In contrast to other social media, one of the unique things about Instagram is that it is entirely based on sharing pictures. Whilst Facebook is the world`s most popular social media platform, Instagram is developing quickly and becoming increasingly popular, and with it being a subsidiary of Facebook, we are continuing to see better integration between the two platforms.
Using social media for business is an essential part of marketing strategies in today`s business world and Instagram is an important social media platform especially amongst the younger generation. According to the Meeker Report, Instagram is considered to be the most important social network amongst young Americans.
What is Instagram and How is it used for Business?
Instagram is a photo sharing social network where users can post, share and judge images and videos. It is a subsidiary of Facebook and can be used in conjunction with other social networks to boost your digital marketing impact.
Using Instagram for business allows you to not only help to promote products or services, but also create the visual side of your brand, show your human side – behind the scenes – and show that you understand your customer base.
Central to almost all digital marketing in social media is engagement. It is about creating a connection between a business and a customer base and the visual side of this is very important, especially in creating branding. Instagram for digital marketing therefore is perfect, as it is based almost entirely on the visual side. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and this can definitely be the case with Instagram.
One of the best ways to get started with Instagram is to check what your friends and competitors are doing. This will give you a better idea of what Instagram can do for you and your business and from this you can start to build your business strategy on Instagram.
Your Instagram strategy should involve considering your overall business goals as well as your digital marketing and more specific social media goals. Your strategy should include:
- How often you are going to post – don`t inundate your followers, but make yourself seen
- Decide what time of day you are going to post – try to make it when your followers are most active online
- Create a content calendar – including content ideas, deadlines and who if allocated to do it
- Choose the themes for your content
Whilst it is important to have a strategy, you should also test the different variables of your Instagram content, changing just one thing at a time to get a good idea of what does and doesn`t work.Branding on Instagram
One of the major roles of Instagram for businesses is in its use for branding. By sharing phots you can start to build up the visual side of your brand and after just a short time, leave people with no doubts about who you are as a brand.
Creating your Instagram brand involves thinking about cohesive themes and messages, as well as using consistent filters and visuals. This will help to create a good and consistent overall look and basis for your brand.
You can use a range of different content ideas whilst continuing to create a consistent brand. Some ideas include:
- For businesses with products or product lines, you can post pictures of what you have, or new products which are becoming available
- You can show the human side of your business by posting pictures of employees or ways that your business has affected people personally
- You can show `behind the scenes` images of how things are made or planned, for example
- Show that you understand your target audience by posting images that aren`t necessarily related to your products or services, but are of a common interest to the majority of your customer base.
By posting a mixture of these different content ideas, as well as your own which can help to fit the branding that you are trying to create, you will be able to start to give your business (and brand) a distinct identity with people understanding you as a business, your products or services, your culture and what is important to you. And through this creation you will begin to find that people engage with you more, like you more, and, ultimately are more likely to want to do business with you. Which is, of course the whole point of digital marketing.Instagram Hashtags
A good way to reaching new people in Instagram is by using hashtags. A branded hashtag – which doesn`t have to be your business name – should be something that incorporates your Instagram brand. You can then encourage your users to post images or videos which fit in with your brand hashtag, giving your business more exposure, engaging with old and new customers and giving them a chance to feature on the brand`s profile.Dynamic Ads
Dynamic ads allow businesses to integrate their advertising on Facebook and Instagram, giving them the chance to retarget existing customers or those who have shown an interest in a product or service but not bought. This means that you as a business can see details about what customers have browsed or shown interest in and then can target them with specific adverts.
This can be extremely valuable to businesses in capturing people who are already interested in a product or service, to have browsed, added to a cart but not bought, or actually bought something previously.
Instagram can be a very useful tool for branding, advertising and engaging with previous, current and potential customers. By implementing the right Instagram content strategy, you can ensure that it is used to its maximum effect, with the best ROI possible.
If you have any questions about how to use Instagram for your business, creating good content or your web design and digital marketing, get in touch with Studioworx either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone +44 (0)1482 659362 or the website (http://studioworx.co.uk).