Using Instagram for business

I’ve been using Instagram for a few years now and I love it! Although since I’ve had kids, I don’t feel the urge to Instagram my life as much as I used to (who needs to see me covered in milk, pureed vegetables and goodness knows what else!) Anyhoo… I’ve been looking into how I can use Instagram for the blog and have found a few really good tips that I thought I would share with you today. Firstly, you may need to explain to your Executive why Instagram is a good social media platform to use for business but once you get over that hurdle there are a lot of benefits. Let me give you a few reasons you can fire at them…

  • There are over 500 million users on Instagram (more than Twitter) and the majority are active on the platform
  • 70% of users have at some point looked up a brand on Instagram and 62% follow a brand because they like the content being posted
  • There is no hard sell required on Instagram. If users like the images being posted they will soak up the sales messages.
  • Here is a quote from Mike Hayes, Digital Marketing Manager of Ben & Jerry’s: “Since its launch, Instagram has provided us with an amazing platform to connect with our fans and tell our story visually.” 

So where do we start with Instagram..?

Here is a great overview of how to set up your Instagram account for business. There are the obvious tips like – set up a separate business account rather than a personal account, connect all of your social media channels so that your followers can see all of your content and ensure you have the Instagram Analytics available to track your progress.

Once you have your business account set up the next step is to create a clear strategy. These are my Instagram goals for Practically Perfect PA:

  • To showcase our events
  • To raise awareness of the blog
  • To build the Practically Perfect PA community
  • Share news and updates

I would image your business would have similar goals for their marketing activities. If you are looking after your business social media or your Executive’s it is important that you come up with objectives for using the platform, what you want your Instagram account to look like and the content you will publish. It is also really important that you understand the type of audience you will attract on Instagram. For example, roughly half of internet-using young adults ages 18-29 (53%) use Instagram and 25% of 30-49 year olds use it. That is a young audience – but one that might stick with your brand for years to come if they like what they see.

Instagram tips

After lots of reading, this is what I have learnt about Instagram for business and how to make the most of the platform:

  • Like any social media platform your biography / description is the first introduction to the brand so make the most of this space. Most business’s include their slogan and a brief description.
  • Your profile picture should make it very obvious who you are. Most business’s use their logo. I would suggest you do the same.
  • You are only allowed to use one link on Instagram so that tends to be the business homepage. You can change this if you have a big campaign or product you are promoting.
  • What should you post about? This is the tricky part of Instagram and it really depends on your Organisation and its culture. Some brands focus solely on their products, others like to include pictures of their staff and activities within the business. This will have to be decided by you and your Executive. I’ve noticed the brands that use Instagram really well post a mixture of content including: behind the scenes images, product demos, fun images and inspirational quotes, visuals showing the human side of the business, customer stories and testimonials.
  • What should your pictures look like? The best thing about Instagram is that you can add filters, play around with the composition and generally make a picture look much better than the original. In everything I’ve read the general advice is – don’t post rubbish pictures. Try to make them look as good as possible and ensure your audience can see what you have actually taken a picture of!
  • You can add a caption with every image that you post on Instagram so again this is a space that can connect you with your audience. You can use 2,200 characters. But, most marketing experts suggest no more than three lines.
  • Instagram use hashtags in the same way that Twitter does. You can search for any subject via a hashtag and you will see all of the content related to that subject. Do your research on this one. What hashtags are your competitors using?
  • With everything social media related, consistency is key. Include information on how many times you are going to post into Instagram in your content plan. You can now use Hootsuite to schedule your posts in advance.
  • Remember to follow others, your clients, customers and colleagues. Following other people and liking their content is the key to increasing your followers.
  • You can also post short videos on Instagram. Having a mixture of visuals will help keep your audience engaged.

So these are the tips that I have picked up while sorting out my Instagram platform. I will let everyone know once I go live with it! In the meantime if you would like to know about Instagram for business, check out this great article from Social Media Examiner.

