If you are in search of new and cost-effective ways to market your small business Instagram may be the answer. Instagram, familiar to many small businesses and consumers alike, is an online photo-sharing and social networking service. The tool lets users take pictures, apply digital filters, and share them on social networks.
But what makes Instagram a viable marketing tool for small businesses?
Start with their engaged audience, many of which may be interested in your products and services. To-date the social, photo-sharing service boasts:
- 100 million Monthly Active Users
- 40 million Photos Per Day
- 8500 Likes Per Second
- 1000 Comments Per Second
If you are ready to leverage the potential of Instagram to build awareness for your brand, download the app, sign up for an Instagram account, add a photo, a company bio and a link to your company website. Then connect your account to your favorite social networks and announce your new presence. Lastly, don’t forget to create a location page for your business.
To take it a step further, we asked 10 entrepreneurs to share tips on how to maximize your use of Instagram to promote your business. To get started:
1. Focus on capturing images outside of what you sell.
“That may sound counter-intuitive, but taking photos of people, places, and things that represent your company’s culture provides a deeper look into who your company actually is, and what you’re all about. That’s not to say you can’t take photos of your products from time to time – especially if you’re launching something new – but focusing on other subjects will help create a more profound connection with your customers and promote engagement.”
2. Let Instagram tell your story.
“Use it to promote major events and happenings within your business. In addition, allow it to be another point of connection between you and your consumers. They will give you immediate feedback and help you spread the word about your business organically.”
3. Make your Instagram followers stars.
“Who are your best marketers and biggest brand advocates? People relate to the average Joe because he is the ultimate spokesperson for your brand. Who to better show using your product or service? While you ultimately have control over your brand channel for public relations and crisis management reasons you want to feature the talent of your followers using your products. One such great example is Sharpie. There are only so many pictures you could take of colored markers. You might be pleasantly surprised by their imaginative creations.”
4. Use relevant, engaging hashtags on Instagram.
“We take pictures at events, around the office, and include team members. Without hashtags, it would be difficult to get our media seen. For example, if we take a picture of a team member at an event, hashtagging (the event, city, topic, etc.) will expose us to a much larger audience. As an Internet business, it is important for people to see the faces behind the scenes, and Instagram allows us to connect to people who share similar ideas and interests.”
5. Follow other Instagram naturals.
“I promote my brand though fun pictures and giving product advice to enthusiasts. I also tag bloggers who may be interested in doing a product review or hosting a giveaway on their sites.”