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Interact through Instagram effectively
Instagram is a mobile, desktop, and Internet-based photo-sharing platform, a service that allows you to communicate visually with images and video exclusively. With over 30 million UK users and around 55 million photos shared daily, Instagram has become the most popular photo sharing platform. 90% of users are under the age of 35, a great opportunity to tap into younger audiences. Despite the popularity of this platform; a recent TRDP survey shows that just over 11% of our retailers are using Instagram. If you haven’t already, explore your social media performance from all angles and see what Instagram can offer you.

1. Where do you start?

A new social network may seem daunting, but it’s easier than you think to get started and posting. Get started with these tips:
  • Fill in a short bio to introduce yourself with a personal and humble tone explaining your business goals and what you stand for
  • Apply your website URL to encourage your followers to visit your site to get more information
  • Integrate with your other social media platforms to create awareness of your wider social media presence
  • Add your company logo – alternatively include a photo of your shop and use this on all networking sites to add recognition
  • Keep your branding consistent with your other social networking site
  • Create your business hashtag and apply it to each picture you post e.g #theretaildatapartnership
  • Think of your Instagram as a whole rather than separate images. Make sure each picture complements the others
  • Choose your style from fonts and filters. This style will become your signature, so choose carefully

2. What to post?

To encourage popularity, you should create a news feed with rich content. Instagram has a chronological approach to keep your followers up to date with day to day experiences you share. Make your business personable with a variety of images and captions such as:
  • Staff photos
  • Deals and promotions
  • Charity occasions
  • Friends and visitors in store
  • Community events
  • Daily occurrences
  • Jokes and memes about your business (an image, video, piece of text, etc, typically humorous in nature,but remember to keep it professional!)

3. How should it look?

Instagram is a visual medium, and therefore content quality is the most important element. Adapt your pictures to a style that suits you, get creative and watch as your news feed fills with colour and your Instagram page takes off. Here is how you can make your imagery stand out:
  • Adjust lighting to ensure that your subject is well lit. This will make your picture pop!
  • As previously mentioned, add your business hashtag to every picture you upload to highlight your business name
  • Follow people who like your posts and like theirs in return
  • Highlight your business values with the content you post e.g. focus, determination, empathy, fun, loyalty etc.
  • Find the perfect spot so that it fits within your style rules, if your background is a little busy, selective focus (available on most mobile phones) is a great way to give your images clarity

4. How long does it take?

Using a photo sharing platform is a great way to sell yourself and promote your business efforts. After all, your Instagram feed is a visual representation of your business values. Investing time into your social media can be time-consuming, however, allocating 10 minutes of your day to social interaction could be the step forward you need to gain recognition and boost customer engagement. A quick photo or video upload daily will entertain your viewers and provide them with a unique perspective into your business.

5. Time to upload

It is tricky to know when to upload your posts to ensure interactivity. Studies suggest the best time to post is lunchtime (11 am – 1 pm) or evening (7 pm -9 pm) as this is when people are most likely to be out of work and check their phones / visit social media sites. Hitting these times will allow you to target your selected audience. Instagram analytics (Insights) gives you valuable data about who your followers are, when they’re online, and how many people viewed your Instagram post. If you’re unable to post at the optimal time, free services such as Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to schedule multiple posts for the future as well as offering a range of reports that you won’t find on Instagram.

6. What can it do for you?

Keeping up your social interaction can build existing relationships with regular customers and invite others to join your community. Instagram usage, like all other social media platforms, is spread by word of mouth. Instagram is different though, because what attracts the eye, the mind remembers. A consistent flow of high quality content and activity can tell the story of your success. Give your page personality and show off what you have to offer. The best part is it is FREE! Why not give it a try?

To get started with your Instagram account simply click on on the link! Instagram

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