Instagram isn’t just for the everyday, average person who wants to document all the different places they go to and post pretty pictures. Many businesses overlook it because it isn’t a network where you can really explain who you are through words, it’s all visual, and that scares them. But instead of looking at that as a negative, think about how you can surpass the businesses that pass up Instagram, by utilizing its uniqueness to reach more of your target audience. And now with its new website profile feature to go along with the mobile app, you can use it in various ways to promote your brand and build your audience.
Here are some ways you can use Instagram for your business, including the new website profile feature:
Tell a Story: If you use your photos with the approach of wanting to tell a story, instead of bombarding people with your brand, you can become a huge hit. For instance, brands like Starbucks, they’re one of the most popular brands that use Instagram with over 900,000 followers, and they’re following continues to grow due to their intelligent use of how they post photos. Instead of boring people with pictures of the quintessential Starbucks logo and coffee cup, they post pictures of people drinking their product while doing some sort of activity, like sitting by the pool or doing homework. By doing so, they’re pictures never get old or repetitive, and they take a more personal approach to it by making people feel like they could be the one in the pictures.
Account Name = Twitter Name: By having the name of your Instagram match your Twitter account, you are not only making it easier for your followers to find and follow you but you are also giving yourself the opportunity to be discovered by people who aren’t following you. Since Instagram gives the user the opportunity to tag their followers or the ones they are following in a photo just like Facebook, you can be tagged by them and then if they possess a Twitter account that they connect to their Instagram, it will be uploaded to their Twitter account as well as posted onto yours due to the tag.
Hashtag: As most of you are probably aware of Twitter’s #hashtag feature, Instagram has adopted it as well. By hashtagging, you are giving your brand the ability to reach more people because what you hashtag places you in groups with users that have used that hashtag as well. The goal for this would be when people search for the hashtags you used, they see your brand’s picture and begin to follow you if they find it appealing. For example, if your brand involves food like burgers, photograph your food, hashtag it with #burgers and any other pictures that also hashtag burgers will be grouped with yours so when someone searches for burgers, yours shows up and reaches people beyond the ones that are aware of your brand. But be careful, do not go overboard with it because of the #hashtag freedoms Instagram gives you, unlike Twitter where there are limitations.
Utilize the New Website Profile Feature: As I mentioned earlier, Instagram launched their new website profile feature (see above Starbucks screenshot). The demand for Instagram on the web was growing at a fast rate, so they did what their users wanted and built a website profile for each user. The overall look resembles Facebook in some ways, with your profile picture being the smallest and a cover photo of collages of all your photos that are on a continuous rotation, as well as your entire album toward the bottom half of the page. By using this for your brand you can take create a way for even more people to find you Instagram, you can link the page to your websites, blogs, and other social media networks so that people don’t have to use their phone to find you, they can just log into their account and start following you.
The page is like a snapshot of everything, it can really express the story of your brand, customizing it and making it personal through your picture choices and enhancing your brand even further. If you have a successful Instagram, then users should be able to at least understand the basis of what and who your brand is.
If you have any questions about Instagram please let us know. We look forward to hearing your thoughts about this!
Image by I see the details of life in my way by Flickr CC