What is Instagram?
“Instagram is a tool to tell your brand’s story in a way that is surrounded by other beautiful content in a creative and inspiring environment. Instagram is not only shaping the way people interact with each other, but the way people interact with brands and companies.”-Instagram
Instagram made waves in 2010 as a mobile image sharing network and has been a force to be reckoned with ever since. With the ability to make any picture seem more appealing with a little imagery and filter magic, they quickly surpassed the amount of daily Twitter users by almost 500,000, with 5 million images uploaded daily. With the continually growing usage, one question still remains: Why are many businesses still not taking advantage of this highly visual (and FREE) way to market their brand?
Make it Count
The primary protest is that Instagram is not relevant to business and their customers: False. Here are a few ways to relate to current and new customers via Instagram.
- Show your product. Yes, your customers have probably already seen your product but have they actually looked at it? Showing an image from different perspectives can lead your customers to see your product in a way they never thought possible.
- Process. There is an increasing awareness of how products are being made, especially since the green movement. Knowing where your product came from is powerful knowledge to the consumer.
- Go behind the scenes. Showing processes that not everyone gets to participate in makes the consumer feel like they are a part of the action (very VIP like). Customer service can be incorporated by facilitating user conversations or answering consumer questions via the comment feature.
- Demonstrate what your product can do. Some consumers have a limited imagination. Let the images of your products open the floodgates. You can get users to your website from Instagram by including your URL in the picture’s caption. Your picture is a call to action in and of itself.
- A day in the life. Show off office functions, daily operations, etc. to create a positive image of your company in the consumer’s mind. Hashtags are a tool that if used correctly, can allow you to reach more people and help consumers further identify with your brand. Establishing a specific hashtag to your brand will also allow you to see what others are saying and provide brand consistency.
- Take your customers on the road. Document trade shows, road trips, and off site meetings. Show followers there is always something new and exciting around the corner with your company.
- Share quotes and inspiration. These should line up with your business’ values and mission statement. Happy companies attract happy people!
- Create competitions. Gain new followers and customers by creating competitions or giveaways. Have customers post unique pictures of your product, giveaway free stuff, or get creative. This will engage new customers and create buzz about your brand.
A picture is worth a thousand words. So imagine the messages you can convey with a rock solid Instagram profile. For examples, be sure to look at Starbuck’s and Nike’s Instagram, as they are doing everything right. Check back for more information on how to grow your business through digital space via our blog.