Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Instagram as a Business Marketing Tool

Instagram is useful for reaching new audiences through images and short messages. It can be particularly helpful for reaching customers who prefer a visual form of communication. Instagram can be leveraged to create significant connections with customers and improve your brand's visibility. As a result, it can transform the interaction between individuals, brands and companies.

Here are some Instagram business tips to keep in mind:

1. Balance fun images with pictures about your business
Pictures on Instagram can give your followers insight into your company. Use Instagram to tell a story through various images and try to keep a similar theme that is consistent with your brand. Take advantage of the various filters and image editing applications to enhance your images so they are appealing to followers. Remember to track the engagement on your images to find what followers respond to the best.
2. Use hashtags   
A hashtag is simply a hash symbol (#) followed by a keyword or phrase, that is incorporated into social media posts. This makes your post available to anyone with the same interests, even if they are not your followers. Using a trending hashtag that goes along with your marketing strategy ensures you reach a larger viewership. A hashtag is a powerful tool to aid you in reaching your target audience and boost your brand awareness. Try to keep them relevant to your content and use branded hashtags to increase loyalty of your followers.  
3. Engage with followers
Engage by following your target audience and liking their photos. Crowdsource images, so your stream is not just of photos you took. These tactics help build meaningful relationships with followers. Also, Instagram should be about connecting with followers on levels beyond just trying to make a sale. Brands shouldn't just engage; they should also inspire.
4. Reward your followers
Give followers a first look or sneak peak preview of an event or product. Also, provide them with special promo codes and discounts for your products or services. Delivering incentives to your followers will make viewing your social media content a priority.
To make the most of Instagram, post consistently and avoid being too pushy with your brand or product. Show what people can do with your product rather than just showing the product itself. The best time to post on Instagram is from 5-6pm on weekdays and 8pm on Mondays with a sweet spot at 6:00 pm (Source: SumAll). According to an article by CyberAlert, the reorganization of Google+ into separate services signals its downfall. Therefore, Instagram can be an alternative marketing tool for Google+ users.