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13 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Use Instagram for Business

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Social Media is here and it is not going anywhere. Many brands focus on specific social media sites because of the type of updates they can make or the activity level of their target market. Instagram is no different and the photograph heavy site (also short videos) is used by entrepreneurs and business owners to promote brands, communicate with customers and to tell their stories. Rescue a CEO asked some businesses how they used Instagram to help their business.

#1- Have a social media platform for my weekly podcast

Photo Credit: Bruce Wawrzyniak

I utilize Instagram to enable me to have a social media platform dedicated solely to my weekly podcast. Since it is done under the umbrella of my company, the podcast is the sometimes the subject of posts on my company’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. On the other hand, @NowHearThisEntertainment gives me an outlet to post an image seven days a week that delivers a visual to an otherwise audio-only medium. The Instagram account is used to show pictures of guests on the podcast, photos of me conducting on-location interviews, and even putting up a quote from a past episode, which is intended to drive listeners back to that interview.

Thanks to Bruce Wawrzyniak, Now Hear This!

Instagram; @NowHearThis 

#2- Different ways

Photo Credit: Reuben Kats

When advertising for my clientele online there are different methods and ways these businesses will grow. When doing SEO for my clientele one of the many ways to accomplish this feature is through Social Media Marketing. I decide what posts and pictures to use on Instagram, so my clientele can promote their daily specials. When dealing with e-commerce websites the real trick is get the most popular items online so they can convert traffic. We specialize in getting hashtags populated so people can start using them online. When a hashtag gets enough followers that means there were enough conversions or uses to get the hashtag trending. Instagram makes it easier to express and explain what event or product is being promoted.

Thanks to Reuben Kats, Falcon Marketing!

#3- Promote our agency and the clients we work

Photo Credit: Amanda Sutton

Here is what I think it’s great for: (1) Helps us keep our business tied to our local community and past/potential clients. Everyone is on IG these days. (2) Gives the agency a ‘face of the brand’ – I primarily use Instagram to show the fact that I’m building a company you want to WORK for. If people are seeing the positive, mindful and successful posts – I feel it will attract the right type of talent to my firm. So BRAND POSITION is a big reason for using IG. (3) Is client promotion. We have started using the IG channel as a way to remind people of the great CLIENTS we get to work with and hopefully cast a greater net in terms of buzz for them and attracting similar clients.

Thanks to Amanda Sutton, Catalyst Communications Choreography!

#4- Creating connections

Photo Credit: Emma Lextrait

Instagram is a central channel for LoveCrochet in raising brand awareness, creating a dialogue with a community of crocheters around the world and bringing to light talented designers who are able to connect with crafters to sell their patterns. Whether it is through memes, User Generated Content, brand launch announcements, or competitions, LoveCrochet’s Instagram account, particularly through its Live feature, has grown into a platform for creating real, authentic connections with our community of makers for our digital and online-based business. It has become a platform for both creating and sharing content but also listening to our makers. Instagram’s reach among a younger audience has fuelled our community’s focus on inspiration through new designs, ideas and patterns that are shared among crafters and picked up at an incredibly fast pace. Finally, Instagram has played a fundamental role in enabling us to work with our community of makers to do good and remind us to share our community’s talent for making with others. The “Crochet for Texas” movement and our Battersea Campaign have been fantastic examples of Instagram’s ability to connect an audience of makers willing to help each other both online and offline in difficult times.

Thanks to  Emma Lextrait, LoveCrochet!

Instagram; @LoveCrochet

#5- Tool to build my blog audience

Photo Credit: Nick Leffler

Every time I post an article I create a visual for Instagram that reflects the visual that’s on my website. I post that with the call to action for viewers to click the link in my profile. The link in my profile is a special page created just for Instagram which has a grid view (just like Instagram) with all my blog posts. It’s visually very similar to Instagram and makes it easy to find the same image they liked on Instagram in order to read the full story.

Thanks to Nick Leffler,  Exprance!

Instagram; @exprancebiz

#6- Keep in touch with people working on a similar niche and those who have ordered from me

My products (terrariums) are very visual, so posting pictures of them generally does the best for me. I follow other terrarium builders, as well as regular people who have a passion for plants. As my product is physical, there can be a disconnect but the online and digital marketplace. I include a ‘call to action’ on my boxes and guides to encourage buyers to follow on instagram, or to post their own creations and tag me. This leads to a more highly engaging follower base who are more likely to make purchases again in the future.

Thanks to Adam Shafi, Geodesium!

