Ever since Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion dollars, this image-centric social media outlet has only grew exponentially.
With 130 million active users, this photo and video sharing giant has pinned a corner of the market that business owners should begin to consider utilizing. Unlike Facebook, however, companies cannot take out ads or write plain-text status updates on Instagram. So why would anyone choose to use Instagram for business?
Why Use Instagram for Business
Since Instagram was built on mobile, it appeals to those who do a majority of their web surfing on their phones, and are wary of platforms that bombard them with ads. Instagram has the mobile edge that Facebook is only slowly rolling out.
The biggest reason that Instagram has been so highly successful is that people are naturally visual. Just as image posts on Facebook gain 39% more interaction than other types of posts, consumers respond well to Instagram’s tendency to minimize text.
One of the best parts about Instagram is that it is notorious for turning novice photography into beautiful visuals. With 19 filters to choose from, poor lighting or saturation can be compensated for and your business can instantly post eye-catching photos.
Who Should Use Instagram for Business?
Marking through social media is not recommended for everyone. Just as we caution service providers and B2B companies to avoid spending too much time and effort on Facebook, those same types of companies cannot benefit from Instagram nearly as much as say, a restaurant. Hospitality and tourism companies, (such as attractions, restaurants, and salons) are the perfect candidates for successfully marketing Instagram for business. Those types of companies need to turn customers into regulars, and what better way to do it than by tempting them with the latest gourmet menu item or new product.
Nurturing a personal connection with the brand is one great way that using Instagram for business can be beneficial, whether it be through taking photos of staff or reminding customers how beautiful the sunset looks from the patio. Snapping “behind-the-scenes” type photos will bring a human aspect to the business and make it easier for patrons to connect.
How to Market Instagram for Business
When it comes to Instagram, hashtags are king. A business can begin a new hashtag trend, or find new followers based on their searches. Be sure to only hashtag relevant keywords in order to avoid appearing spammy and to maintain quality followers.
Harness the power of comments by being sure that each comment is responded to in a timely manner. Utilize the @ symbol before the follower’s username so that they receive the notification directly to their phone. Relationship building is a great way to establish repeat customers.
Speaking of engaging, another great way to seek out new followers is to search the company’s name in the hashtags. Customers could already be Instagramming their favorite dishes or products. By liking the photo as the business, the company offers fans an easy way to find them and become a follower. Encouraging others to share photos of the business only increases brand awareness.
Video on Instagram is a new tool that can also lend a hand in promoting a business. One can create brief tutorials, answer questions, or debut a new product, directly from their phone.
The biggest drawback to Instagram for business is that it has not yet set up a business marketing platform. Many business owners shy away from Instagram because it can be too time-consuming. Unlike other social media platforms, there is currently no easy way to manage an Instagram account online or give administrative permissions, so it is more difficult to pass the account along to someone else for management. However, with the right type of business, Instagram could be a valuable tool for marketing to both potential clients and already happy customers.
If you would like professional advice on how to use Instagram to market your business, or would like to learn more about other aspects of social media marketing, please contact the internet marketing gurus at Vision Advertising. We would be happy to show you the best ways to market your individual business on the internet and beyond.
Have you seen any great examples of people using Instagram for business successfully? We’d love to hear your input in the comment section below.