Using social media to empower Assistants

When Nicky approached me to speak about my top tips for beginners at The Assist Conference I was truly honored.  I’m a huge fan of Practically Perfect PA and am loving the new look site.  Despite my passion for social media I haven’t always been adept at it and was a twitter virgin until The Assist Conference 2015.  It is never too late to add a new string to your bow and social media seems to be the way forward for the future Assistant.

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Using social media to empower assistants

If you are reading this post it is more than likely that you are involved in some sort of social media platform be it LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook (I´m not sure how else you would have found this blog!). That is brilliant and I am probably talking to the converted however I think it is worth saying (or saying again in this case) that social media really can empower assistants.

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15 social media and technology trends for 2015

1. Wearable technology

Google Glass and the Apple iWatch really do seem like something out of a sci-fi film but they will be available in 2015. If my Executives are anything to go by your Executives will also want to try out the latest technology and incorporate it into their working day.

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Managing your social media content

These days most of us will have some sort of social media account. Most often it is Facebook, followed closely by LinkedIn and Twitter. Instagram is becoming ever more popular as is Pinterest and Foursquare. If you have accounts set up on every social media channel (as I do) it can be a little overwhelming dealing with all of the stuff coming at you.

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Becoming a Social Media Specialist

Becoming a Social Media Specialist

‘We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it?’
Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics

I started my career as a PA back in 2010 and although it was only four years ago, I’ve really noticed how much the role of a PA/EA/Office Manager has grown and what is now expected of us.

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Using your social media skills at work

Using your social media skills at work

Over the last few weeks I’ve been writing about social media and how best assistants can use it for their professional lives. This week I want to look at how we can use our skills in this area to add value for our companies and mangers. I know a lot of business are still banning certain websites and it can be difficult to change the executive management’s mind when it comes to using social media at work but if your company is embracing all of the positive aspects of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. then here are a few tips on how you can use the knowledge you have in an effective way at work.


If you are like me and enjoy writing and/or reading lots of blogs then you will have picked up an invaluable skill that can be easily adapted for business. Does your company have a blog? If so ask if you could write something for it or alternatively if your manager contributes then draft a blog on their behalf.

Tweet Tweet

If you enjoy Twitter and understand how to use hashtags, follow influential people and companies then this can be really helpful for your company. See if your manager is on Twitter and offer to set up an account for them and then manage their tweets and interaction. Additionally if you are in a small office you could monitor the company Twitter account and interact with clients. If you are running a team building event or get together you could create a hashtag for the event and ask everyone to follow it for updates and information as the event takes place.

Corporate Social Media

Your company and most of your colleagues should be on LinkedIn, if not getting them set up on the website would be a great way to add value. If your manager is not on LinkedIn I would imagine they receive requests all the time so again you could recommend that you set their profile up and manage the emails and connections they have. Going forward you could manage the company’s LinkedIn page, join a few interesting groups in your industry so that you can receive relevant article and share these with your colleagues.


Most of us are on Facebook and wouldn’t mix our use of that website with our professional life and I would totally agree on that point. However if you work for an organisation that has a Facebook page do offer to add content, manage and ‘like’ the page. If your privacy settings are stringent no one in your company will be able to see your personal profile.

Creative and illustrative value

Pinterest is a brilliant way to add value for your company as I would imagine most corporate companies are not currently using the site. If you use Pinterest and love it (which most people do once they get going on the site) then you could use your skills to be really creative in setting up their boards and adding pictures and other content.

Technology geek

If you use social media I would imagine you will be up to date on new technology and interesting websites that may add value in your company such as using Dropbox for file sharing, Evernotes for task lists and reminders, Tripit for travel itineraries, for online profile etc. Mentioning these to your peers will show that you understand new technology and how it can help with your business.

 So lots of ways you can add value using your personally developed social media skills. As I’ve said before our roles as assistants has and will continue to diversify so if you have additional skills that are not normally considered to be part of our set this can only benefit you and your company. 

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