It is safe to say that businesses should have a presence on social media. Many choose to be on sites like Facebook, mainly because of the large number of users and higher chance of gaining exposure. There are other networks out there too, like Instagram, that can help further enhance a brand. This is especially the case for companies with physical products who want a better way to visually showcase products or interact with customers.
Instagram is a social network focused around pictures. By downloading it onto your mobile device - Android and Apple iOS - you can take pictures, enhance them by applying various filters and share them on other social media sites, like Facebook, in a short amount of time. With more than 90 million regular users, there is a good chance that some of your customers are using this app.
If your business doesn't utilize this app, now could be the time to look into it, especially since there have been two recent updates that make the platform more viable for businesses. The first being that you can now take, apply specific filters to, and upload short videos. The second being the ability to embed pictures directly into your website, blog or other online content.
With these new features, Instagram has become an even more valuable tool to businesses looking for another way to expand their social reach and brand. Here are four ways you can utilize it:
1. Run a customer photo competition
If your business sells physical products, why not start a photo competition where you encourage customers to take pictures of themselves using your products, and post them on Instagram. If you create a specific hashtag, they can add it to their photo and make it searchable too.
Doing this gives your products and company essentially free advertising, while enabling you to track how people use your products and where. Plus, it also gives you the opportunity to better connect with your customers.
2. Show off your products
Instagram has a number of great filters that make photos taken on mobile devices look great. If you are looking for a way to show off your products, why not take pictures of them and share these on Facebook or your website?
With the new video feature, you or your staff can even do short product demonstrations, which you then share on social media. This can be a great way to drive customers to buy into your brand, and may start conversations about your products. If you get lucky, the content could even go viral. Again, this is free advertising for you. Plus, there is no need to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for professional photos that are just going to go on Facebook, so why not save yourself a bit of money and use the phone in your pocket?
3. Capture events
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is taken very seriously by many businesses, and can include sponsoring various events. If your company is involved in community action then why not ask participants to take photos using Instagram, and tag your company using a specific hashtag.
You will get free exposure and could get some great pictures that you can share on other social media, or even your website.
4. Easily share pictures on different sites
With the recent addition of the ability to embed Instagram pictures into different websites or blogs, you can not only create good looking content, but content that will spark a conversation. If you log into the browser version of Instagram, and find the picture you would like to embed on your site, click on the Share button and scroll down to the bottom-right. You will see the embed code which you can copy and paste on your site or blog.
If you are looking for a good way to expand your brand online, whether it be through Instagram or any other platform, contact us today to see how we can help you connect with your customers in a whole new way.