I’m guessing you’ve noticed: Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networking platforms. Users can post their pictures online with a blurb and hashtags. The pictures are usually taken with a smartphone and uploaded to their account.
Instagram also has several filters. This allows folks to edit and decorate their photos. It definitely has the capability for social networking like other social networking sites. But it’s also a great place to market your products.
Some folks use Instagram as a way to let their target market get to know, like and trust them. And for companies that have products that are highly visual, Instagram is a great platform to showcase them.
Let’s discuss some tips for leveraging this image-based social network. As you read through these, look for ways you can apply to your new business.
There are various ways you can use Instagram if you’re in the fitness niche. Fitness pictures are extremely popular on Instagram. And chances are if you are in this niche, you already know how important it is to show results.
Keep in mind though, your pictures don’t have to show your muscles. You can take a selfie as you’re working out at your local gym or on equipment that you have at home. This is a great way to remind folks that you take fitness seriously and hopefully motivate them to hit the gym, too…ideally with the products that you’re promoting.
Some soloproneurs upload photos of their yoga or Pilates poses while others share pictures of their outdoor runs or walks around the neighborhood. The important thing is to share your love of fitness with your followers.
Also popular on Instagram are photos that are designed to motivate folks. These types of images are sometimes called ‘fitspirational’ photos. They inspire your followers to take better care of their own bodies.
When you post these photos, add a short personal message below the photo. These can be photos showing your weigh lose, what you’re doing or products that you’re using to lose weight.
For example, you might post a picture of your healthy breakfast with a caption about how clean eating gives you more energy and makes you feel stronger and sexier. You can also post food facts to your Instagram account.
Pick a food and share its benefit with your followers. You could post a picture of carrots from the produce section of your grocery store with a caption about the fact that carrots are a great source of Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyesight.
But you don’t have to only mention foods that are good for your body. You can also mention foods that are bad for your body. For example, you could post a picture of canned meats and share with your followers that processed meats tend to be high in sodium, which cause your body to hold onto excess water.
You can also share general health tips. For example, you could take a picture of yourself cuddling with your pet and mention that folks with pets tend to be healthier and live longer. This is a great way to personalize your photos while still delivering useful information to your followers. And when a user really enjoys a photo, she often tags others within the post to share it….thereby extending your reach.
If you’re in the food niche, there are various types of pictures that you can post. Sharing behind-the-scenes photos as you prepare your meals is very popular. You might get a shot of the grill as you put your hamburgers on or a boiling pot as you add noodles.
You won’t document every step but do take a couple of photos to give your followers a sneak peak of how your process unfolds. This lets your followers feel like they’re with you in your kitchen. When you’re done cooking, snap a photo of your plate before you start to eat.
The best food pictures usually have brightly colored foods in them. Carrots, tomatoes, and other brightly colored foods generally photograph well. You can also make your food photos more interesting by using different plates.
It’s important that you pay attention to food portions when picking plates. If you put too little food on a large plate, it may not look appealing to your followers. But small plates are easy to fill and the serving size will look much bigger.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use large plates. If you do decide to use a larger plate, remember to add more food to it than you normally would.
And to make your pictures look really interesting, think about setting your entire table. And if you go that route, make sure you consider the overall shot. Before you snap your photo and post, look at your setting. Is it visually appealing? If it’s not, folks may scroll past it.
For the best photos, you want your food or food related products to be the focal point. Remember, your place settings should enhance your photo, not detract from it. You can also keep photos visually interesting by trying different camera angles. Most folks just take an aerial photo of their food.
A good thing about Instagram is that you don’t have to make your Instagram account about cooking in general. You can narrow it down to a specific niche – like gluten-free foods, cooking for kids, low calorie meals, sugar free desserts, or any other slant you choose.
Please don’t be afraid to niche down. Many solopreneurs grow their Instagram following a lot faster by narrowing their marketing down to a specific niche within the overall food industry rather than keeping it broad and trying to attract everyone.
Beauty and Anti-Aging
Instagram has become a great tool for solopreneurs that are in beauty or anti-aging niches. There are many different types of photos that you can post and ways that you can grab attention. You can share makeup tips, before and after photos of your skin care regimen, or how-to instructions for hair care.
Just like with the food niche on Instagram, you may have more success reaching followers if you narrow down your niche. You can focus on posting makeup tips for women over 50, natural hair for professionals, or nail art for teens.
