Now that most of us have finally determined how to spell Pinterest along comes Instagram. Instagram is a mobile application that is the brain child of Kevin Systrom, a university friend of Mark Zuckerberg’s. In fact, Zuckerberg invited Systrom to join him at Instagram when the social media marketing site was still just an understanding in Zuckerberg’s head, but Systrom opted to stay in school. That decision has ended in Systrom becoming Silicon Valley’s, and Stanford University’s, latest internet billionaire.
Instagram is really a free photo sharing social networking site launched on October 6, 2010. It allows users to download photos, process them through a digital filter, and share them with other users they may be connected to. Instagram has been wildly successful in the first place. 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 menace to its social media 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 must register. To register a business you have to have a spot page. In order to produce location page for your business, you must create your account in Foursquare. Foursquare is actually a location based social media marketing site for mobile users. Instagram uses Foursquare’s location database to tag a photograph to that location. In case your location is not really already listed on Foursquare’s database, you can add it by following these steps as recommended on Instagram’s webpage:
1. Sing up utilizing your brand as the user name.
2. Put in a profile picture, information about the business as well as a link to your site
3. Hyperlink to our other social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Since you now have your account set up, you can commence to create a presence on Instagram. Amongst the strategies that you simply can use are:
1. Share compelling content. Where have you ever heard that before? Anyone who has followed inbound marketing, seo, and building a web-based presence recognizes that all of it begins with content. Don’t be afraid to test out your photos. Ask for feedback from your followers. What do they like the most? What about minimal?
2. Use hashtags to discover more followers and share your photos. When using hashtags, be specific. This should help you find like-minded those who will be more apt to be interested in your products or services. So instead of simply saying #car, say #bmw. Attempt to engage the people who are most directly considering your products or services. Examine how many other companies are doing inside your industry. They probably have used ideas who have not occurred to you.
3. Share the photo on other social media sites. Instagram enables you to easily share photos on Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Once these users view your photo they will go to your site, or commence to follow you on Instagram.
4. Make sure your photos tell the history you need to tell. Posting a photo of the great steak dinner you’re planning to eat won’t can you much good if you own a tire shop. Be authentic. Your users can tell if the photos you are posting are actual or otherwise not
5. Stay consistent. Don’t over-saturate your site content, but post often enough to keep our followers engaged.
One of the criticisms of Instagram is the fact that its filters destroy good photographs. This complaint has come mainly from professional photographers who may be feeling the warmth of competition. Their standards of what is appropriate are typically higher than people at large as well. For most business purposes, the photo reproduction in Instagram is “adequate”.
Another criticism is that Instagram has no business design and little or no income. But that is Facebook’s problem, not yours. As more and more online searchers conduct business on mobile devices, it is the prudent online marketer who can benefit the most. Leveraging apps like Instagram will probably pay dividends down the highway.
Instagram is not the place to easily share product shots on a regular basis. Think about the experience folks have using what you’re offering, or the benefits it gives people. Even better, show real-examples. Seeking user-generated content from the audience is one way to get this done. This means that users share their photos employing a hashtag you provide.
You don’t have to cram every hashtag you can think about in a single post, but you will need at least a few. A hashtag will be the # sign then descriptive words about your image as in this example, I used #marketing and #ctaconf, which was the conference I was attending at the time. When a user clicks/taps over a hashtag or types a hashtag into the search box, it brings up all images designed to use that hashtag. The user can even sign up for still follow that hashtag.
The hope is the user will discover your photo, head for your profile and best-case scenario, follow you together with get engaged with additional of the posts! However, when hashtags are extremely popular, the competition to show up in the results is fierce. Comparable to SEO keywords, the better popular an expression is, the harder it is to keep in the top of the search results. Thus, my illustration of using #marketing really lwvnib futile if I wished to have any traction from that post.
You would like to help make your hashtags relevant to your company and location, but additionally engaging enough which a user would type them into Instagram’s search box. Make sure you let people know their images might be featured on your page and you can increase your Instagram content big time – at no cost!
Regardless of how you utilize Instagram for your business, be authentic and true in your brand. It’s just what the platform is all about, and it’s going to assist you improve your business, gain Instagram followers and attract sales or leads.