Though the interest surrounding Instagram has been steadily increasing recent years it is not until recent that they have succeeded in making the leap from the baby pool into the big ocean. With the introduction of video on Instagram this media has cemented its position as a media you need to consider in your online marketing strategy.
One of the huge advantages of Instagram is that it works so well with Facebook – this is not odd considering the ownership structure. As most businesses already use Facebook in their overall marketing the natural extension will be to include Instagram, as well.
When working with Instagram you need to have one thing at mind – be creative and make sure to have fun. If you like what you do your fans and followers will immediately pick up on it and reward you!
For this post I want to list some of the possibilities that lay within using Instagram for business.
1. Offer an unique peek behind the scenes
One of the huge advantages on Instagram is that the users love authentic images. Instead of sharing images from your website that has been edited beyond recognition and veiled in a glamorous glow you can benefit from taking your followers behind the scenes and present them with images of your everyday work-life. If you sell clothes online you could share an image where you are shipping packages or you could show the new collections that arrive at your office. In a nutshell this is a great opportunities to show whom the people they do business with are, and what goes on on a busy day or even a fun Friday.
An example could be #coffeemugoftheday that quite well illustrates how you can show peeks from behind the scene. This is e.g. my coffee mug of the day!
2. Build a personality surrounding your business or brand
A side effect from sharing behind the scene images it that it helps you build up a personality for your business. Normally the only way to represent your business is through your website and payed advertisements. However, by using Instagram you get an unique opportunity to shape how your business is perceived by customers and users in general. You can build up an universe surrounding your products for free simply by using the different social networks as building bricks.
To illustrate this I use an image of the lazy office dog sleeping next to our favorite gadget – the football table. You do not have to portrait everyday events, but you need to find images that can add personality to your brand or company. This could also be your kids trying on the newest clothes in the store (even though the size does not fit) or the view from your window when the snow starts to fall. The possibilities are endless as long as you use your imagination.
3. Use the hashtags (#) to create conversations
There are different ways to create conversations that surrounds or includes your product or business. Two of the most used are hashtags and contests which actually goes hand in hand.
Instagram is an ideal platform for contests as only your imagination sets the limits. And unlike Facebook it is perfectly okay to encourage your followers to upload an image of one of your products in order to win the contest. If you are interested in creating Instagram contests you can also share it on other social networks such as Facebook. See this tutorial on how to create a contest or promotion app.
The use of hashtags is extremely popular. You can either create your own hashtags and inspire your followers to join in the conversation, or your can join an already ongoing conversation by using their hashtag. Either way your content becomes search-able and with that more people will be able to find your products. If you are new to using hashtags you might want to have a look at this list as it lists the most popular hashtags making it easier for you to create a conversation.
4. Use video to show who you are
Instegram has recently added the possibility to share short videos, as well. This is quite new and I don’t think we have yet seen all it can do for promoting businesses. You can use the 15 second videos to answer an important question about your brand or to interview an interesting employees about upcoming events or products. You can also create a short trailer or teaser for your product or show something funny happening in your office. Just keep in mind, that most Instegram users are using Instegram for browsing images. Therefore, you should be careful not to use video too much.