When I attend a conference or a talk, the Q&A section is always my favorite part. It’s one thing to prepare a talk, but it’s another to field questions from those who are trying to grasp this new information.

Here’s some Q&A geared toward to a small business owner or entrepreneur who is completely new to Instagram and Social Media.

Q: What is Instagram?
A: It’s a social media platform focused on sharing pictures and videos in a variety of formats.

Q: Why should I spend time on Instagram instead of advertising my business elsewhere?
A: The cost of entry on Instagram is extremely low – you need a smartphone with a camera, a data connection (Wi-fi is great), a willingness to learn something new, and some patience. Compare that to the costs of any other advertising medium, and you’ll see the cost-benefits right away.

Q: What’s the best way to learn Instagram quickly?
A: Keep reading!

Q: Why should I be on Instagram if I’m already on (Facebook, Twitter, etc).
A: Since a picture is worth a thousand words, Instagram is a great way to easily show the world what you’re doing that’s interesting and exciting.

Q: How do I get people to follow me?
A: Think of it like a TV show – if you had a TV show, you would have to give people a reason to watch it. It could be funny, educational, have a great story, feature excellent actors, or something else. It’s the same with Instagram – you need to give people a reason to follow you.

Q: How do I get my first followers?
A: If you’re brand new to Instagram, then you need to find people who already know you. If you open the Instagram settings, there are options to have Instagram look through your phone book and your Facebook account to find people you already know. Follow all of those people. They’re extremely likely to follow you back – more likely than anyone else on the platform who doesn’t know who you are.

Q: What kind of posts are there on Instagram?
A: There are multiple kinds. There’s the post in the main feed (which can be photos or video up to 60 seconds long), stories (which can be photos or videos up to 15 seconds long), and going Live (no limit on video length).

Q: What should I post about?
A: Instagram is about people. It’s not about products and services, although those can be part of what you show. Focus on showing yourself as a fun, interesting, and knowledgeable person – in that exact order. Take pictures and video of you doing fun and interesting things. Don’t just post pictures of your product or talk about your service.

Q: I sell a product. How can I make my posts about the product visible to as many people as possible?
A: Instagram is about people, and typically posts about products can come across as spammy and don’t do well (unless you’re a huge brand like Nike). However, if you show a famous or attractive person using your product, this will help immensely. This is called “Influencer Marketing,” and it’s absolutely the best way to get your post about your product to be seen.

Look for more Q&A next Tuesday!

Have questions about something I didn’t cover here? Shoot me an email using the Contact page!