Instagram is the fastest growing social media network worldwide, increasing its active user base by 22.8% in the last six months alone. Even though it stands well behind Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter in terms of market penetration, it’s impossible to deny the marketing power that this handy little app controls.
The “fast, beautiful, and fun way to share your life with friends and family” was bought by social media mogul Facebook last year, which only adds to the desirability of the photo-dependent platform. But how does it differ from other forms of social? Can it add value to your brand, or is it just more noise that your customers will filter out? After some in-depth market research, whynameus has compiled a cliff-notes version of what you need to know about Instagram, and how to leverage it for your small business.
* Instagram is a powerful tool to collect customer-created content that you can reuse to your own advantage as a brand. Use customer photos to enhance your online and in-person store. Crowd-source photos on instagram and get more attention from followers who see every-day people using your brand.
* Widen your exposure to other brands. Follow your competitors and stay in-tune with their followers, too. Pay attention to what/when competitors post, and more importantly, what hashtags they use.
* Share something new. Use Instagram to give your followers a unique “sneak peak” of an event, product, service, or promotion. Customers will catch on quickly, wanting to be involved with any benefits they receive by following you on Instagram and learning about your next big thing before everybody else.
* Personify your brand. Instagram is a great platform to integrate business pictures, fun photos of employees/customers/random, and images that show your small business’ “human side,” creating stronger connections with followers.
Ahead of the curve, Instagram started a business blog “Instagram for Business” which offers tips, spotlights, API examples, and news straight from Instagram HQ. Keeping up with their blog will help you keep up with the latest trends, tactics, and know-how on this tricky platform.
Now go take some pictures, stitch them together, and have some fun!
Sr. Director of Optimization Intelligence and Google Love