Why Your Business Needs To Be On Instagram Now

Instagram

At present, Instagram is home to over 300 million accounts with 70 million photos and videos being posted every day. 4 years ago, Instagram was just another social site where people could share beautiful pictures. The site has since grown into one of the most popular and most powerful social media sites today. When Facebook purchased Instagram, it gained an even more solid foothold in the social media arena. As a result, businesses big and small now take advantage of Instagram’s popularity to spread brand awareness and market their products and services.

Instagram has a very large audience for businesses to engage with. The site is taking steps to ensure that spam and fake accounts are deactivated as more and more businesses join the site. These steps will ensure an enhanced user experience within the Instagram platform for both business accounts and user accounts.

Social Media Sites Are Important For Business

In today’s business world, having a website is not enough to push your products to your target audience. Your digital marketing should extend to social media marketing as well. Social media channels are not just sites where you see and meet people, they can be used as an effective tool for your business. Social media is essential for business for many reasons. If you use social media, you will be able to communicate with your customers on a personal level, which can help drive sales.

Social media gives you the ability to respond to customer inquiries and issues in real-time. Your audience will be more receptive to your messages because they will see your posts not as advertisements but as personal messages.

Maintaining a social media presence for your brand will help drive customers to your website. When people are led to your website you have a higher chance of completing a sale. Plus, if a customer finds your products or services very useful and worth their money, they might become a loyal brand ambassador and help to spread the word on social media. As we all know, word of mouth marketing is 10x more powerful than most advertisements or marketing strategies. Social media is free and can reap many rewards – especially if you have your own social media PR team.

Social media is a level playing field. Unlike traditional advertising campaigns where you might spend thousands or millions of dollars, all enterprises start off on equal footing in regards to social media campaigns. Despite this, companies who also use clever social media tactics are the ones that go viral across cyberspace.

Using Instagram To Push Your Business

Every social media site is unique as are the people who engage with each other (your potential customers) on these social media sites. So if you’re pushing forward with your social media PR strategy, you have to take note that a marketing plan developed for one social media site may not work quite so well on another. Focus on each social media site’s strengths and take advantage of them.

If you have a personal Instagram account, you’ve probably noticed branded posts as you scroll through the feed. Instagram is a pretty useful tool when you use it as a consumer, but if you’re using it as business PR tool, there may be hurdles to solve for it to be truly effective. Instagram is all about captivating photos that tell a story. It has been found that Instagram users are 58 times more likely to share, comment or like a branded post on Instagram as compared to on Facebook and Twitter. One of the main reasons for this is the high engagement provided by the users because they have a penchant for visually sharing their stories, their experiences and their reactions. Instagram offers a simple and clean platform which highlights this kind of visual content.

Instagram statistics. Image credit: http://www.fastcompany.com/
Instagram statistics. Image credit: http://www.fastcompany.com/

If your brand can convey captivating visual storytelling and provide high levels of engagement over an extended period of time, then success in your Instagram marketing strategy will not be far behind. With over 300 million accounts on Instagram, there is a big chance you will be able to reach your target market on a whole new level.

Tips For An Effective Instagram Presence

1. Know How To Use Instgram For Business

Since businesses and brands started using the site as a marketing platform, Instagram introduced the Instagram for Business blog. The blog offers news, tips, best practices, APIs and brand spotlights from the Instagram headquarters.

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2. Balanced Content Calendar

Instagram is a lifestyle focused social media site, so it is essential to have a balanced business and lifestyle content plan. Think about what your followers and target market will find relevant and engaging. You can do a mix of colorful and luxurious images and product-focused pictures to connect better with your audience. Use the right photo filters. Followers are proven to respond to certain photo filters and these simple tweaks can create a positive impact on your audience.

3. Use Hashtags (Correctly)

Although some people are annoyed by hashtags, you can benefit from them immensely if you use them right. Your goal on Instagram is to engage with your audience and increase your following. When you use hashtags on your photos or videos, it will be easier for your followers and target niche to find your images in the vast content pool of Instagram. Using the right hashtags in your photos will help people discover and reach you in no time.

Image credit: tele-smart.com
Image credit: http://blog.zagg.com/top-instagram-hashtags/

4. Use Content Themes To Reflect Your Brand

This is a great way to engage people with your Instagram brand awareness. By establishing content themes for your brand, your followers will know what to expect from your Instagram account as you slowly but effectively reinforce essential brand associations.

5. Show Fans Using Your Product

This is one effective way of engaging with your followers. Highlighting fans using your product says that you’re proud of your fellow Instagramers because of the trust they put into your product. It also shows that real people and not paid models are making your brand famous. Plus, placing importance on your follower’s enjoyment of your products is one of the easiest ways to get engaged and get new followers.

6. Following Is A Two Way Street

To truly engage your followers, follow them back. Making a personal touch like this in the digital world of Instagram is rare and you’ll be respected if you can accomplish this. Make comments on their photos and like their videos. Your followers will feel that they are not just engaged with a brand, but also the people behind it. This kind of engagement will help followers grow into a solid community for your brand or business.

7. Highlight The People Behind The Brand

Instagram is all about people, moments and emotions captured in photos. Use Instagram to show the people behind your brand. Showing “behind the scenes” moments will create intimacy between the brand and the customer since you’re showcasing the real men and women behind your business, not just posting about your latest offers.

8. Posting Once A Day Is Enough

Instagram is not like any other social media platforms which need multiple posts a day in order to increase brand presence. A single, powerful and engaging picture posted once in a while is more effective compared to low quality photos posted more frequently. It is also important to time your content posting. Many experts state that posting content during regular business hours means more engagement as compared to posting during the off hours.

9. Let Them Know You’re On Instagram

No one will take notice if you don’t let people know that you have an Instagram account. It’s simple: let people know you exist. Do cross promotions on your other social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. You can also include a notice within your email marketing campaigns. Include an Instagram widget on your blog or website. People who are familiar with your brand through other social media sites will no doubt check out your Instagram account.

Give Instagram a shot and engage your customers on a whole new level.

Jon Capistrano

Jon specialises in research and content creation for our outreach campaigns. He’s worked as a technical support representative for Dell, America Online, Xbox and Dodo Australia. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.

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