Instagram is a social sharing medium that allows people to take photos, add professional looking filters and share them across the internet. However, like other social media channels, marketers can harness the medium to create active communities, build their brands and generate demand for their products.
More and more brands are using Instagram to showcase their products, and give their customers a forum to share their feedback.
Here are three ways to harness Instagram to build your business:
Create user-generated communication
The amount of user-generated content generated around a brand is one measure of its engagement levels with customers and prospects. Instagram provides brands the opportunity to solicit content from their end users by asking them to take and share pictures of activities that they are performing every day, and which are in some way related to the brand.
Starbucks regularly ask their fans to post pictures from their daily activities and specific to the events they attend.
Instagram provides tools for social sharing of content across other networking sites such as Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. Due to the increased demand and consumption of visual imagery, sites such as Facebook and Twitter also allow for links of Instagram photos.
Instagram also provides a hashtag functionality which brands can use for launching campaigns and contests. Finally, the medium also allows you to tag friends and followers using the @ symbol which is commonly found in Facebook and Twitter. These sharing capabilities make Instagram a great facilitator for reaping SEO benefits through amplification of the images, captions and hashtags.
As said, Instagram is a great visual medium to engage and win communities. To optimally use the medium to build communities, brands need to think from their end users’ perspectives. Some brands reward their followers for looking at their pictures and reading through their descriptions. Companies can also launch contests or include discounts or promo codes. Take the case of TopShop, a woman’s clothing store that frequently posts pictures of their clothes, accessories and even shoppers. They also keep their fan following of over 473,000 highly engaged by including promotional codes in some of their posts.
Have a look at Instagram if you’re not using the medium. It may be beneficial.