Do you Instagram?
I do and I love it! It’s proving to be a great addition to my business. You have the opportunity to interact with people you couldn’t reach through other social media websites, share fabulous images of your designs and view tons of eye candy from other users. With 300 million active monthly users, there is something for everyone and inspiration everywhere.
My favourite thing is that it’s really simple to share what you’re up to, Facebook is quite involved, and trying to get yourself seen in the newsfeed is a daily battle, and call me old but I just don’t get Twitter. With Instagram, just take a picture on your phone and post with a short description… Ok, so maybe it’s not that easy, if you’re there, you want to build a following, and the great thing about IG is that you can easily target potential customers looking for exactly what you’re offering.
The key to IG is to appeal to people visually, and the most simple parts of your day can be made to look great with the use of their preinstalled tools and filters. I find it great for work in progress shots to generate interest for future updates, and I’ve been told a few times that people have missed my posts on Facebook and found out about what’s coming through my IG posts.
If you haven’t already, signing up is easy, use your Facebook profile, or an email and password, choose your profile name and your account will be created.
So how do you use it to encourage buyers to visit your business? Firstly… fill out your profile. You have room for a profile picture, a bio, link to a website, your business name and your real name. Make sure that everyone can find out a little bit about you and how to reach your shop.
Next… great photo’s. As I said earlier, I like to share progress shots of what I’m doing, it could be a pile of beads for a jewellery design, a lump of clay ready to be turned in to beads, or some beads fresh out of the kiln. I’ve found that showing the work that goes in to your creations gets you customers that appreciate what you do. But it doesn’t have to be all about work, pet pics are always popular, sunsets, a close up of a flower in your garden, something quirky you’ve found or a naturally occurring pattern. Share all of the things that appeal to you, you can bet they will appeal to others and keep them interested in following your profile.
Once you’ve taken your photo, play around with the filters and tools, crop and straighten images, edit shadows and add a vignette to make them look amazing. Only use great photos, when other users visit your feed, you want it to look fabulous… a great set of pictures will encourage people to follow you.
Once you’re happy with your image, you can add a sentence or two and some hashtags.
Hashtags are simply words with a # before them. The # turns the word in to a link, so say you use the hashtag #jewellery if someone searches the site for jewellery, your image will appear in the results. The trick with these is to keep them relevant to appeal to your audience while growing your following. As you type in the tags, IG give you options of the most popular to choose from. Or create your own. A list of the top 100 tags to get your stats booming is available here
. Using relevant tags that people are already searching for will give you a good start to building your profile.
Before posting your picture, you also get the option to share your image to other social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Tumblr, (you can set up where to share to in your profile) hitting everywhere in one easy click.
Once you have a small collection of pics ready for people to look at, find people to follow. Using the search, type in a word for what you’re looking for, typing in Ceramic Beads will bring up the relevant results from the top users, people, tags, and places on the site. While searching, take note of the tags people with similar interests to yours use. The more specific you are with your tags, the more accurately you can target people looking for what you have.
Follow users you like using the button on their profile, comment on pics you like, share the love and you will likely find that the majority of your follows are returned and you’re well on your way to increasing your popularity.
Once you have some followers, post regularly, build your brand and share your story, fingers crossed before long, your users will interact and those interactions will convert to sales.
Keep a note of what works for you, posting times, hashtags used, content etc, and you should begin to build a good formula of what works and what doesn’t. There are apps available for tracking your stats if you don’t want to do it old style with pen and paper.
To download the Instagram app follow the links for your device.
Here at AJE we love Instagram and you can follow us using the links below…
@artjewelryelements – The blog IG Profile
@jennifercameron – Jennifer Stout Cameron
@jdaviesreazor – Jenny Davies-Razor
@blueberribeads – Caroline Dewison
@suebeads65 – Susan Kennedy
@nikysayers – Niky Sayers
@thedaintybeader – Kristen Stevens
@ktotten – Karen Totten
@theaelements – Lesley Watt
@suburbangirlstudio – Diana Ptaszynski
I hope you’ll stop by and visit us! Leave your link in the comments so we can come and see you!