Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Social Media Special - Instagram

Hello! It's time for another Social Media Special!

Today we are going to take a look at Instagram...

Do you use Instagram? Do you know that we have a Dorset Team Instagram Account where we share team member's Instagram pictures? You can see it here:

For those of you who are new to Instagram....

Instagram Basics:

  • Instagram is for sharing photos or short videos. You can write captions too - to tell a story or talk about the photo / video
  • People will discover the photos you share by following you, or by looking at hashtags within captions or comments
  • Viewers can 'like' photos by clicking the heart icon below your photo, or they can comment by clicking the speech bubble, share with someone else by clicking the paper aeroplane icon, or save it to their 'collection' by clicking the flag (only they can see their collections)
  • You can link to other social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, to make it easy to share your photo on them too
  • It's possible to tag Instagram accounts in the photo, so you could encourage your customers to tag your account if they share a photo of your product
  • You could also have a hashtag that customers and you can use to share photos of your items. Make sure no one is using the hashtag already - and try not to make it too long, so it's not hard for customers to remember it and type it in
  • You can send people a private message if you follow them
  • There are also Instagram stories - a bit like snapchat (if you've heard of that) - these are videos (which can consist of photos too), which are portrait-style and will only appear in your 'story' for 24 hours after you've uploaded them. Viewers can access these by clicking on the little circles at the top of their Instagram feed, or by clicking on your profile photo
  • Instagram also has 2 apps - 'Boomerang' and 'Hyperlapse' to help you create short videos to post to your profile or your story
  • Instagram is rolling out the ability to tag products in your Instagram, so people can see how much the items costs, with a link to buy it. You need to have a Facebook shop for this to work

You can see a guide to getting started on Instagram here:

Other things to note:

When you normally open Instagram, you see your 'feed' - the photos that have been shared by the accounts you follow. Photos don't appear chronologically in this feed - they will be sorted by an algorithm that looks at a variety of things, for example how often you've 'liked' photos by that account. However Instagram have announced they are trying out a 'new posts' feature which should give more control on how to view your feed.

There is currently no ability to schedule Instagram photos straight in the app, but you can do it now through some scheduling sites like Hootsuite.

You can't re-share photos directly through Instagram, but you can get apps which make it easier to do this e.g. 'Repost' or 'Regram'. The opinion on the etiquette of sharing photos seems to differ  - but generally you can re-post a photo without fear of being told off if it's been tagged to include you, or if the person says in the description of the photo or their profile that they don't mind it being shared. If in doubt you can comment on the photo or  message them to ask!

If you feel overwhelmed...

If all that information scares you, don't worry! We will be looking at certain things, like Instagram Stories, in more depth in the future! For now just jump in and get started. Create an account if you haven't already, and share a photo. It can be of you / your workspace / a work in progress / a finished product / a photo of where you live... etc! Make sure you follow the Dorset Team Instagram Account and don't forget to use the #DorsetTeam hashtag so your photo might get featured on the Dorset Team account!

Next month for the Social Media Special we will be taking a look at the basics of Facebook and how it can help your business. If you missed last month's look at Twitter you can see it here:

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