|NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: In this photo illustration, the photo-sharing app Instagram fan page is seen on the Facebook website on the Apple Safari web browser on April 9, 2012 in New York City. Facebook Inc. is acquiring photo-sharing app Instagram for approx. $1 billion. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)|
Photo sharing has been given a major social upgrade thanks to introduction of Instagram. The Instagram platform has become hugely popular with more than 80 million users, who enjoy altering their photos with special effects and cool filters before sharing them with friends and followers.
Businesses can start using this new type social media as a way to market their company and build up a following. People love strong visual images, so posting pictures of products and even employees will make them feel closer to you. This type of marketing is what helps forge brand loyalty.
So how can your business use Instagram for marketing? Here are some examples:
In Instagram's latest update, users now have the option to tag a specific location with their images, which are saved to a personal photo map. These can be shared with your followers.
This is great if you have a physical location or even if you travel around the city, state or country. If you have booths at local craft fairs or other vendor events, then you can snap a photo and tag your location to let your followers know where you can be found.
The whole idea behind social media is sharing. Your fans and followers are giving you a chance to reach them on a more personal level so make sure you are giving them the same. Take pictures of the staff in the office. Snap shots of upcoming products to give them a sneak peak. If you're on the road, take some pictures along the way. Give followers a real sense of how things are behind the scenes to help them feel like a part of the brand.
If you use Twitter, you know how effective hashtags can be at sharing. You can use the same on your Instagram photos. Use hash tags that relate to your business or industry to make it easy for people to find you. For instance, if you make jewelry, you can use hashtags like #rings, #customjewlery, or #necklaces. Look up popular hashtags that are being used by similar brands and add them to your images.
Encourage User Images
People who are already using your products should be encouraged to snap a photo of themselves using it and tag it with one of your hash tags. This will show people how to use your products and show how many people are happy with your company.
People love a chance to win prizes and using Instagram to hold a photo contest is an exciting way to give them what they want. You can ask fans to send in a picture of them using your product and then choose a winner from among them. You could also go a different route by asking them to send in a picture that demonstrates something more abstract, like what represents summer to them.
There are any number of ways to get creative and get more followers by holding a contest using Instagram. Your followers will share with their friends who will also want to join in the fun.
Market Your Events
If you are going to be at a trade show or convention, take pictures and tag your location to let your followers know what is going on for your business. If you are holding a big sale, snap a shot of your sales flyer for your followers to see. This is also a good way to make your followers feel more special because you can offer them a VIP discount that only Instagram users can get. Get creative with them!
Instagram was acquired by Facebook for about $1 billion. That is a sure sign that this is an important part of social media. When you implement it in your marketing strategy, it is one more important tool to have.
People love getting involved and sharing with the businesses they love. Take part in this era of sharing and you can broaden your reach and strengthen your branding with a few snaps of the camera.
Are you signed up with Instagram yet? What are you doing to market your business with the latest social app?