#7-  Attract leads to my website

Photo Credit: Devon Ryan

I’m a cover & underwear model and I used my personal brand Instagram (IG) account to attract leads to my website for cover modeling. My social media manager searches IG profiles of authors who could be looking for a cover model. Then, when the author or potential client views my profile they get a preview of my portfolio and hopefully click on the link in my IG profile to go to my website where they can book me for modeling services.

Thanks to Devon Ryan

Instagram; @devonryanfit 

#8- Repackage, Repurpose + Redistribute

Photo Credit: Joy Donnell

I consider every social media platform to be your own personal network/distribution portal, so I especially like how Instagram helps me experiment with visual storytelling. Constantly producing fresh content can feel like chasing the rabbit. It can get expensive, whether we’re talking about the expense of money or your finite time. Even scarier is when you spend a lot of effort just to discover you’ve created content that’s completely off message. The challenge isn’t always to create brand new, but to find creative ways to make your message feel brand new. This can be done by repackaging, repurposing and redistributing your content. On Instagram, I explore this by telling different story elements in different posts in different ways. In doing so, I’ve also discovered that anything can be content as long as it’s true to the message. I transform my tweets intovisual memes. I sometimes use the meme to create an engaged comment thread that helps with insight. I take a key talking point and turn that into a video message or live stream. I tell an overarching photographic story in a multiple photo post, then break that story down into individual components that tell a deeper story in separate posts. I’ll even enliven old content through new visuals that give it new life. Instagram helps me experiment and challenge my creativity to see what content resonates, how it taps in, what aspects need to be revamped and what can be put aside.

Thanks to Joy Donnell

#9- Various ways

Photo Credit:  Hanna L. Ashbaugh

As a personal stylist helping women look put-together with functional fashion, I use instagram as a platform to show women outfit formulas they can copy, strategic shopping strategies (like which pieces are smart to purchase to give you more outfits) and occasional behind the scenes life as an entrepreneur mom. In my stories; I show viewers what it’s like to shop with me (and what to avoid!) As well as a behind the scenes look into my own shopping (why I purchase pieces or not and how they can implement the strategy as well). Instagram is a beautiful opportunity to connect with clients, especially for those of us in highly visual careers, clients and potential clients can literally *see* what we do.

Thanks to Hanna L. Ashbaugh, Hanna Lee Style!

Instagram; @hannaleestyle

#10- Share what happens behind the scene

Photo Credit: Deborah Sweeney

Our Instagram is kind of a melting pot of content! We like to share behind the scenes looks at what happens at our office, articles and press hits that we have been featured in, and promotions we’re running with our business. It’s a wide variety of content and we try to keep it fresh and interesting for our followers.

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation!

#11- Content Marketing

Successful Instagram Marketing involves two steps, gaining impressions and engagement. Posting images that you can integrate with trending topics will get eyes on your content. The more impressions (people who view your content) you receive, the farther you will spread the word about your brand. Once people begin to notice your work, pique their interest by frequently posting creative content that has somewhat of a unified theme. Being consistent will appeal to a single demographic and will help you grow when using the appropriate hashtags and following the right trends. As a Digital Marketing Agency, we post during the day (during normal business hours) about topics relating to the several Marketing Services we offer. These postings (such as blogs) address common problems businesses have (such as not ranking high on Google) and are aimed at driving more website traffic. By constantly creating new content, we’re engaging readers, generating new business prospects, and driving them to our website, which provides the information they are seeking. Fresh content of interest to readers will likely convert leads into prospects, then into clients.

Thanks to Jessica Moreno, Active Web Group!

#12- Fun and showcase our team

Photo Credit: Bret Bonnet

Instagram allows us to show the world the fun we have together at work AND add in some business posts every now and again. If we’re not posting pictures of the food we ate this morning, we’re showcasing our trending/seasonal promo items. Who wouldn’t want to see a yummy jelly doughnut and then a custom football can holder? 🙂 The mix between fun and business on our Instagram page keeps our feed interesting and shows off the different personalities that we have on our team.

Thanks to Bret Bonnet, Quality Logo Products!

Instagram; @qualitylogoproducts

#13- Many business purposes

Photo Credit: Alexandra Booze

While some may disagree, Instagram is the most multi-faceted social media platform out there. It provides its users with every possible component social media gurus crave in today’s digital era: instant gratification through visual content, creative freedom and control, and direct interaction and access to the internet’s most popular brands. My publication, East Coast Contessas, utilizes Instagram to not only connect with and build crucial relationships with brands that become sponsors and partners, but to advertise the products and services that we support to a targeted audience demographic that in turn helps increase ROI and online readership.

Thanks to Alexandra Booze, East Coast Contessas!

How do use Instagram for business? Tell us in the comments below.

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