customer holding a Coke can.

Yet another way to use Instagram is to showcase new products. Food companies often reveal a new flavor of a product on Instagram, for example.

Instagram can be used to use hashtags to promote products. McDonald's uses its slogan "I'm Lovin' It" on many of its Instagram posts, in hashtag form, as seen in the following image.

Developing Instagram Posts

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will think about Instagram posts for your company.

Think of two images and one video you could post to your company's Instagram account. Be sure to consider:

  1. Are you featuring a product or service, and how?
  2. How would you hashtag your images and video?

Instagram for Sales

In terms of driving sales from Instagram, it is similar to using Facebook. There are a few ways you can drive sales from your company's Instagram account, including:

  1. Promote your product or service often on your Instagram page.
  2. Offer exclusive sales to Instagram followers.
  3. Run contests and giveaways.

In this image, online boutique Mindy Mae's Market is offering an Instagram-exclusive sale to followers of its account.

In the following screenshot, fashion retailer Madewell is running a contest for a gift card, utilizing a specific hashtag.

Instagram for SEO

The main premise of using Instagram for SEO is using hashtags, as you would use SEO keywords. You can also link to your website either in the photo or video's caption, or via the main Instagram page.

You also can link your Facebook and Twitter pages to your Instagram page, to further drive traffic to your website.

Samsung Mobile has a link to its Galaxy product page on its main Instagram header:

Also, you can embed your Instagram posts on your website. To do this via Instagram on a web browser:

  1. Click the photo or video you want to embed.
  2. In the lower-right corner, click the three dots.
  3. Click Embed.
  4. Code will be displayed, which you can copy into your site's HTML, or you can click Copy Embed Code.

Instagram for Support

Like Facebook, Instagram provides the ability for users to comment on images and videos. Your customer service team should be prepared to respond on Instagram, and then continue the conversation off of Instagram, if necessary.

Another idea is to post your customer service information in your page profile information, as Dell and Toyota do.

Instagram Policy

When we look at policy for Instagram, you should keep in mind the same considerations as a Facebook policy:

  • Point-of-Contact: Your company should determine one person or a team internally that can handle all Instagram interaction.
  • Content: Your company should determine a policy stating which employees post on behalf of the company to ensure that there is no confusion on who can represent the company's interests. This should also include a policy on whether or not employees are allowed to respond to posts through their personal profiles.
  • Comment Response: Your company should create a protocol on who responds to wall comments and how negative responses are handled. Some companies will not post negative comments; others see negative comments as opportunities to engage in a discussion that can change mindsets by posting and responding appropriately. If you delete negative comments, you might find that followers will lash out.

Tools, Services, and Management

There are a number of tools, services, and management applications available to Instagram users.

Instagram offers Instagram for Business, which allows businesses the ability to advertise on the platform.

Other Instagram tools used by businesses include:

  1. Tools to manage timing of posts, such as ScheduGram and Latergramme. These tools allow you to automate the timing of posts.
  2. Tools to promote your account, such as Iconsquare.
  3. Tools to manage the relationship between your Instagram account and other social media accounts, such as Twitter. One such tool is Crowdfire, which allows you to locate relevant users and keep track of follows and unfollows.

Tracking Activity and Results

You will want to track various activities on your Instagram account, including new followers and accounts that have unfollowed your page. Unlike Facebook, Instagram does not have its own analytics tool.

One tool you can use, mentioned above, is Iconsquare. It was formerly called Statigram. Iconsquare can provide analytics around most popular posts, average number of comments, and so on.

InstaFollow is another tool you can use. This tool specifically tracks information about followers, such as new follows and unfollows.