How to Use Instagram for Your Business Blog

instagram video logoIn my post about using Instagram Video and Vine for Writers and Bloggers, I mentioned how difficult it can be to successfully use Instagram for promotion for your website or blog. The main reason being that you cannot use a clickable link in your Instagram post to directly link people to the blog post it corresponds with. Another issue is that WordPress.com does not allow you to include a widget displaying your photos. This can make it difficult to attract readers to follow you if they can’t easily find you or get a sample of your Instagram on your account.

 

Getting Started

When I first started blogging, I only used my own personal Instagram account. Currently, it’s still the only Instagram account I have for my own brand, Adult Ballerina Project. This was primarily because WordPress.com didn’t have a widget you could use to display your photos (or a nice link) to your Instagram account. I simply kept my personal one in my “About Me” profile and left it at that.

However, if you’re a self-hosted WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr user, there is a way to integrate and include your Instragram posts on your webpage.

 

Set up Your Account

The first thing you’re going to want to do is set up an Instagram account on your phone (which will be your primary way of accessing it, although Instagram is now available for use in a normal browser). Unfortunately, there aren’t any real great 3rd party apps that allow you to manage multiple accounts at once. There are some that allow you to look at photos posted by those you follow with multiple accounts, but none that allow you to post photos from multiple accounts.

You’ll want to pick a name that relates closely to your brand. If you can’t pick something that matches your name exactly, try to pick something that closely relates without being too long or too difficult to remember. You should also choose a profile picture that relates to your business and makes you easily identifiable and connect to Facebook and other social media such as Twitter and Tumblr.

Instagram has some great getting started tips as well as well as tips for taking photos.

 

Using Instagram

Instagram will be more beneficial if your a visual blogger already, but it can still be beneficial even if you aren’t. I think one of the most beneficial things is not just re-post your blog post and nothing else. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, social media works best as a conversation. You need to engage with other social media users especially other bloggers who blog about similar topics to you as well. Using hashtags like on Twitter can also be beneficial in finding people to follow as well as help people find you.

Unfortunately, you can’t directly to blog posts in your Instagram photos. What many companies and bloggers will do is change their URL in their profile to the post link.

If I’m taking photos for a story anyway, often I’ll post them on Instagram before the post goes live as a preview. For instance, if I’m doing event coverage, I’ll often post the photos right away on Instagram and then use those same photos in a post later.

 

Observe and Follow other Companies and Bloggers on Instagram

One of the best ways I’ve found ways to find out what works on Instagram is to follow my fellow bloggers and businesses I like to find out what works well. One of my favorite businesses on Instagram is Chobani. I also love to follow my fellow exercise bloggers to see what things they are doing such as posting food photos, short exercise lists, etc.

 

Plugins and Widgets for Websites

There’s a few widgets and plugins that you can add so that you can have your Instagram feed on your website. My favorite at the moment is SnapWidget, which is a super simple way to add a simple Instagram widget to your blog that you can change the size of. SnapWidget works for both WordPress and Blogger, but not WordPress.com.

Another WordPress.org plugin is Easy Instagram. While it was a little difficult to set up, within 15-20 minutes I followed the instructions and got it set up. I’m always looking for new ones by using the “Inspect Element” tool in Chrome to find out what the code was (you can always contact them as well!)

You can also directly publish photos to Tumblr.

 

Is Instagram Useful?

I’m still torn on how useful Instagram really is, and honestly, I don’t use it that often compared to Twitter or Facebook, so I would concentrate on using those over Instagram, unless you’re already a visual heavy blogger.

Do you use Instagram for Business?

About Kristen Gillette

Kristen Gillette is a freelancer who has written for a wide variety of publications including Philly2Night.com, two.one.five. Magazine, and Cred Magazine, thINKingDANCE.net, the Philadelphia Dance Journal, TechnicallyPhilly.com and more. She runs AdultBallerinaProject.com

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