With 300 million users, by now everyone has at least some knowledge of Instagram; a popular mobile application that enables users to take and post pictures. What is not as well known is that it has great potential for businesses. Instagram can be a powerful tool.
How Can Instagram Benefit a Business?
With the rise of social media, consumers expect interaction, but they also want to know more about the company’s inner-workings. Instagram allows businesses to engage with potential customers in fun, new ways by creating a visual connection.
Instagram can add to a business both directly and indirectly. Some companies use Instagram as their primary sales platform. For companies that sell physical items, they can use their product line as the main focus of the posts.
Other companies use Instagram to create brand awareness. If you’re selling a service, this is the perfect platform for you to create a behind the scenes look into your company. Think about posting photos of charity work, the latest projects, or something as simple as an early morning coffee with the team.
How does a Business Utilize an Effective Instagram Account?
For the profile, choose a name as close to the business name as possible. Upload the company logo as the profile picture. Instagram allows users to add a tagline. Try to keep it short and simple.
Now for the content! Publish GOOD pictures with relevant hashtags. The pictures posted represent the company, product, and the brand. Hashtags attract a wider audience and make your posts searchable – but don’t overload your posts with hashtags. Research indicates that five is the magic number for hashtags.
As an added bonus, Instagram added the capability for users to upload 15-second videos. What can you show in 15 seconds? Fifteen second videos is just enough time to provide a time-lapse creation of a product, the product in action, and peeks behind the scenes of the company.
Instagram is all about telling the story of a company. This is a visually creative way for customers to remember, and create a connection with, the brand.
Avoid spamming. Posting too much during the day can get annoying.
Building Growth in an Instagram account
The key to social media platforms for businesses is to cross promote. Because Instagram easily integrates with other social media, think of it as a way to enhance an online presence. Integrate the Instagram profile with Facebook, Twitter, and any other sites you are using, so each time a photo is shared, it appears across all feeds. Encourage users on other sites to follow all of your profiles. The more fans you have, the more likely you are to attract a larger audience.
Employ a professional that specializes in Instagram. Companies pay these Instagrammers to curate the gallery; take creative shots of their products and services. Typically, fees are charged per post, depending on engagement level and user following.
Consider using Instagram for a giveaway. Instagram competitions increase visibility, build brand awareness, and loyalty.
Contests are a great way to get a boost in followers. Choose a worthwhile prize and notify your followers how to enter the contest (typically a hashtag.) The prize doesn’t need to be something expensive.
Finally, add a link to the company homepage to direct people directly to your website.
A few of the current top brands using Instagram: