What is Instagram?
Launched in October 2010, Instagram is an online photo-sharing and social networking service (via a smartphone application) that enables its users to take pictures, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook or Twitter. The app is free in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.
Recently, businesses and brand makers have discovered the potential of Instagram in generating revenue and bringing in clients due to its highly visual nature. Take a closer look at Instagram to see if it could add value to your Internet Marketing Strategy.
Some Key Features & Exciting News:
- A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 16:9 aspect ratio now typically used by mobile device cameras.
- Instagram uses hashtags to help users find photographs of particular topics and subject matter, so make the hashtags specific and relevant so your photos stand out and attract like-minded Instagrammers.
- It’s supported on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; in April 2012, support was added for Android camera phones running 2.2 Froyo.
- On April 12, 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock.
- On February 27, 2013, Instagram announced that they had 100 million active users, only two and a half years after first launching. This was an increase of roughly 10 million users in a little over a month’s time.
- Statigr.am is a free app that provides personal statistics related to Instagram, including number of followers, likes, and comments, along with usage statistics
How to Use Instagram:
If you need help downloading the app, setting up your profile, finding your friends and integrating with your other social media sites, here is a great 14 step tutorial: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Instagram
How to Use Instagram for Your Business:
Different social media networks have unique ways for people to interact and share information online. Instagram is unique because it focuses on photo sharing. It’s free, very trendy right now, easy to use and growing popularity among businesses. A recent study found that “roughly 60 percent of the top 100 brands have a presence on Instagram. Brands like Nike, MTV and Starbucks boast over 1 million followers on Instagram.”
- Take Engaging Photos: They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so make sure your picture’s quality, subject and applied filters are promoting positive feedback and sharing.
- Be Versatile & Creative: Don’t just post photos of your product, but show your customers using your products or services, events your company participates in, photos of related subjects that will interest your target audience. Be creative and post photos that will build relationships, define your voice and establish your brand.
- The Use of #hashtags: First do a hashtag* search of your brand, find out what pictures are being shared about your product, and what people are saying. Hashtags will categorize your photos so people can easily find brands and products that they are interested in. Pick a hashtag name that will easily identify and brand your product. Be specific and use relevant keywords in your comments to engage your target audience and boost publicity.
- Manage your Profile: with the use of hashtags, link to your website, and an informative profile description, you will boost the popularity of your brand and direct users to learn more.
- Engage with others: Follow clients, customers, friends, colleagues, clients and those following you. Like photos, share photos and make positive comments. If there are negative comments about your product/service, RESPOND, make amends and show publicly that you care about your customer and your reputation.
- Invite other to share: Ask your customers to upload photos of them using your brand, engaging with yourself or your team, and offer a discount/reward for the best photos.
- Advertise your events: create a hashtag with your event with title of event and year. Follow up with regular & consistent updates to generate interest and sharing.
If you need assistance in setting up and managing your Instagram profile for your business, as well as your other social media platforms, contact us for our various Social Media Management & Marketing packages.
*Hashtags are prefixed with the “#” symbol followed by the actual topic or event that you wish to promote.
**Check out Startup Production on Instagram: http://instagram.com/startupproduction or use our hashtag: #startupproduction