An (Instagram) Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Tips for CPAs
In the world of social media, new applications come and go every day. With all the different sites and apps out there, it can be hard to figure out which ones to use and how to use them. Instagram has taken the social world by storm and created a footprint that rivals big names like Facebook and Twitter.
When Instagram launched in 2010, it was unclear how successful it was going to be. In December of 2014, Instagram announced that its worldwide user base passed 300 million accounts, putting it ahead of Twitter and proving that it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s especially popular with Millennials, with 53% of people aged 18 – 29 using it every day.
With an interactive community and a strong visual backbone, Instagram offers a place for people to show a creative side of their life; a place where filters and images are more important than the text provided with it. Professionals in the workplace use it to create a more personal branding for themselves, firms use it to humanize a branding. But how should one begin to tackle this creative atmosphere? Here are some tips on how to start and continue your presence on Instagram.
- Choose a good username. Make sure your username is unique to you without being overwhelming. If you can’t verbally tell someone your username without incorporating a punctuation mark and seven different numbers, you need to edit it. This is your chance to brand yourself and your page, so make sure it fits.
- Update your bio. This is the place to add a short bio about yourself and a link to a website. Instagram doesn’t allow links with posts, so the link placed here is what will drive users to your site. This is the first thing people will see when they come to your account so be sure to make a good first impression.
- Use hashtags (but not too many.) Hashtags are the best way to stay relevant within your field. Use different tools, such as Top-Hashtags, to find out what hashtags are trending. Just type in a search term such as “accounting” or “tax” and it will provide you with a list. Try to stick with two or three hashtags, or else you could appear desperate for likes. Hashtags are especially popular with events. If you are attending a conference, do some research to find a hashtag related with it. Post pictures and include the hashtag or follow it to see other images from users.
- Interact with your followers. As with any social media platform, the most important aspect is interaction. If someone comments on your picture, thank them. If someone follows you that is within your field, follow them back. If you fail to interact with people, they will fail to interact with you.
- Post relevant pictures. Instagram is a place to create your own personal brand, so make sure you’re creating the right one. Pictures should maintain the branding you’ve created on other social media sites and remain professional.
- Follow the right accounts. You may be surprised at how many relevant accounts there are on Instagram. State societies, firms and the AICPA all frequent this platform. Run a quick search on the app of different groups you are a part of and see what’s out there.
Starting a new social media account takes patience but will allow you to connect with other people in new and different ways. Instagram allows you to connect through photos and show who you are as a person and your personal brand. Does your firm have an Instagram account? Share a link in the comments!
Elizabeth Rock, Specialist - Social Media and Member Engagement, American Institute of CPAs. Liz is responsible for managing and developing content across the AICPA social media channels in addition to monitoring the AICPA brand in the social space.
Smartphone image via Shutterstock.