Instagram for Business: What You Need to Know

Posted on Oct 11, 2017

CDs became mobile music libraries. Boxed cereal became breakfast bars. The mullet became a man bun. What’s next? Photo-forward social media?

Actually, yes.

Social media is changing at a fast and furious pace. Right when you think you’ve mastered your Facebook and Twitter presence, a new platform takes hold. Meet Instagram: the photo and video sharing mobile movement developed in 2010 to shake up the tradition of text-driven social media.

Have no fear. Here are five tips I have gathered from helping our members integrate Instagram into their social outreach.

Instagram ≠ Facebook  ≠ Twitter

First things first, you need to know the purpose of Instagram to truly appreciate it. Instagram is a visual social platform designed for real-time image and video posting on your mobile device. You can log on to Instagram from a desktop computer, but to post content, you need the app. (NOTE: Assistant Editor Mike Teegarden found a video showing handy workaround if you simply MUST post from your desktop.)

Management tools and Instagram

So, you have to post directly from your phone. What’s next? Instagram is designed for mobile, so your management tool needs to be mobile friendly. Hootsuite is a popular social media management tool with a specific approach to Instagram. Learn how to use it for Instagram with this helpful video:

Understanding Instagram links

Now that you have your app downloaded, let’s move on to posting content. A link will not work in a direct Instagram post. Yet, you can add a link to Instagram stories. To include a link, state in your post, “Link in bio.” Then navigate to your profile and click “Edit Profile.” There you will see a Bio section. Simply paste the corresponding link. Unless your content has to have a link, I’d stick with your utility website in your profile bio. Here is an example from the American Public Power Association.


Instagram dimensions

Instagram was originally a square platform. Since August, rectangular photos and videos work on the platform, too. The recommended dimensions are 1080×1080 pixels.

Ready, set, post!

Congratulations! You are officially an Instagramer. Share your best photos from your service territory, fun happenings around the office and any other photo or video content you’d share on other platforms. Try out some of these fun apps to elevate your Instagram posts. Also, Facebook content and graphics from the Ruralite Services Social Media Support Program work great for Instagram.

Once you are comfortable posting pictures, explore more Instagram features. You can share 60-second videos, post up to 10 pictures and/or videos, and add stories. Like Facebook, Instagram has a live video feature, too.

Navigating social media tools does not have to be a headache. Contact us with social media questions.

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