Articles in the Instagram Category

March 22 2013

5 tips for using Instagram for Business

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Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger loved playing around with cameras when they were kids, and they came up with the ‘Instagram’ name from a mixture of using the concept of an instant camera, with the way they compared a picture to an old telegram that was sent over a wire to others.  Thus the name Instagram.  Their concept though simple, has transformed the photo taking and photo sharing world.

Taken directly from the Instagram FAQ page, this is how the two Stanford grads describe what Instagram was created for: “Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, and then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever. We’re building Instagram to allow you to experience moments in your friends’ lives through pictures as they happen. We imagine a world more connected through photos.”

Over the last few years, millions of users later, after being acquired by Facebook, after launching IOS and Android apps, and even after a desktop version, the use of Instagram by companies has skyrocketed.  It’s not just for personal use any longer either.  Instagram has become the perfect opportunity for brands and business to get quick, instant messages and photos to their target audience in a very rich, visual manner.

Images are being used more and more within business social media marketing strategies.  Here are a few ways to use Instagram to market your business:

  1. Take advantage of the desktop version and set up a Profile that gives your audience a better insight into your company.  The desktop version is bigger, therefore more visual and robust, so take advantage of the increased real estate and tell a story with the images.
  2. Create engagement with photo contests.  Contests are easy to create on Instagram.  Companies can ask users to incorporate a specific hashtag (#) for the contest, so after uploading their pictures, they can tag it with that hashtag.  That way, it’s easy to search through pictures, ask other followers to vote for their favorite pictures, and pick a winner.
  3. Reward followers with promo codes within your photos.  This will definitely keep followers coming back to check in and see what new photos have been posted and what promos are being offered.
  4. Post photos of your customers – nothing says brand loyalty more than a happy customer.  Take quick pictures of your customers, with their permission of course, and showcase a sneak peek into what the experience with your company or brand is like for them.  Make sure the photos showcase your brand values while also highlighting the customer experience.
  5. Most importantly, promote your Instagram feed across all of your other social networks.  Create a custom tab under the Timeline photo on Facebook, add the Instagram badge to your website and to your G+ page, and make sure to include it in all email marketing.

Customers want a personal experience with a brand, and by adding Instagram to your marketing tools, your brand can start engaging with customers instantly while telling a story with images that are quick and easy for customers and fans to digest, process, and ultimately share with others.

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