Is Instagram Good For Business?
Have you considered creating a brand profile on Instagram to make your brand visible to a new market, or to enhance your existing target market?
A recent study conducted by Simply Measured earlier this year found 59 percent of the world’s top brands are now active on Instagram.
Getting started on Instagram is fairly straightforward. Simply sign up for an account (e.g., use the same name as your Twitter handle), add a profile photo (e.g., brand logo) and a link to your website, connect your account to Facebook and let your followers know they can follow you there.
It’s what to do next that presents a difficulty for many brands.
Debbie Hemley of Social Media Examiner provides tips and brand examples for capitalising on a business presence on Instagram.
One of the key criteria is that you have someone within the business to dedicate their time and passion. At Hall of Fame Marketing, we think businesses should manage this space themselves and not outsource your Instagram account. It allows for more spontaneity and engagement with someone dedicated to the business and hands on. Entrust your Instagram presence to someone in the organssation who understands how to align images with the interests of your target customer.
Balance Fun Images With Pictures From Your Business
Tell a story with the images. Have a healthy balance of fun images and business pictures.
Cultivate a Following
Connect your Facebook account, use relevant, popular hashtags, engage by following others and liking their photos.
Cross-post selected images to your Facebook page with a hashtag that aligns with your campaign or brand image to help people who don’t know you’re on Instagram to find you there.
Instagram’s recent Video on Instagram has given Twitter’s Vine a serious competitor to contend with. Most notably 15-second, filter-enabled, editable video functionality compared to Vine’s 6.5 seconds.
Embed Instagram Video in Your Blog or Website
Instagram has an embed feature for its desktop web browser version. Mike Gingerich provides helpful instructions, in addition to examples for when and how to use Instagram videos.
Since you never know who will see your shares on a social networking platform, embed your Instagram video in your blog or website to extend the reach of your content.
Follow Your Followers Back
The people you follow on social networking platforms make all the difference in the world. Curiously, many brands on Instagram (some with very large followings) don’t follow back.
To create strategic relationships on Instagram, find the brands and people you enjoy and can learn from in your followers and follow them back.
Generate a Flexible Posting Plan
You don’t need to post on Instagram every day. The ‘feed speed’ on Instagram is still mostly laid back. If you start posting a lot, you might saturate your followers’ feeds, and you don’t want to force yourself into the noise too often. Decide what you have ready to post and create a schedule to help you remember what to post when and to track what is working once you get going.”
Harness the Power of Apps
There are apps that let users print images, search tags and keywords, subscribe to Instagram profiles via email, download all Instagram photos in a single archive folder, plus many more.
Use these apps to make Instagram a significant part of your social media marketing strategy.
Inspire Potential Customers
Post photos that are relevant to your brand and potential customers.
Juxtapose Use of Filter Types and No-Filter Images
Instagram provides a number of filters to change the look and feel of your photos.
Shake things up a little every now and then, and try out a new filter or go the no-filter route.
Kickstart Instagram Efforts With a Change in Perspective
Don’t sell – tell (a story)
- Share a distinctive view of the world
- Cultivate a unique visual sense
- Capture things that are interesting to the brand and to the core target customer
- Train your eye to focus on what makes a great, provocative, engaging image
Leverage Photo Contests on Instagram With Facebook
Businesses can host photo contests on Instagram using hashtags to organise submissions and an RSS feed to follow along with new photos as they’re added.
Market Your Brand Using Trends
Find a trending hashtag that’s relevant to your marketing strategy and participate with images from your brand.
Network on Instagram
- Engage—like others’ photos and leave comments
- Follow your already established followers from other social media platforms
- Include your hashtags—if your brand uses specific hashtags on Twitter or Google+, use them on Instagram as well
Instagram profiles—like their counterparts on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking platforms—need to include brand information in specific ways (e.g., maximum number of characters, specific image sizes, attention to branding).
Promote Your Business on Both Facebook and Instagram
Instagram and Facebook as a duo offer brands a unique opportunity for promotion. Capitalise on Facebook’s integration of Instagram to reach a wider audience.
Quantify and Qualify
Want to know how your brand is doing on Instagram? There are image analytics tools that will provide detailed insights.
Use image analytics to identify images and video that resonate with your fans and followers.
Deliver perks to your followers so they will make viewing your feed content a priority.
Showcase Photos of Employees
Showing your employees at work not only gives a behind-the-scenes view of your company, it’s also a way to celebrate staff and show them how much they’re valued. Acknowledge staff members’ skill sets, successes and milestones on Instagram.
Treat Followers to a Visual Experience
Find a creative way to showcase the use of your company’s products and services.
Use Industry-Related Hashtags
If you’re at an event or location that’s designated by a hashtag (something like #smmw13), add it to your photos so that event coordinators and other attendees can find them.
Track the relevance of your Instagram hashtags with Nitrogram, the Instagram analytics and engagement platform that provides key metrics on hashtags including contributors, content, engagement and context.
Video Important Brand Moments
Capture your company’s important moments in 15-second videos and share them with your followers so they feel included.
Widen Your Exposure to Other Brands
It’s good practice to follow other brands on Instagram. Statigram is a great tool for finding brands and hashtags that relate to your brand. Simply enter the brand name or hashtag into the search box and click Search.
Search for businesses and industry-related keywords on Statigram. Use this tool to find, follow and research your competitors on Instagram.
eXpose Something New
Use Instagram to give your followers a first look at or sneak preview of an event, a product or news feature.
Have a visual party and some fun with your brand on instagram.Blog and tagged Facebook Marketing Bendigo, Social Media Marketing