Are You One of the Brands Using Instagram? Five Tips to Set Up and Optimize Your Account Like a Pro

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You might have heard about Instagram and its fast growing fanbase. Originally an iOS-only mobile app, an Android version was released in April 2012—and then the app was purchased by Facebook. How brands use Instagram vary widely on commitment, tone and strategy, but one thing is clear: they recognize the popularity of the app.

Just to get you started, here are some background stats on the growth of Instagram:

  • Instagram gains one new user every second
  • One billion photos have been taken with the app
  • There are roughly 58 photos uploaded to Instagram each second

How to Setup Instagram for Businesses.

Because Instagram is solely a mobile app, you’ll need to create your account on an iOS or Android device. Once you have the app downloaded, you’ll just need a username, email address and password to create an account.

Once the account is created, you’ll be brought into the app and ready to start posting photos.

Editing Account.

However, before you get too caught up in posting photos, you should take a moment to make sure your account is formated the way you’d like. For brands using Instagram, this a step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Some fields you’ll want to make sure you fill out include:

  • Profile Picture. As you create your account, make sure you have an image of your logo saved on your mobile device for use. Much like how you crop your photos before posting, you’ll be able to crop your logo to the desired size.
  • Website. Don’t forget to include your business’ website. This is particularly important for brands using Instagram.
  • Bio. Fill in your bio completely, and make sure you include any important keywords or hashtags that relate to your business.
  • Find Friends. As you begin using your account, Instagram offers an easy way to build up an initial following through the Find Friends function. You can find friends through your social channels like Facebook and Twitter or through your email and phone contacts.

Photos.

After you set up your account, you’re ready to start posting photos. Once you have your desired photos to post, you’ll have several additional options to individualize photos.

  • Filters. The main purpose of Instagram is to add filters to photos. Depending on the type of device you use, the available available may differ.
  • Captions. Always include a caption so fans know what the photo is about. Also consider using keywords to help people find your photos through the different Instagram search sites.
  • Hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to categorize or add a little humor to your posts. Brands using Instgram will use active, nonbranded keywords as well as branded keywords. To find more information on currently popular hashtags on Instagram, refer to this Top Sites on Instagram list. The list updates throughout the day, and you can see the types of content included under each hashtag. You can also search for hashtags to see activity levels.
  • Geotag. Another option is to associate a location to your photo. This can be helpful if you have a physical retail or office location and you want to associate that location with the photo.

Sharing Across Networks.

Instagram also makes it easy for photos to be shared across social networks. If you’d like to share the image to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Foursquare, simply check the one—or more—checkboxes before you post.

What types of photos will you be posting to Instagram? Let us know in the comments!

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