Courtesy of Julianna Tan, owner/operator, Those Girls at Market, Saskatoon, SK
I’m just playing with you. Instagram doesn’t mean any of the above but it should be a tool to help you build a following and keep up with the cool kids.
In the exponentially fast-paced world of social media, Instagram has changed in many ways since we last had a chat. Just a few months ago, I briefly described what Instagram is and how you can use it as a small business owner.
Today we revisit the concept and update readers on the following questions:
What is instagram? How do I use it? What benefit could this social media platform provide for me as a small business owner?
So let’s get down and dirty with the details. Instagram recently announced they’ve reached 500 million users worldwide. Of those users, over 300 million are using Instagram everyday. So what’s the hype?
Instagram instantly builds communities by bringing people together over common interests, from hip-hoppers to shoe-shoppers; the everyday experience lets people stay connected, share experiences with like-minded individuals, and inspire a sense of wonder.
Instagram is a mobile (smart phone) app that allows users to:
• Upload and edit photos and videos
• Write a caption or message along with each photo or video (altogether, we will refer to a photo/video and caption as a “post”)
• Utilize hashtags (#) to “tag” your posts, which allows other users who are interested to find your post (To learn more about hashtags, read here.
• Like and comment on other users posts
• Send direct messages to a user’s inbox
How would you use it? That’s up to you. Just the way everyone has their own personal clothing style, everybody has their own Instagram style as well. Some will choose to make it an artsy portfolio filled with colourful vegetable photos. For an example, you can see my personal Instagram account here.
Others will use it to showcase behind the scenes production- customers love seeing how an item went from the kitchen (or field) to their hands. One of my favourite examples is a local bakery here. Here’s an example of one of their posts that explains some behind-the-scene action.
Others will use it to keep followers in the community updated on upcoming events or news, like this.
(If you scroll down far enough, you will see that I use to run this page. You can tell by the artsy vegetable photos)
Using your Instagram account is a free way to advertise to people in your area by using hashtags. For example, My business operates in Saskatoon so it is important for me to let people in my area know about my business. Therefore, on my posts I make sure to hashtag: #Saskatoon This let’s users in Saskatoon find my posts. If they visit my Instagram page and like what they see, they can follow me and engage with my posts (like them, comment on them). As a result, my photos will start popping up on their feed (their personal homepage those 300 million users are scrolling across everyday).
This helps us find new customers in the area, keep our customers reminded about our products on a regular basis, create a unique relationship with our customers by letting them see our behind-the-scenes production, showcase our new products, and let our customers know where we are located… all for free!
So what are you waiting for…. I’ll follow you back if you follow me here.
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Owners: Ying and Julianna Tan
Phone: 306 241 9390