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The One Question You Need to Ask Before Your Business Joins Instagram
By: Christine Geraci
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If your business is still scratching its proverbial head about this whole Instagram thing, the picture platform wants you to visit this blog.
"Instagram For Business" is Instagram's newly launched attempt to help more brands and businesses join the Instagram community. The blog aims to impart tips, best practices, and case studies of the most popular brands on Instagram. 
We've talked before about how brands can build community with photos, and we even pointed you to Instagram's help center for some tips. But the move to launch a business-centric blog on the topic means Instagram is much more serious about bringing more entities, rather than people, into the fold. And with good reason: About 40% of the brands listed on Interbrand's top 100 have Instagram followings. 
Some might see this as excuse enough to run out and set up an Instagram account STAT. But before you do that, we think you need to back up and ask a very important question:
Is my business ready for this? 
Using a photo-sharing app like Instagram requires both cultural and tactical preparation. 
The cultural: Your staff — at least some of them — must understand the value in telling the story of your company with photos. If you have someone in charge of your social media accounts, you must make sure your staff understands that the person must do his or her job around them while they work. Even better: They must understand the value of participating in the effort themselves. A meeting on the topic is a must. Training on the topic is ideal. 
The tactical: Do your employees have mobile devices? At the very least, does the person managing your social media accounts have a smartphone or tablet? Is it a personal device or is it company-issued? Do they know how to use it? Are they familiar with how Instagram works? Do they know how to properly shoot and crop photos on a mobile device? Answer these questions ASAP, and then train accordingly.
If it makes sense for your business to join Instagram, make sure it "does" Instagram right. That's more important than beating other businesses to the party.
If your business uses Instagram, how has the experience been so far? 

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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