Ever since its release 3 years ago, Instagram has managed to nab over 100 million active users. Its popularity didn’t only win the addiction of personal users. Even businesses have taken a bite off the apple.
If you’re a social media marketer who hasn’t integrated Instagram into your plan, then it’s high time you do.
Here are some of the best ways to use it to your business advantage.
1. Strategize How You Will Present Your Brand
Unlike personal users who simply snap and upload photos of their feet on the beach, you should carefully strategize how you will convey your brand creatively. Think of the best way to present your products/services that your market will find interesting, engaging and of course, likable.
The Boston Celtics have mastered their Instagram strategy. They go beyond shots from the game by showing the world behind the scenes, how the team lives up to its Boston roots and Irish luck. Warby Parker is an eyewear brand that shows off their products never in a catalogue feel. Look them up and see how creative they get with a pair of glasses.
2. Create a Location Base for Your Photos
Another strategy is for you to add your business location. Much like registering your website into Google Maps as well as Yahoo! and Bing directories, it’s important that you add your location when you post photos so you will be found more easily.
Go to Foursquare and add your business location there. Say you own a humble cupcake place down the street. Take snapshots of your decadent cupcakes and add your location to the photomap. This strategy can help increase brand awareness as well as for you to see who else is checking into your place.
3. Hold Contests and Promotions
Starbucks is known for their massive engagement on Instagram. A lot of their photos are fan-submitted, that’s why their market always looks forward to what the brand has in mind next.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to do the same. Holding contests not only gets your customers engaged. It also stands as a chance for you to introduce any new products/services you want to put out there— without being too salesy.
Let’s take the cupcake business again. Ask your fan base to post a photo of them with your cupcakes. Those that have the most creative shots will win say a gift certificate or a week supply of free cupcakes. A contest as simple as that will get your market going and at the same time, heighten your brand’s exposure.
4. Empower Your Use of Hashtags
We’ve all seen how certain Instagram users abuse hashtags not only on Twitter but more so on Instagram. This is the last thing you should do as a business— bombarding one post with over 10 hashtags.
As a business, you need to regard hashtags as a way to set you apart from the rest. By all means, incorporate your brand name as hashtag for your every post. When conducting contests, have your market use the same hashtag as well.
Apart from that, get in on the worldwide trends. Throw back Thursdays or “#tbt” is one of the most popular hashtags nowadays. Why not show a photo of your business just starting out or even some baby photos of your employees? Apart from the “aww” factor, this also tells your market that you can be light and fun too.
5. Make Use of the Repost App
Apps like InstaRepost is one tool you can use to repost photos taken by your followers. This is a great way to show gratitude for the support your market is giving. Moreover, this is to show the rest of your niche that you have a good fan base online.
With this, you’re able to form a personal and better relationship with your market— which is critical if you want to stay relevant online.
Instagram has so many benefits to offer businesses the world over. Not only is it a free and easy app to start with. It also entails an instant connection to your market as well as an opportunity to present your brand in a more creative way.
by Nicole Samonte