Since launching in 2010, Instagram has grown into one of the leading social media platforms. With over 300 million active users, as well as 70 million photos and videos shared daily, the app has an immense amount of potential for brands.
Instagram for Businesses
As Instagram started to flourish, businesses began jumping on board to promote their products, and create brand awareness; taking advantage of the visual aspects.
Leading the pack is Nike with 11.7 million followers. Sharing inspirational images of athletes, sporting events, and utilizing the brand’s slogan “Just Do It” as a hashtag, has helped grow its fanbase and keep fans engaged.
Another brand that utilizes IG well is Starbucks Coffee with 3.6 million followers. The brand is constantly sharing new and uniquely different images of its coffee, as well as other products sold in stores. Illustrating the power of Instagram and fan loyalty, the hashtag, #starbucks, has been shared over 18 million times.
Using Instagram provides a number of benefits for businesses. First, it creates a face for brands which in turn builds trust with its audience. Second, it increases brand awareness, and promotes engagement between a brand and its fans. Creating an Instagram account also creates a social storefront for the brand. Social storefronts advertise your products in a variety of ways without looking like advertising to your followers. Lastly, Instagram is great for advertising. When people share images, videos, or use a hashtag that relates to the brand, it’s getting free exposure worldwide.
Instagram for Marketing
If you’re ready to jump into the world of Instagram, the first thing you should do is make an Instagram account. Next, share creative content of your business’s products or services. Utilize the editing tools on the app and see which filters works best. Because this is a social app, make sure to follow and engage with others; using hashtags is a great way to find relevant users. For example, if your business creates fitness products, use hashtags such as #workout, #fitness and #crossfit, to find users that would enjoy your product. After you’ve set up an account, make sure to share it with your fans on Facebook or Twitter. Lastly, have a game plan by including Instagram into the brand’s marketing strategy.
As you start to grow your Instagram presence, use these tips to ensure success:
Post consistently. With millions of posts being shared weekly, you want to make sure you appear in your followers feed.
Best time to post? According to bufferapp, it’s Monday evening! But test out different days and times to find out what works best for your target audience.
Reply to comments and repost fans’ images of your products. This is a social platform so make sure you use it to have two-way conversations, even if it’s visually.
Create high-quality, original content. Let your creativity flow by experimenting with visually appealing content.
Don’t be afraid to make videos. Instagram launched its video feature during the summer of 2013 and it has taken off since then. Similar to photos, you can use filters and other editing options on videos which make this feature even more appealing to brands.
It doesn’t have to only be about the brand. Post fun, inspirational or entertaining images/videos too. Many users also like to see behind-the-scenes images, motivational quotes and humorous images. Experiment with different content and see what works best.
Share posts within other social platforms. Instagram allows posts to be shared on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr and Foursquare. Sharing content on other platforms gives your fanbase the opportunity to find and follow you on IG.
Monitor your account. Instagram has its own set of tools to monitor your account insights and ads on their platform. Other websites that can help are Iconosquare and Totems.
Utilize hashtags. Whether it’s your brand name, slogan, or campaign-focused, using custom hashtags will help people discover your content. When IG users look up that hashtag they will see posts either by you or others that showcase your products or brand. Also, don’t be afraid to join current hashtags such as #ThrowbackThrusday or #tbt to get discovered by more users.
Instagram is continuing to grow, not only in users, but in possibilities. Join this creative environment to grow your business and your fanbase. Don’t forget to follow us when you do!