Quickly rising in the ranks of social media is Instagram, an Internet-based program that allows people to share pictures with others for free. Users upload pictures they take from their iPhones and Android devices onto the Internet using the Instagram app. These pictures can be linked to Facebook and Twitter, as well as other networks such as blogs. Users can filter their photos through a variety of artistic looks such as sepia, black and white, and other options. As a marketing medium, Instagram creates some unique opportunities for businesses that want a way to connect visually with their customers. But is Instagram right for your business?
Using Instagram for Marketing
Instagram has huge potential for marketing. One main reason for this is that you can both show and tell about your product and company. Did your company building just get a facelift? Instagram it. Did you just launch a new product? Instagram it.
Instagram helps build credibility because you’re not just telling people about something, you’re giving them visual proof of it. It’s also great for building positive press. The more people that follow you and “like” your photos, the more people will see your product and see that other people like your product also. It makes your company seem more down-to-earth and relatable.
Obviously, not every business is going to benefit from using Instagram. For instance, an accounting company won’t have much use for taking creative shots of their number systems, however, companies with consumer-based products can benefit greatly.
Again, this makes your company much more human and engaging. The more that you can simply get people to “like” you as a brand, as a company, the more likely it is that they will want to do business with you. Signing up for Instagram is simple too!
Getting Started with Instagram
- Once you’ve signed up for Instagram, choose a username (your business or brand name) and password, then choose a profile picture (your brand logo).
- Once your account is created add a link to your website for your bio. This allows anyone viewing your profile to click on the link to go straight to your website. In your bio, make sure to tell viewers the industry you are in as well as services you provide.
- Complete your profile with all the information customers might need to find you, and do business with you.
More Tips for Using Instagram
- Video. Instagram recently added video in addition to still photos. Posting a video is exactly like posting a photo from your gallery. Once you select a chosen video you can trim it down to your favorite parts. Square-Crop is also an option for videos so you can keep everything front and center. These new 15-second videos are a great way to show how your product works and inform users in a different way.
- Hashtags. Adding hashtags to posts is another great way to make your photos known. Instagram has a feature where a user can look up a hashtag in order to find something. A hashtag is a type of label used on social media or other blogging services that makes it easier for users to find messages and pictures with a specific theme of content. Users create and use hashtags by placing the hash character “#” in front of a word or un-spaced phrase. Searching for that hashtag will then present each photo or message that has been tagged with it. Using hashtags helps people who don’t know you’re on Instagram find out that you are there. If you hashtag your business name to all of your posts, someone could look up your hashtag and find all of your content.
- Frequency of Postings. Posting on Instagram every day is not necessary. Everything you post will show up on your followers’ feed. If you post too much it might come up as spam to them, leading to an “unfollow”. Creating a schedule to help you remember what and when to post can help you track what is working for you. If schedules don’t seem to work, try and post important events and recent projects.
- Editing Apps. Many editing apps include features such as filters and cropping. With a new update, Instagram includes many more editing features. These tools can be good to use in some cases, and others not. For business purposes filters and editing apps are not encouraged. If you are trying to attract customers to buy a product, using a filter is not the way to go. Using a filter on your product will show potential customers an edited picture, not what the product actually looks like. Cropping apps could be encouraged for business purposes, though. Instagram only works with square pictures, so if your photo is being cropped to the point where it is being cut off, an editing app is a good solution. Some editing apps will allow you to put a border on your picture so you can still post it and see the entire thing.
Following other people allows them to notice you, and possibly receive a follow back. Engage with other users and “like” and leave comments on their content too. Follow your already established followers and see the kind of viewers that are interested in you. For more help with your social media marketing, give us a call.