A Picture is Worth A Thousand Followers
With a following of 400 million people, Instagram is one of the most relevant social platforms in today’s marketplace. While, picturesque landscapes, delectable cupcakes, and bikini-clad bodies might be what you think of when Instagram comes to mind, there are incredibly creative ways to promote your business using this visual app. Whether you sell goods that can be photographed or sell a service that can be documented, Instagram can promote your brand and put your company in the pockets of its mobile-based audience. The following are recommendations for setting up your Instagram community to best serve your business goals and direct people to your website or blog.
FIND YOUR PEOPLE
Instagram is a community. It contains millions of micro-groups that view the world visually. That doesn’t mean this audience doesn’t think about law or economics or going to the gym. But they will be more enthusiastic about these subjects if there is a beautiful picture associated with the idea. While it is easy to be dismissive of non-visual businesses associating with the visual marketplace, there are effective ways to promote traditional business on Instagram. For example, many non-visual industries use inspiring quotes to showcase how their business makes people feel.
Simply typing in law, business or anything else into Instagram’s search option will reveal a spectrum of imaginative ideas that you can duplicate. This kind of competitive analysis will also show the influencers who inspire your marketplace. The business should itself follow these accounts. Then take some notes of their material. Do these accounts post pictures with text or quotes? Do they use hashtags or post questions? These influencers will help guide the visuals for your posts.
Brand Ambassadors are the people or companies that help to promote your message. They broadcast your posts to their networks based on the interest they have in your business.
Some brands work together in a mutual cross-promotion of their merchandise. Often this works best when one company helps another sell something of their own. An example of this would be Lululemon and Pure Barre. Lululemon sells the clothing that is appropriate for doing the physical activities offered by Pure Barre. So they cross-promote each other in their respective Instagram accounts.
There are some truly creative and exciting ways for businesses to engage their followers on this visual platform. While some large brands offer their top influencers prizes and rewards, other companies host contests to increase engagement from their brand loyalists. Examples of this are contests that ask users to send in pictures using a company’s product or service.
Additionally, the quote or question you pair with the image is equally important, as it must reflect the company’s voice and tone. Hashtags are also a great way for newcomers to find your account and your business. There is some debate as to how many hashtags may be too many for one post. As a general word of caution, make sure that your hashtags are relevant to both the picture posted and the branding of your business.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Of course, all of the strategy you put into your Instagram post will be futile if the picture is not good quality. The images, as well as the written part of the post, need to match your company objectives and the brand voice you have created. Without this, your audience is lost. There are many resources for making the picture or quote look as professional as possible. Looking at the types of things that others in your industry use will help give you ideas for material to use on your account.
Instagram can be used to promote businesses across the spectrum. Their very large community of visual learners is receptive to looking at traditional markets and new e-commerce ideas in creative ways. With some design and strategy, these pictures can bring non-visual business to life for a whole new group of people.