Want To Use Instagram for Business? Buy This Book!
Instagram For Business for dummies - A Review
In September of 1939, world events were moving rapidly and concerns of global conflict were very real. While China and Japan had been fighting for years, Germany had just invaded Poland from the West, while Russia invaded from the East.
Britain prepared for war.
In a radio broadcast in the coming weeks, Winston Churchill spoke to the British people about these events, and expressed how little was understood of Russia’s motives. He famously said, "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”
A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
I don’t know about you, but that reminds me of Instagram!
Did you know that Instagram is currently one of, if not the, fastest growing social network? In March of 2014 they reported 200 million active monthly users, and by December they were reporting 300 million. After another 9 months, they'd grown by 100 million once more, and then again. Today, the network sports over 800 million active monthly users, and counting.
And yet, from a business and marketing perspective, I know I’m not the only one at a loss as to how to leverage this beast of a network.
What do I share? How do I do it? How do I make my time spent on Instagram valuable for my business?
Those are pertinent questions, and now we have a resource to assist us.
My dear friend and colleague, Jenn Herman, the foremost expert and blogger on Instagram, has given us a tremendous resource!
Full Title: Instagram For Business for dummies
Authors: Jenn Herman with Eric Butow, Crey Walker
Available Formats: Kindle ($13.00), Paperback ($16.37)
Reading Time (according to readinglength.com): 6 hours, 20 minutes
Who Is This Book For?
The short answer is that this book is for any business that wants to use Instagram professionally.
The long answer is that Jenn Herman and co. do an outstanding job of walking you through basic setup instructions, all the way through to advanced techniques like the use of Stories, Advertising and Contests. Which means that whether you’ve never opened Instagram in your life, or if you’ve been using the platform for years, this book can help you.
And that’s consistent with what Jenn offered when I asked her this question:
"The book is mostly for beginners to Instagram and/or Instagram as a marketing tool. It covers everything from basic setup to advanced marketing tactics. That being said, I've heard from people who are seasoned Instagram users and they have said that they found helpful tactics in the book related to more advanced techniques for marketing.” - Jenn Herman
What Topics Are Covered?
I already touched on a few key topics, but let me list them all here and call out a few.
- Getting Started with Instagram - everything from setting up a profile to determining what your voice and style on the network is going to be.
- How to take and post Great Photos - including selecting filters and creating compelling captions.
- How to take and post Great Videos - yes! Instagram is more than just photos, and brands that leverage videos will likely see more engagement.
- How to grow your Instagram audience - including platform conversation, finding fans, and using hashtags.'
- Advanced Instagram Techniques
- Instagram Stories - what are they, and how do businesses leverage them?
- Advertising - including setup and strategy
- Contests - benefits, rules and best practices
- Integration - how does Instagram fit into the rest of your marketing?
- Troubleshooting, Effective Brands, and Sources of Inspiration
Since Instagram is an extremely visual network - the first and most important thing that people see of your shares is your images or videos - it’s great that Jenn spends so much time talking about how to create great visuals.
For instance, one of the interesting aspects of Instagram is that whatever photo you decide to share, you can choose to apply a “filter” to it which will change the look of the image in some way. These might soften or blur, or even completely desaturate an image, so it’s important to understand how they work and when to use them.
Strategic use of key filters can actually help identify your brand as part of your style!
I strongly advise that you read through all of the sections once, and then revisit those that apply to you right now. For instance, it’s good to be familiar with Stories and Contests, even if you don’t intend to leverage those options right away. But you’ll definitely want to pay close attention to Jenn’s advice on how to grow your audience.
One of the most critical aspects of Instagram, and most important parts of this book, is Chapter 8. This Chapter is a deep dive into Hashtags.
You’re probably familiar with how hashtags work from experiences on the other major networks, but the strategy and tactics that go into Instagram hashtags fo far beyond the basic mechanics of automatically linking words and posts.
As Jenn puts it, “there’s more to them than meets the eye, and any serious Instagrammer will tell you to follow certain do’s and don’ts when using hashtags.”
And for me, that’s a great example of why the book overall is essential reading. More than just a technical manual for Instagram, it’s a guide for how businesses can really get value out of the network.
"The most important takeaway - from 289 pages of this book - is that Instagram is so much more than just posting pretty pictures. There is a lot of strategy and planning that goes into effective marketing on Instagram.” - Jenn Herman
“Businesses that are truly successful use Instagram as part of their overall mix, not as their entire focus.” - Jenn Herman
Final Thoughts & Impressions
I have known Jenn Herman for years. She’s won the Top Social Media Blog from Social Media Examiner multiple times, speaks at prestigious events like Social Media Marketing World, and has a thriving online community. She gets Instagram. What’s more, businesses pay top dollar for her insight and assistance, which you can get for less than twenty bucks right now.
If you’re interested in seeing real value from Instagram for your business, pick up a copy of Jenn’s book today.
P.S. We're giving away a free copy of the book to one lucky reader! Enter the sweepstakes here!
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By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner - a title he invented to represent his holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blogging, social media, email marketing and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales. He is an award-winning Blogger, Speaker, and Author at The Social Media Hat, and Brand Evangelist at Agorapulse (formerly CMO at SiteSell).
As Brand Evangelist, Mike works directly with other social media educators, influencers, agencies and brands to explore and develop profitable relationships with Agorapulse.Follow @Mike_Allton