Marketing with Instagram
Are you marketing with Instagram to promote your business? I’ve gathered 10 reasons you should use Instagram as a way to connect with your audience…
Not Just Because All the “Cool” Kids Do It
There is always something new and trendy coming out. Why jump on another band-wagon? Instagram is not just another trend! I’ve already blogged about using Pinterest and it’s huge amount of users. Instagram is BIGGER! 140 million active users. That’s a lot of active users. You might think that it’s just for kids but a quick browse through and you will see all types posting. Artists, children’s illustrators, yoga instructors, yoga practitioners, standup paddleboard addicts, the list goes on…The growth that Instagram has experienced since it launched in 2010, is quickly establishing it as one of the “big” social media sites.
We Are Visual by Nature
It’s back to that again. But it is so very true. Images register in our brains faster than anything verbal. I can describe the most beautiful sunset for you, and you will process that into something visual in your mind. I can show you a picture of that same sunset and you will process it instantly, along with whatever emotions and yearnings it creates for you emotionally. Most of the big social media sites have made changes to increase the visual content on their sites as well as making it easier to access. Instagram enables you to produce photos and videos which can be shared to other social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, & Tumblr are direct options when you are posting an image) as well as being embedded into your website or blog.
Compliment Your Branding
Instagram has the ability to edit images to convey emotions or connotations beyond the original image. The filters that Instagram provides can allow you to create a consistent look and feel that coincides with your branding. For example, if your business has a calming meditative vibe, you can filter your images to be a little fuzzy or maybe to sharpen the focus on a central focal point of the image.
Photos also give your audience a whole new perspective of your business. You can share behind-the-scenes images or before-and-after images, snippets of your daily life. These all help to show your audience that you are a human being (another key concept that I talked about while using Pinterest).
Who Are You?
There is always a person and a story behind the business. It could be just you or a whole team but who makes up your business is just as important. People want to feel connected and seeing parts of who you are makes them feel that way. Use Instagram to really show this off. Whatever it is you do at work, chances are your audience wants to see it. Plus it helps you document your business life which will be fun to look back on in the coming years 🙂
But I Don’t Have a Tangible Product
You don’t have to only sell a tangible product to use Instagram. You might be promoting classes, a massage service, or help with website management. It doesn’t have to be a tangible item. Refer back to the “personal” aspect. You can show your clients what you are working on, places you visit, images that relate to your business with inspirational quotes. It might take a little more thought and creativity. It’s completely possible though.
Let Your Customers Help You
Incorporating user generated content (UGC) into your content is a good thing. Encourage your customers to share in the creativity. You can use hashtags, contests, and tags to have your audience submit content for you. You get great content to share, an inside view into how they view your business and brand, an opportunity to interact with your audience and content that you didn’t have to create!
It’s Business Friendly
No matter what you post (as long as it fits the rules and guidelines), Instagram will show your content. They don’t use an algorithm to selectively choose who sees your posts. Every post shows up and remains a part of your gallery’s history for future views. Instagram Direct lets you post information privately and can be used to address customer support with an individual instead of openly on your gallery thread. Having an interactive conversation with your audience is easy on Instagram and it also allows your audience to easily share your content with people they know will enjoy it.
Analytics. Always Analytics
Instagram doesn’t have in-app analytics, but you can use a third party app such as Statigram. Statigram allows you to analyze your best posting times, when your audience is most active, your gained and lost followers, your most popular posts, and so much more! Like any tool that you use for your business marketing strategy, knowing your data and analytics is extremely important.
Grow Your Business
It isn’t as easy as other social sites to drive traffic directly to a linked site. Hyperlinks don’t work in the photo comments. You can place an active link in your bio. Choose the best link for your traffic and then mention it in your comments so your viewers know where to go for more information if they choose. You can change this link as often as you like. This will allow you to strategically utilize posts to drive your audience in whichever direction you choose.
Last But Not Least
Instagram is fun. It’s a joy to look through. It’s fun to fall down “rabbit holes” and see what images are under certain hashtags. You can use it as a way to relax or take a mental break and fill your feed with all the eye candy you want (no visit to the dentist necessary…EVER!). Oh. But eventually you have to be productive again, so try not to play for too long. Maybe set an “Instagram Timer” 😉
There you go. Ten reasons why I think you should be Marketing with Instagram for your business success. It may not be your platform of choice, but it never hurts to give something a try. Right?
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