I don't know about you, but I'm an Instagram addict! At any time of the day (or night), I can be seen grabbing my phone or tablet to scroll through my feed for the latest pics from my family, friends, and favorite brands. Whether it's a photo of my Dad and his beloved dog all the way in California or the newest handbag in the Rebecca Minkoff collection, I'm hooked.
And marketers know it too. That's why businesses and brands have flooded Instagram, set up shop, and have followers and likes well over the thousands.
But before you jump on one of the most popular social media platforms to-date, it's important to consider a few things to make sure Instagram is right for your business.
- Put Your Best Photo Forward. Instagram is all about pictures so first you need to decide if an image-based social media platform will actually work for your company. Some businesses may find that trying to come up with a stream of images is a lot harder than creating online articles. However, with 75 million daily users, there is a huge market open to businesses that can use Instagram in the right way.
- Any Old Image Just Won't Do. The key to using any photo website is to ensure that the images are high-resolution and extremely clear. Photos have to be visually stunning and attention grabbing if they are to be "liked", commented on and shared. While smartphones are ideal for capturing images on the move, you will need a professional photographer for product and service photos.
- Selling It Softly. As with most social media marketing, the end goal is to get a sale; however, using Instagram should be about the soft sell. Instead of simply showcasing your products and services, think of innovative ways to market items; for example, Sharpie focuses on uploading images of what users can do with its products rather than images of the products themselves.
Instagram Bonus Tip (You Can Thank Us Later)
A new feature you should consider using is Instagram Direct. This service was introduced just last year and allows you to send pictures and video directly to other people or groups of up to 15 individuals. The potential for you to reach your most devout and engaged fans is limitless with this new feature. To discover the best people to direct message, you can look at your photo stream and take note of the most involved individuals. Adding these consumers to specific groups allows you to direct new products, interesting information or contests in your targeted audience’s direction.
[Tweet "Use #Instagram Direct to send pictures and video directly to your target audience"]
Instagram is a great tool to use. And since its smartphone based (and therefore at people’s fingertips throughout the day), your business can use it to share images that encourage consumers to engage with you online while buying your products and services.
Let us know how it's working for you by dropping a comment below.