By: Tracey Manailescu
What is Instagram?
“Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.” Wikipedia
How to create an account: It’s easy. Really. Download the Instagram app on your phone. Enter your email and choose a password. When you have signed up for your Instagram account, edit your profile and add your company name, a photo of you or your company logo, and your url. You can also add a small blurb about you and your company. Find people to follow and get followers right away by clicking on the button to add your Facebook friends that have Instagram accounts. They should follow you back.
Do you have a personal and a professional Instagram account, or do you lump it into one? I just have one. There are so many debates about this but I try to keep it related to my world which consists of weddings, conferences, travel, eye candy and some random family & pet photos. It sounds a bit eclectic, but that kind of fits my personality.
How often should you be updating your Instagram? Update it when you have something interesting & wedding/design worthy to share. Over posting is going to turn people off. (Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to hide someone’s posts yet like on Facebook, but you can block someone from seeing your posts. Go to their account, it’ll still show that they are following you, but they won’t be able to see your posts. Go to that person’s page. Click on the button in the top right corner, beside their username. “Block User” button in RED will come up, click on it, and they will no longer see your photos or get notifications from you.
What photos should you share on your Instagram? Show your followers work that you have done, shows photos of couples & their weddings that you have worked with/on, shares a glimpse into your wedding company & you (and your team) on site visits, planning meetings with vendors, cake tastings, catering tastings, share what inspires you, what you are capable of, share when you attend conferences and courses, share your magazine ads or wedding show booth, show your office, desk, files, any badges you have received for getting in publications, any products that you offer, etc. Consider this a free way of advertising yourself to potential clients. This being said your followers should be able to see a little bit of you in your posts, too.
Contests can get you get more clients, likes and comments on your Instagram Hold contests for your local followers or potential clients. Who doesn’t like free stuff, right? Some ideas are to add a wedding related photo and have followers guess what the photo is, where it is, have followers provide captions for your post, etc. for a prize. (A prize could be movie passes, a gift card for a date night to a local restaurant, etc.) Have a contest for couples to share their engagement photos with you to win one of your services
Example: #Lovebirds, share your engagement photo with us to win a 2 hour Consultation with ****** Prize valued at $200. Add photo and tag #WPICwearengaged When you like or comment on peoples posts, they are much more likely to reciprocate.
What is the deal with #Hashtags? Hashtags are key words. When you add a hashtag that is relevant to your Instagram post and someone is searching for something specific, your photo and account will “pop up”. This is a chance for those people who checked you out to “follow” you (this translates into increasing your followers). Examples: #romance #GTAweddingplanner #WPICcertified #weddingcake etc. Try to not over use the #’s though. It is recommended to use 1-3 #hashtags with each post.
Add video: Share some exiting moments or highlights of a wedding or event, or a “how-to” segment in a short video, so your followers can feel more connected to you. Click here to see Instagram’s tips about adding videos.
Some Instagram Statistics:
Instagram launched in 2010 and currently has 7.3 million daily users worldwide
Most posts happen on a Thursday, but Sunday is the most effective
Instagram is available in 10 languages
55% of users are women, 45% are men according to Social Times
34% of users are aged 25-44 according to Social Times
Some Groovy Apps for iphone and Androids:
If you want to add some “awesome-sauce” to your photos, why not try some of these apps to increase the look and feel of your photos? (Some are free and some are a small fee.)
Aviary for touch ups, frames, stickers, etc. (Free)
PhotoWonder lets you edit, makes you skinnier, removes acne, add makeup, add cool effects, make collages, and change colour saturation. (Free)
A Beautiful Mess has some filters to change your photos up, but the best part are the fun borders, text options and hand-drawn doodle overlays. (Cost is .99 cents)
Snapseed red eye filters, saturation, cropping, and anytime you want photos to pop. (Free)
Overgram So many great fonts to add text to your photos (Free)
Facetune corrects small facial imperfections like wrinkles, whitening your teeth, get rid of blemishes, enhance your eyes and lips. (Cost $2.99)
Bubbleframe Create photo bubbles with your photos (Cost $1.99)
FuzelPro lets you create animated collages. What? Yup. Click on the examples from their site to be amazed! (Cost $1.99)
8mm A whole bunch of cool effects for shooting vintage videos, and lets you add dust, scratches, flickering frames, light leaks and more vintage effects to your films. (Cost $1.99) Share some of your favourite apps in the comments section with us!