A picture is worth a thousand words, and in the case of using Instagram for business, a picture may be worth a thousand dollars, or even a lot more!
Instagram proves that by being one of the most popular social media apps today. It is used by celebrities worldwide to connect to fans, and for people to share pictorial details of their lives to friends and family.
But it’s not just individuals who can benefit from this image-based app. With the pressing need for enhanced mobile content delivery methods, Instagram is fast emerging as a space where businesses can market products, services, and brands.
How can you do this, you may ask? Well, here are five creative ways you can use your Instagram account to benefit your business:
1. Make it a Virtual Shopping Window
We all like to browse. It started with physical window-shopping, moved to websites, and now, to phones. So take advantage of this tendency and encourage potential customers to “shop” via your Instagram account.
Get some great shots of your products, provide snappy descriptions, and tag your photos such that they catch the eye of your target audience. You can even post posters you’ve developed for physical marketing campaigns.
If it’s a service you offer, take pictures of satisfied customers availing of it (with their permission, of course) and tag them. This can even open you up to a new network of potential prospects and this is a clever way of using Instagram for business promotion.
Or, you can post images of the tools and components or ingredients you use in your business to give customers an “inside look” into what you do—a tactic that never fails to pique interest.
2. Keep it Updated by Keeping them Engaged
It’s a must to ensure that your account has your latest products on display, as well as “teasers” of up-and-coming releases. But then, businesses can’t always churn out new products and services all the time, so how do you keep your account active when you’ve got nothing new to offer?
The solution here is to keep your followers engaged. Get in on trends such as #Throwback Thursday and “feature” old products (maybe on the anniversary of their releases). Get customers to talk about their experiences by asking questions and perhaps sharing your own stories in relation to the business.
A good way to have followers tuning in constantly is to hold contests that offer small prizes through Instagram (taking pictures with a certain condition, using a certain hashtag). This gets existing customers to spread the word for your business, as well as giving them an opportunity to show how your product/service influences people in different ways.
3. Make it Candid
Customers and potential customers want to feel like they’re supporting a “human” enterprise, not a corporate machine. Thus, use Instagram to interact with your followers as friends—don’t just post polished, posed corporate shots.
Capture moments of employees being goofy. Take a picture of the pet puppy a customer brought in and just coo over it. The key is to use hashtags to connect these innocuous moments to your brand.
4. Keep it Moving
Using Instagram for business isn’t just limited to photos. Maximize the app’s 15-second video function by using it to showcase short promo vids, company milestone moments, and even “sneak peeks” into how you prepare/produce your service/product.
You can also link to “full” versions of these videos on your website, Facebook account, or YouTube account and introduce customers to additional facets of your business.
5. Using Instagram For Business: Link it
No business is an island, especially in modern industry. And we’re talking about going beyond customer connections—it’s important to be connected to important names in your industry too.
Thus, follow related firms or firms with products/services that complement yours. Get involved by liking and commenting on their accounts too. Try to strike up a collaboration to widen both yours and your collaborator’s networks.
Not all business relationships involve competition—it’s also important that businesses in the same industry support one another.
So as you can see from the creative tips above, Instagram is an app well suited to attracting more clients and generating more sales. It’s still very much in its infancy in this regard, so get your Instagram marketing strategy going while the competition is sleeping!
Even if you are brand new to the idea of using Instagram for business, have no fear—Instagram itself offers advice and acquaints users with the process through its Instagram for Business blog.
Here, the ones who know the app best also report on the newest ways they have optimized using Instagram for business purposes. So, get Instagramming!
But if you'd rather get stuck in to the meat and potatoes of using Instagram for business, then take a peek at this extensive step-by-step guide on how to profit on Instagram. The author, Sarah Davidson, has over fifteen years experience with online marketing and she can get you stared off on the right foot.
Over to You
How did you like this article on using Instagram for business?
Do you have any other tips to add?
Let us know with your comment beneath this post! 🙂
Yyanna Reema Marquez attends St. Scholastica’s College in Manila, the Philippines. She is a web enthusiast and a social advocate. When she’s not busy pursuing her passion of writing, you may find her out on a surf board or in watching a basketball game on the weekend. You can follower her here on twitter: @itsreemarquez.
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