Using Instagram to Improve Your Brand Online

Instagram marketing
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Instagram is part of the mobile social media marketing “second wave” that has gained enormous popularity among people who consider themselves part of the “Selfie” generation. Founded in 2010 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has over 150 million subscribers and is twenty-ninth in the Alexa ranking.

See Also: 5 Steps to Facebook Marketing Success

What may not be apparent to Internet Marketers and businesspeople in general is how well Instagram can serve their business interests. Business marketing through visual websites is still in its infancy – all the more reason to get in on the ground floor of this technological revolution.

See Also: 3 Ways to Promote Your Business Brand on Pinterest

This is especially true for small and home-based businesses that stand to benefit most from innovative thinking. All too often, all the marketing focus is on established social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. However, Instagram is enjoying explosive growth, and entrepreneurs can use its features (e.g. statistics (analytics)) to better promote themselves.

Here are some ways that Instagram can be used to take your business to the next level:

1. Sharing Relevant Business Photos

Allow current and prospective clients to peek into your operations to arouse curiosity.

This will demonstrate that you want to project a positive public image, and are looking to engage people in a deeper conversation and relationship concerning your business.

Remember – you are not seeking attention for attention’s sake like Lady Gaga or the Kardashians.  Be professional in your Instagram profile and you will attract the right audience.

 

2. Practice Instagram Business Marketing

For businesses that create products on a regular basis, you can demystify your company by walking through your entire process with images, from raw materials acquisition to manufacturing/processing to finishing and the final presentation. While the general public may not care for it, being an open book should attract attention from potential clients, partners and who knows – future investors.

Perhaps that’s how Facebook first took notice of Instagram?

3. User Interaction and Suggestions

Your current client base is a great source of feedback on the current state of your product line, and can act as a powerful trigger for new ideas. All the more reason to use Instagram to reveal your business (proprietary information excluded, of course).

Constructive criticism from the outside can be a humbling experience. However, recall the old axiom, “What does not kill your business will only make it stronger.”

See Also: 4 Steps to Managing Your Reputation on Social Media

4. Making use of Keywords and Hashtags

Instagram images, like Facebook posts and Twitter tweets can become viral when attached to the right keywords and hashtags. In fact, other popular social media networks and influential blogs can pick them up.

Extend your search for trending hashtags and keywords, and include them in your pictures’ names or descriptions.

As a result, your business websites may benefit from a sharp rise in visitor traffic and a subsequent increase in absolute sales and sales conversion. Use your Instagram business statistics to monitor performance.

5. Associating a Face or Faces to your Company Name or Brand

Unlike a Fortune 500 company or an established small to medium size business, you are probably not very well known outside of your community. At this stage, you are the brand – you don’t have a recognized logo or corporate spokesman to fall behind. Therefore, post pictures in Instagram of you (and your core team members, if applicable) to build a rapport and name recognition with the general public.

This is a great strategy if you are in the hospitality industry (e.g. Bed and Breakfasts, Coffee shops, Souvenir outlets) but is also a powerful tool for purely online business interactions.

“Getting your face out there” as they say is a great way to build brand and customer loyalty for the long-term.

See Also: 5 Instagram Marketing Tips to Promote Your Business on the Internet