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Want Your Business To Rock Instagram? 7 Helpful Tips To Get You Started

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Facebook logoEditor’s Note: With #MyStartupStory, Facebook and Youth Ki Awaaz are coming together to help you scale your business. Share your startup story and write to us if you want to host a workshop in your college!

From small markets to malls to e-commerce websites – there are many opportunities to tap into for both a seller and a buyer. And with the internet, the ease of doing business has gone beyond borders. Joining this league of market opportunity is – Instagram! The photo sharing app has a lot of potential – almost 600 million people waiting to be your prospective customer base. If done right, Instagram can do wonders for your business and help you build a loyal community.

Fun Fact: The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words and it takes just two-tenths of a second for someone to form an opinion on your brand online.This means that using a platform like Instagram creates a faster connect with the user.

With the idea to help students and young entrepreneurs learn how to build their business rapidly through these platforms, Facebook and Youth Ki Awaaz are organising #MyStartupStory workshops across colleges in India. A workshop on using Instagram for business was organised at Amity University on March 22, 2017.

Shared at the workshop, here are 7 ways to make sure your business slays it on Instagram, in terms of both engagement and lead generation:

1. Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

Individuality and discoverability are the hardest to crack for a brand on social media. It is extremely crucial to make a great first impression with your Instagram profile and bio. This impression will determine if the potential customer will decide to stick longer on your profile, scroll through your feed, maybe check out the website link in your bio, and maybe even end up following you. The tone and the content of your bio has a huge role to play in attracting your target audience.

2. I see you looking, like what you see?

By the virtue of being a visual platform, your brand colors, visual style, color palette, aesthetics, and your product at the heart of it – all need to stand out for the user. Nearly 50% people follow businesses on Instagram.

Also, building the human connect between your brand and your customers can give you extra mileage. Photos on the lines of ‘Behind-The-Scenes’ and ‘Work-In-Progress’ give a more human feel.

3. I’m gonna getcha; it’s a matter of fact

Now that you have your profile and photos sorted – it’s all about taking things to the next level. The golden rule: Post consistently and timely. The not-so-golden-rule – There is no such thing as the ‘best time to post for maximum engagement’. The level and timing of engagement largely depend on the nature of the content, the way it’s packaged, the timeliness of the content and way it appeals to the audience. Initially, a lot of trial and error will go into figuring what’s the ‘best timing’ for YOU and what sort of content your audience identifies with. And there is a lot more than timing that can help you grow your audience – understanding user behaviour. Going by the basics – start by keeping a track of what kind of posts receive the best response, what these responses look like, at what time these posts get the best response and how you can make these posts more engaging.

4. It’s only words and words are all I have

People buy experiences and not just products/services. If you were to sell me a bag, there are two ways to do it. One would be to simply say – here is a bag that is eco-friendly and ergonomically just what my back needs and this is the price. The second way is to tell me a story about how you stumbled upon your business idea, the problem your product aims to solve and how your brand’s values resonate with me at a personal level. Bottom line – go beyond product description to build that brand affinity and recall.

Now content is a tricky thing. How much is too much? Caption your pictures CAREFULLY on Instagram – be crisp, concise and compelling.

5. I got 99 problems, but analytics ain’t one!

Like Facebook Insights, Instagram now can also help you with analytics. Once you switch to a business profile – you shall be blessed with a number of features and tools that give you an insight into your audience’s  gender, age-range, geography, and most responsive hours on specific days. This can be a huge value addition in terms of understanding who your target audience is, where your presence is the most and how you can leverage the optimal time of engagement. This data is also extremely helpful if you want to tailor Instagram Ads for maximum conversion.

6. Love me like you do

With great numbers comes great responsibility. It’s imperative that while building your community, you build quality engagement as well. The key to building engagement is recognizing your community and interacting with them – and the possibilities to do that are endless. From hosting contests and hashtag projects – to acknowledging your users who in turn can become mini influencers for your brand –  try and build a sense of relatability with your audience that gives them a rewarding experience of associating with you!

7. They see me rollin’!

They will surely see you rolling if you break the visual monotony every once in a while. Instagram has some really uber cool features that can add a bit of quirkiness to your content – from stories to Boomerangs, to Hyperlapse. Tap into them and see how your brand messaging can make use of these tools.

Salted Caramel Tart day in the #Le15Kitchen today! ? #MadeWithLove

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Nearly 50% people follow businesses on Instagram. Social media platforms can help you scale your branding and marketing efforts immensely.

If you have a startup, or a business idea, or a hobby, passion or idea that you would like to turn into a business – share your thoughts and journey with us here. If you would like us to organise a workshop at your college, write to us at

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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