Whatever you do, please pick a narrow focus that you enjoy. If you hate spending time at the salon or despise nail art, don’t pick nail care as your niche. Your followers will be able to tell that you’re not enthusiastic about nail care and it’s extremely hard to get folks excited about stuff that doesn’t excite you.
Another use for Instagram photos is to promote your favorite products and earn money as an affiliate. Start by capturing a shot of a product that you use in real life. For example, take a photo of the eye cream you use to hide the circles under your eyes.
Post a picture to Instagram with your URL in the comment area. But keep in mind that Instagram only allows clickable links in bio section of your profile. So if someone wants to visit your link, they can’t click through.
They’ll have to manually type your link into their address bar. So, you’ll want to make your links easy to remember by using a shortening service like Bit.ly. And know that some affiliate programs don’t allow shortened links.
One way to get around this is to create a post on your blog that’s all about the product you love. Within the post, you hyperlink to the product once or twice. Then post the blog post URL in your Instagram caption. Remember to keep your URL simple and easy to recall or use a link shortener.
For post ideas, you can look up popular events or dates in the beauty industry. For example, August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month. During this month, you can share tips on how to keep your hair healthy, advice about what to do if you’re losing your hair, or reminders about which vitamin deficiencies can cause premature hair loss.
Like other photo apps, Instagram allows you to apply various filters to your photos. These filters can be helpful when it comes to editing your photo. One filter can help darken a photo that was taken in a very bright room.
Another filter can lighten photos or blur the background of your photo. But filters go beyond that. You can adjust the color tone to hide dark circles under your eyes or focus the photo on your lips instead of that acne outbreak on your chin.
As someone in the beauty niche, be thoughtful when using filters. Followers may not trust you if they feel you’re trying to “Photoshop” the results of your beauty images.
So if you didn’t edit a photo and want to let your followers know that, use the #nofilter hashtag. That means it’s raw and real, and some users are attracted to that.
Another industry that’s very popular on Instagram is the travel niche. You can post photos of countries you’re visiting or have visited recently. Followers enjoy feeling like they’re on the journey with you, so if at all possible, try to post your photos as they happen.
But as with any social networking site, you don’t want to overwhelm your followers. Don’t post 10 pictures of the Eiffel tower. Pick one great photo and post that. Then when you’re having lunch at a lovely café, post a selfie and share it on Instagram.
Post 3-4 pictures a day, but make sure you space them out, hours apart. This works best because you’ll have followers in various time zones. If you only post in the mornings, then you’ve reduced the chance that some of your followers will see your posts.
Keep in mind that there are many different types of audiences that the travel niche appeals to. You want to consider your audience as you post pictures. For example, if you want to brand yourself as a travel blogger who travels with three kids, then post pictures of family friendly destinations or kid-centric restaurants.
And when you are deciding on a target audience, make sure they some disposable income. It’s possible to grow a following of college students that are broke and eager to travel but it’s not going to help you achieve your ultimate goals.
When it comes to travel photos on Instagram, keep in mind that you’re selling more than the destination you’re at. You’re selling your audience an experience. There could be thousands of folks on Instagram that are looking through your photos and wishing that they, too could experience the freedom and excitement that comes from being able to pack and get on a plane right now.
So, what kinds of photos should you post? The most popular travel photos on Instagram are sunsets, beaches, and waterfalls. There’s something about the natural beauty of a place that calls to followers.
Other popular photos on Instagram are architecture, famous landmarks, and animals in their natural habitats. When you post these photos, make sure you include a little bit about them. Your followers will want to know more than what they can see in the photo.
If you share a picture of The Louvre, include a fun fact about it that isn’t well known. Another way to share your adventures is to post pictures about the meals you eat on your trip. Every country has a different type of cuisine, embrace and share it.
If you’re in Spain, take a selfie with your Torta de gazpacho or meat stew before you dig in. You don’t have to share a picture of everything you eat, but do share a few photos, so that your followers know what to expect in other countries.
As you build followers on Instagram, you can reward them with coupons, discount offers and deals specifically for them. The key is to let them live vicariously through you, and get ideas for use in their own lives.
As you can see, there are some niches that lend themselves extremely well to Instagram. Take photos and use the tips above to help get the most of our Instagram.
So tell me: have you niched down? If so, which niche did you decide to focus on?