Every new social media site that comes along manages to launch a new wave of questions about how to best utilize it for your business. Instagram blew up big time in 2012. Just like when businesses were still fumbling around Facebook when they should have been pounding away on Twitter, a lot of companies are missing their opportunity to put Instagram to use. Let’s take a look at how to use Instagram for your business.
More than anything, a business needs to create distinctive hashtags to promote its campaigns. These hashtags don’t just allow you to mark your virtual territory. They also signal to your followers how they, too, can participate. Every campaign you launch needs to have a strong hashtag that ties it together.
One thing a business should try to remember is that social media engagement is about building relationships with an existing community. These followers love a product or service. Sometimes, they just love the company itself. In the fight for attention in the social media space, these followers are your foot soldiers.
One of the best forms of engagement on Instagram is peeling back the fog between the consumer and the brand. For example, Southwest Airlines did a series of photos with the hastag #photoswalk. The series showed the inner workings of the company, such as factory lines where new planes are detailed.
With a group of loyal followers, product photos never get old. Also, with Instagram, pushing the product itself is a lot softer and easier to accomplish than on Twitter. On Twitter, you’re constantly asking followers to click this or that to see photos and product descriptions. Since Instagram is visually driven, photos are always right up front. There’s no need to be pushy, because someone on your company’s Instagram feed is already opting-in to the visual experience.
Sephora, a cosmetics company, does an astonishingly product-heavy Instagram feed. Sephora sells a lot of nail products. For that consumer demographic, Instagram photos of great nail products and ideas for their usage are pure heroin. If you have a product with a strong visual element, Instagram is practically tailor made for your business.
More than any generation in history, young mobile phone users today are aware of the past. They are interested in what they see as the pre-technological past, particularly the world before the internet and cable television. There is immense social media play to be had from hitting this chord.
In its #photoswalk campaign Southwest also dug out old images from the 1970s. They posted these images together with modern images. The effect was to show how different the world has become. The company’s main control photos were particularly interesting. The 2013 photos feature a myriad of screens tracking every plane in the air. The 1970s photos show a desk. The fashion section is also quite appealing to a younger generation in love with everything retro.
If your business does charity work, document it on Instagram. Yes, we do charity work for its own sake. But, businesses also do charity work because it is a key part of building a brand. Consumer need to know a company cares. Well? Take photos of everything and prove it!
Instagram delivers a distinctive experience compared to other social media sites. It is so photo heavy that everything becomes a visual with a caption. Embrace that trend. Everyone in your business is walking around with a smartphone. Turn them loose as your own internal visual journalists and bloggers. The results will surprise you.
This article was submitted by Lewis Jacobs, an avid blogger and tech enthusiast. He enjoys fixing computers and writing about internet trends. Currently he is writing about clear and many other internet providers.