Instagram is the photo editing and sharing app that has expanded from 15 to over 80 million users since Facebook’s bid to acquire it for $1 billion back in April of 2012. It’s a simple, FREE mobile app that allows you share photos with not only your connections in Instagram, but also your Twitter Followers, Facebook Fans, and visitors to your website.
There’s no doubt about it, Instagram has taken social media by storm, but how can something that most people use to note their perfect omelette, beautiful sunset, or favorite piece of artwork be useful to your business?
By telling stories about your product or service without saying a word.
A few images that personify your brand or a person using your product and sharing those images can be the most effective way to tell your story. With Instagram there are no advertisements to distract the viewer from seeing just your photo. It doesn’t matter how compelling your copy is – a quick glance at an impactful image can tell so much more.
When you are using Instagram it’s easy for users to connect with your business. It allows you to:
- Connect with customers on a more personal level by engaging with them in their daily lives.
- Establish yourself as a resource for information and/or products.
- Tell your brand story and how it relates to your end users.
- Give users a place where their rave reviews or problems are heard.
- Showcase your successes.
For example, say you are a custom jewelry designer looking to generate business in your custom wedding line. Photos of your painstaking process behind the scenes not only validate your work, but can help you connect with your buyer as they see your process. Loading these photos directly to your company website can generate immediate interest and followers to your feed.
For a larger company, such as a regional grocery store chain, showcasing the latest gourmet food in your deli case or the newest addition to your greek yogurt shelf can generate new foot traffic. With this increase in interest in your products will come more of your customers sharing photos of recipes created with your products or interacting with some of your bigger brands.
If your business is in the service industry, the sky really IS the limit on how Instagram can help you. Customers sharing great food, superior service, or your unique niche can really generate business as your photos show the fun and fabulous interaction they have with your brand. Instagram users love to share. Capitalize on their impulse to show off their great experience with YOU!
There’s so much more to Instagram than just photo sharing. Remember:
- Use hashtags. Just like on Twitter, those hashtags are going to bring in the views, often from those who might not ordinarily be able to find you.
- You might also use Instagram to highlight new ways to use your product or service. Give step-by-step instructions on how it’s done or show people with your product in fun places.
- Use editing apps. Instagram is even more fun when you use other photo editing apps to maximize the potential. Camera+, Hipstamatic, 360, iPhoto, and similar apps let you do even more with your images and stand out in the sea of photos.
- Integrate Instagram photos to your website. You can use it to take and filter photos and then place them on your website.
Your photos should always be relevant to your product or brand…and don’t overpost. Funny, goofy, or overly personal photos should be saved for your Facebook account, or maybe not posted at all. It’s easy to think something is relevant in the moment – before posting to your feed consider the how the photo ties in to your message or service.
Instagram makes it easy, REALLY easy to use their service for business. They blog about it, archive the blogs and make them easy to access. PLUS they aren’t shy about tooting their own horn…they love helping others. Here’s the link to their blog and business information:
Want more information? Ask the experts. Ask Holland. Let us put our social media expertise to work for you. Call Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001 or visit HollandAdvertising.com.