Here at EBS Marketing, we know how important content is. It’s the driving force of any social media campaign and the be all and end all of SEO. But, far too often marketeers can get too hung up on the word.
Whilst the term can be useful in many respects, its broad meaning for anything textual has meant that quite often visual aspects can often be neglected. But, with the wide range of social media avenues available to use as business marketing tools, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be perfecting the visual side of your marketing strategy.
Photos, graphics, banners, logos – all can be utilised to maximise your business output, making sure your audience recognises your brand and receives your message effectively. And one social avenue which is being currently being used by a large number of growing businesses and companies is Instagram, a free smartphone app which lets you capture, edit and share photos and videos.
So what is Instagram?
Back when the iPhone was in its infancy, for a while it looked like Hipstamatic might have been the camera app of choice. But soon, with the rise of Instagram – and its free access – Hipstamatic faded almost completely out of knowledge.Known for its ease of use, countless sharing options and stylistic photo reviewer, Instagram has now grown into a smart phone essential, used by millions all over the world.
How does it work?
So, picture this. Say you run a popular sandwich shop in the middle of a busy city centre. And you want to let everyone know that you’re open for lunch. Normally you open at 12 noon, but today – because it’s a Friday – you decide to open up shop an hour early. But how do you let the public know? How can you make the most out of opening an hour early? Well, say you have a smartphone or iPhone, with one simple click of a shutter, you can share a message both quickly and effectively through Instagram’s newsfeed, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more, letting your audience know that you’re open, and ready to do business.
As with a number of image based profiles, Instagram can be an amazing place to cultivate business. It’s also a brilliant way to raise brand awareness, drive natural SEO and develop a relationship with your customers. So with this in mind, here are just a few of the advantages of using Instagram in your social media strategy.
- Better reach – As we spoke about in our EBS Marketing Introduction to Social Media Marketing blog at the start of June, Facebook is increasingly becoming a place of unpredictability. With posts and links not reaching anywhere near enough of their intended audience, more and more business owners are looking for more reliable ways to share their stories. And as Instagram doesn’t use a newfeed algorithm to filter post results, 100% of your photos will appear on your customers feed. What’s shared on Instagram, stays on Instagram.
- Mobile Market – Whilst it may seem like a big ‘no no’ that Instagram is an almost entirely mobile platform, this so-called negative could well be a positive. Using Instagram is an amazing way to tap into the smartphone market, and depending on your business, catching customers on the go can be a great thing. And if that doesn’t persuade you, then perhaps Instagram’s two hundred million users will.
- SEO & SMO – Having already established that Instagram is predominately mobile-based, the photo-sharing iPhone friendly platform can also affect your SEO with profiles and photos accessibly through any desktop device. So keep an eye on your public profile and utilise the platform.
- Interaction – With the ability to share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more, Instagram is a really handy little app to have. But, it’s important to remember that Instagram in itself has its own social media community, with millions of users. Developing relationships with customers can mean followers, increased interaction, and in turn, exposure, and means you won’t have to concentrate on other social profiles as much.
- It’s Free – Need we say anymore.
Just before you shoot off, snapping everything in sight, here are a few final thoughts to bear in mind, to help keep you and your business on the right track.
- Share regularly – There’s nothing worse than an outdated, empty profile. Sure, it might be hard to keep on top of your social media presence, but it’s really important that your output is consistent and regular. Try to take and share a picture each day, and remember that you can always save images for another day if you’re having a busy one.
- It’s not all about business – If you’re setting up a business profile, then of course, we’re not suggesting you don’t advertise yourself and promote your company as much as possible. It’s just too much business talk can end up harming your reach. Try sharing ‘behind the scenes’ pics, or activities that show a more human side. You’ll be surprised how effective they can be.
- Engage with the community – With such a concentration on brand output, it can be easy to forget that there are other people online. If you neglect the community, then most likely they will neglect you. Making sure you follow relevant users and comment on and like other interesting posts is really important. And, do remember to reply to those who interact with you!
We hope that this short introduction to Instagram as a business tool has been in some way helpful, and that you can continue to successfully grow your business or brand.
For more about social and online marketing make sure you head over to EBS Marketing’s website for more information now.
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