For years, business has relied on two trusty social media sidekicks in an effort to connect with their customer bases; Facebook and Twitter. These two social media stalwarts have always been the go-to platforms for startups across the world. They encourage more informal communication between business and customer and can be manipulated into becoming exceptional business marketing tools. However, there is now a new (or not so new) kid on the block that is staking a claim for business sign-ups.
Instagram was once seen as nothing more than a sweet little photo-sharing site, albeit with an obscene amount of filters to disguise flaws and blemishes. You might log on in a personal capacity to see Lark filtered selfies of your friend on a sun-kissed beach, a monotone shot of their breakfast or a Holga hued image of their latest interior design idea. Instagram is seen as an aspirational platform, which is the very reason why companies have started to take note of this more visual social media entity. Take a look at how Instagram can be beneficial to your business and how you can harness its marketing power.
Instagram is very much a visual platform with tiny photographic squares making up the majority of any single post. A picture really does speak a thousand words, and you can show off to your customers a kookier aspect to your startup by using a photograph. Candid behind the scenes shots, prepping for a tradeshow, a new product or the team behind the brand can allow your customer base to see your company in a different and more informal light. Following the same hashtag formula as Twitter, people on Instagram can see your posts based on their searches. The more likes you get, the more people your posts become exposed to. If fellow Instagram users approve of what they see they can like, comment and follow leading to a greater online presence to capitalise on.
You Can Be Creative
You no longer have to see marketing as bland, two-dimensional advertising. It’s all about thinking outside the box and creating ways to see your product or service appeal to the masses. Why not use Instagram to encourage your followers to photograph themselves using your brand of vacuum cleaner, eating your brand of chocolate or building your flat pack furniture. Run competitions accompanied with a hashtag for people to win prizes or discounts in your online store. Be imaginative and utilise the fun aspect of social media. It only takes one post to generate a buzz and then gain viral exposure.
When something of yours goes viral, you can expect a surge in traffic to your website and a spike in followers and this will hopefully convert into sales and profits. Instagram allows you to connect with your followers across the world, giving you international presence.
Linking To Your Other Online Platforms
Instagram can direct traffic to your ecommerce site, blog or website if you put a sneaky little link in your bio or attach links sporadically through your posts. To accompany your highly visual and exciting Instagram, you need a website to match. Consider outsourcing your website design requirements to be sure of a professional site that echoes your branding and ethos. Offsite experts will always take account of your requirements, use their knowledge of keywords and meta tags to get your high up on Google’s search rankings, and will provide you with an online presence that is much more advanced than your drag and drop website builders.
By having an intricate web of different online platforms, you are building your online presence into something more significant than just one single social media channel. Make sure you keep posting relevant and exciting content for your readers and customers to share and comment on. Foster that two-way conversation that will develop making your company less standoffish and more current, approachable and relaxed.
Social media channels are a place where disgruntled customers can vent, which makes it even more important that your customer service is second to none. Address any concerns quickly to ensure that your mentions don’t snowball and don’t negatively impact your reputation.
While Facebook and Twitter still hold their own amongst the big social media channels, Instagram is morphing from a fun way of connecting with pals through photos to a business marketing tool in its own right. Consider how you can best utilise the qualities of Instagram and harness its power to help your business go from strength to strength.