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Wyoming Business Tips for Aug. 7-13

July 29, 2016

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Christina Sanchez Hebert, guest columnist, Send It! Communications LLC

“How can I use the social media platform Instagram to boost my retail sales?” Stephanie, Torrington

Instagram (IG) has more than 300 million active users visiting the site each month, with more than 80 percent logging in every day.

With such a large and active audience, retailers everywhere can harness this attention to drive brand recognition and sales.

When it comes to Instagram marketing, the power of pictures engages your target market. Here are a few tips to support successful Instagram marketing:

-- Consistency/posting regularly: Generally, at least once each day, but not more than three times daily, is key to keep followers engaged. Abandoning your followers may not cause them to “unfollow” you, but it does cause them to forget about your brand -- the exact opposite of why you are on social media to begin with.

Your posts also should be consistent in their tone -- decide on which story you would like to tell with your IG, and stick to it.

-- #Hashtags: Hashtags are like key words to make your company and brand easy to find. Hashtags help your company get discovered by your targeted market. Knowing and using trending hashtags that are relevant to what you are posting is key to attracting more attention and more followers.

-- Engage: Instagram is a platform built on consumption and engagement. Posting high-quality official product photos is important to build a message of a quality brand and product, but candid photos are often what gain the most attention.

People love to see “behind-the-scenes” photos of things like unpacking new inventory or seeing products made, as well as team meetings, customer interactions, and even simple shots of the view from your location or new product displays. Find ways to tell your brand’s story that flow together and make your followers feel like they really know who you are and what you represent.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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