Now that many of us have finally worked out how to spell Pinterest along comes Instagram. Instagram is a mobile application that is the brain child of Kevin Systrom, a college friend of Mark Zuckerberg’s. Actually, Zuckerberg invited Systrom to sign up with him at Instagram when the social media site was still just an idea in Zuckerberg’s head, but Systrom opted to stay in school. That decision has led to Systrom becoming Silicon Valley’s, and Stanford University’s, latest internet billionaire.
Instagram is actually a free photo sharing social networking site launched on October 6, 2010. It allows users to download photos, process them via a digital filter, and share them with other users these are linked to. Instagram has become wildly successful from the start. By December 2010 they already had over 1 million users. By April 2012, 30 million users were downloading over 150 million photos on Instagram. Also in April, Instagram became accessible to android users. Seeing a threat to its social networking dominance, Facebook acted fast to neutralize its latest competitor. Again in April, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion.
How can local small companies utilize Instagram? First, you need to register. To sign up an organization you must have a spot page. In order to produce location page for the business, you have to create your account in Foursquare. Foursquare is a location based social media marketing site for mobile users. Instagram uses Foursquare’s location database to tag a picture to that location. If your location will not be already listed on Foursquare’s database, you can add it by simply following these steps as recommended on Instagram’s webpage:
1. Sing up using your brand because the user name.
2. Put in a profile picture, information regarding the business and a link to your web page
3. Connect to our other social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Now you have your bank account set up, you can begin to create a presence on Instagram. One of the strategies that you simply can use are:
1. Share compelling content. Where have you heard that before? Anyone who has followed inbound marketing, seo, and building an online presence is aware that all of it begins with content. Don’t hesitate to test out your photos. Demand feedback from your followers. Exactly what do they like probably the most? How about minimal?
2. Use hashtags to discover more followers and share your photos. When utilizing hashtags, be specific. This will help you find like-minded those who could be more likely to be interested in your products or services. So as opposed to simply saying #car, say #bmw. Try to engage those who are most directly considering your product or service. Examine what other businesses are doing inside your industry. They probably have used ideas which have not occurred to you.
3. Share the photo on other social media marketing sites. Instagram allows you to easily share photos on Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Once these users visit your photo they will visit your site, or start to follow you on Instagram.
4. Make certain your photos tell the story you would like to tell. Posting a photograph of this great steak dinner you’re planning to eat won’t can you much good should you own a tire shop. Be authentic. Your users should be able to know if the photos you happen to be posting are actual or otherwise not
5. Remain consistent. Don’t over-saturate your site content, but post often enough to help keep our followers engaged.
Among the criticisms of Instagram is the fact that its filters destroy good photographs. This complaint has arrived mainly from professional photographers who may be feeling the warmth of competition. Their standards of the items is acceptable are typically more than the general public at large as well. For many business purposes, the photo reproduction in Instagram is “sufficient”.
The other criticism is the fact Instagram has no business structure and little if any income. But that is Facebook’s problem, not yours. As more online searchers conduct business on cellular devices, it will be the prudent online marketer who will help the most. Leveraging apps like Instagram will probably pay dividends down the road.
Instagram is not the spot to easily share product shots on a regular basis. Think about the experience individuals have using what you’re offering, or even the benefits it gives people. Even better, show real-examples. Requesting user-generated content out of your audience is one way to do this. This means that users share their photos utilizing a hashtag you provide.
You don’t need to cram every hashtag you can think of in one post, but you will need at least a couple of. A hashtag will be the # sign then descriptive words concerning your image as in this example, I used #marketing and #ctaconf, which was the conference I had been attending at that time. When a user clicks/taps over a hashtag or types a hashtag in to the search box, it brings up all images designed to use that hashtag. An individual can even subscribe to carry on and follow that hashtag.
The hope will be the user will see your photo, head in your profile and best-case scenario, follow you and get engaged with more of the posts! However, when hashtags are incredibly popular, competition to show up within the results is fierce. Comparable to SEO keywords, the better popular a term is, the harder it is actually to stay at the top in the search results. Thus, my example of using #marketing really lwvnib futile basically if i desired to have any traction from that post.
You want to help make your hashtags relevant to your company and site, but in addition engaging enough that the user would type them into Instagram’s search box. Be sure to let people know that their images might be featured on your own page and you also can increase your Instagram content in a big way – free of charge!
No matter how you use Instagram to your business, be authentic and true to your brand. It’s just what the platform is centered on, and it’s going that will help you grow your business, gain Instagram followers and attract sales or leads.