The Marketing Potential of Instagram: Part One

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At one time or another, you’ve heard of Instagram. This photo and video sharing app is a great way to connect with your socially engaged market. There are over 130 MILLION Instagram users and 1 BILLION photos are liked daily. Let that sink in for a moment………

1 BILLION photos are liked every single day on Instagram. And when you use Instagram marketing in the right ways, you could have an instant marketing (sometimes viral) success. Use instagram to visually tell the story of your company or brand, plus instantly engage with your followers no matter where they are. Whether you are new to Instagram, curious about its potential or you’ve gotten started, but need a little guidance, here is a little insight into Instagram for business.

Getting Started

This first tip is a given, but sign up! Using the email of your choice, sign up for your free profile. Choose a username that is recognizable for your business name or brand. Complete your profile with a recognizable image, such as your logo and add a short bio about your company plus a link to your website. Don’t forget to link your Instagram account with your Facebook. Connecting these two powerful social media tools will only boost your marketing potential.

Strategize

Sure it’s easy to snap photos and share them to Instagram, but from a company stand point, it is important to have a brand specific strategy. Think of it as a unique way to share how your company actually sees the world and share that perspective. Be creative. Be visual. This gives your company a personal feel allowing your target market to feel like they have a behind the scenes insight.

Hashtags

Hashtags are a way for users to find you through their mobile searches. Choosing the right hashtags can sometimes be a little bit of trial and error. You will learn as you start to use your Instagram what hashtags work for you. Don’t be afraid to use several with each image. After all, it only increases the likelihood of your target audience finding you. Unlike Twitter, you are not limited by character count. Try to use brand specific hashtags. If you’re launching a special promotion or photo contest, you can create your own. Also, use trend specific hashtags. If you spot a trend that is fitting with your company or brand, then use it!

Engage

Focus on engaging your customers or target audience by posting with them in mind and focusing on lifestyle. Like your followers’ photos and videos. This show’s your audience that you are paying attention to them. Comment on your followers’ posts. This ties in to adding a personal feel to your company. It’s a great and easy way to engage. Also, it’s important to respond to all comments on your posts; especially if it is a question regarding your company. And don’t forget to ask questions about your company, products, brands or ideas. You may be surprised by the responses!

Be Creative

Instagram has great, simple to use tools to enhance your photos and videos. Take advantage of all of the filters offered by Instagram to turn a plain photo to attention grabbing! Also, have fun by experimenting with angles and lighting. You can also upload fifteen second videos. To get some ideas, start by following other companies on Instagram. Companies like Starbucks, Target, Nike, Sharpie (too name a few) have mastered the use of  Instagram.

Always Improve

As you begin your Instagram journey, remember that there is a learning curve. Always work toward the improvement of your Instagram routine. What works for one company, may not work for another. You’ll discover how many times you should post per day, what time of day works best, what hashtags are fitting, etc. The possibilities are endless in the Instagram world, so keep up with the trends and keep on learning.

If you do use Instagram for your business, we want to hear about it! Next week, we will discuss Instagram marketing campaigns and the ways that you can target through paid advertising.

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