Instagram: Getting Started

Have you considered using Instagram to promote your business? The benefits of using social media to reach potential customers continues to grow exponentially.

Many of us are already using Facebook, but far fewer are engaged with Instagram. Now’s the time to make the big push to take advantage of this visual social media marketing tool. It’s perfectly suited to a visually stunning destination like Calaveras County and much easier to master than Facebook. And, when you have an active Instagram account, it will help US to market YOU better.

CVB instagram feed

“If you don’t have time to post to Instagram yourself, or don’t have a smart phone, ask an employee, family member or friend to help. Don’t miss out on this powerful marketing tool.”

Chances are, you’re already taking great photos of your business to post to Facebook, to use in traditional marketing avenues or to commemorate milestones in your operation. And others are probably already posting photos and videos about your business or products too. This is all perfect content for Instagram, and getting started is easy, and very rewarding.

Instagram sharing diagram

Uploading your own photos

To get started, just download the app to your smartphone or tablet. Download link for Android, download link for iPhone (click on link on page to take you to download page). Create your Instagram account and get started uploading your own photos. Include hashtags so people can find your photos. For instance, if you use the hashtag #lovingcalaveras the CVB will find your posts and broadcast them to our larger national and international travel markets. If you’re posting about golfing, use the hashtags #lovingcalaveras as well as #golf, #golfing, #californiagolf, etc. This enables people looking for those kinds of photos to find, like and share your Calaveras pics.

Sharing on InstagramSharing others’ photos to your feed

To share photos/videos uploaded by others, search for your business name, products or activities. You might also consider searching for common misspellings people typically make. Once you’ve found a photo/video someone else has posted, like and/or comment on the photo or video.

Next, use an Instagram reposting app like RapidRepost or QuickReposter to repost the photo/video to your page. These apps are free and easily downloaded from your app store. Always give the original poster credit for the photo/video. For instance, if the original was posted by us (gocalaveras) you will include @gocalaveras in your post so we know you’ve reposted. It’s a way of saying thank you for the original post and is mandatory Instagram etiquette for reposts.

No time for Instagram? Get help!

If you don’t have time to post  photos yourself, or if you don’t have a smart phone, ask an employee, family member or friend to work on it for you. If you have millennials in your life, they’re probably all over social media already, and will have no problem setting up an Instagram account for you. Remember, you will get the most benefit from our social media marketing by having your own Instagram account we can pull from.

Important Tips:

  • Follow Calaveras Visitors Bureau at Instagram.com/gocalaveras.
  • Check to see if we have already followed you. If not, email us at [email protected] with your Instagram account name.
  • Post often! Funny, interesting and beautiful photos/videos do best.
  • Stay engaged with the community. Follow instagrammers who are posting content that is interesting and relevant to you.
  • Like and comment on other people’s posts. This will help gain you a following.
  • Connect Instagram to your other social media platforms to easily share your Instagram posts to Facebook and Twitter.
  • Use appropriate hashtags. Check out Kaedence’s article on how to use hashtags here: Social Savvy Calaveras.

Get help learning

If all of this seems very complicated, I highly recommend you attend next month’s Tuolumne County Annual Tourism Summit, which takes place on May 5th from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm at the hotel at Black Oak Casino. Part of the summit will include an “Instawalk” with hands on learning and best practices for using Instagram. Follow the link above to register.

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