Instagram do’s and don’ts for businesses

Marketers, are you perplexed about how this visual platform can help your organization? Here’s a hint: Put your people front and center, and keep the branding on the periphery.


Can Instagram work for your business?

If your company produces highly visual products, as in the food industry, Instagram is a great platform, enabling you to share the day-to-day of your work so the public can peek behind the door.

Below are some do’s and don’ts to consider when you post images on Instagram:

  • Don’t use busy, complex images; they distract and can be easily overlooked. People see what you share for only a few seconds—and on a screen that fits in the palm of their hand.
  • Don’t post copyrighted content. Give credit by tagging, or don’t post at all.
  • Don’t post randomly. It’s your story, so tell it in linear pictures that offer continuity. People like to see what is next; lead them through your narrative.
  • Don’t post more than five images to an album. Combining three is ideal, given how Instagram and Facebook arrange multiple images.
  • Don’t feel obligated to post individual selfies. It’s far less narcissistic if there’s a group of you.
  • Do find creative ways to include your branding, such as having your logo or some company swag in the background or elsewhere within the frame.
  • Do make sure the image has a strong focal point so it sends a clear message. The narrative is important.
  • Do create content with your target audience in mind. Your audiences on various social media channels may differ, requiring disparate, targeted approaches.
  • Do obtain permission to use others’ images and videos, especially if you plan you use them in an ad. The attribution model applied must be agreed upon between both parties. It’s polite, and it can keep you out of legal trouble.
  • Do put people in your photos. As with family event photos, you want to see happy faces. Posting photos of your staff in the workplace environment shows tons about who they are.
  • Do have fun with it. Show your company culture at your business—that even though you’re serious about what you do, you also have fun, keeping morale up and stress down.

A version of this post first appeared on Element 502s blog.

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