We all know by now that a social media presence is essential to your company’s marketing strategy. Whole new strategies on how to best use the various networks are being developed every day. Though it may seem like only yesterday your business’s Facebook account was the only one you needed to concern yourself with, there are plenty of other networks to worry about now. One of these, Instagram, has 80 million users and has just launched a business-focused blog aimed at helping you use their platform to benefit your company.
Here are 3 reasons why your company should be on Instagram. By creating a profile and engaging your community, you can:
• Use it as a feature of other social networks – If you are wary of getting involved in yet another social network, don’t think of it as separate, at least not at first. Think of it as adding more content to your current social media strategy. With Instagram, you can share your photos to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, and Foursquare. Look at it as enhancing your presence on the networks you already use.
• Humanize yourself, your employees, your company – You can show pictures of your products, but don’t limit it to just that. Show your customers that not only are the people behind your company creative but they are also human. Share photos of your product being made, behind the scenes shots, the view from your office, and almost anything else. The possibilities are practically endless. One of the reasons Instagram is so popular is that it gives you the ability to make photos of even mundane things look more interesting. Use Instagram as a different sort of marketing by making your posts less formal than your posts on other social networking sites. Especially if you own a small business, include some photos of your personal life. Make yourself more human.
• Make yourself relevant and get people talking – Just like on Twitter, Instagram allows tagging. Find out how people are tagging their photos on Statigram to join the conversation. If you are at some industry event, find out if the promoters have created a hashtag for attendees to use. You can use this to connect with colleagues and possibly clients. You don’t just need to join conversations; you should be starting them. You should also be using the comment feature to engage your audience. Ask questions in your photo’s caption and reply to the comments followers leave. With hashtags, you can even get people to do your job for you. Encourage users to take photos of your product and use your company name to tag. Just like with Facebook, you can hold “Fan photo of the day” contests to motivate users.
Instagram’s blog suggests that once you decide you want to put your company on Instagram, you should start a personal account. This will allow you to do a little research. You’ll quickly learn what and how you like other users to post, and you can take that information into account when developing your company’s strategy. You will also figure out what types of photos people enjoy by paying attention to how many likes certain types of photos get. Also be sure to check out how other companies and organizations are using Instagram. To get started, you can have a look at this 5 for Friday from a few weeks back that links an example of how the US Olympic basketball team successfully put Instagram to use.
Posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2012
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