They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And Instagram takes that saying to heart.
A free photo app for Apple iOS and Android devices, Instagram offers the more than 100 million people who use it every month the ability to share their lives through still and moving images. And it’s not just for posting pics of cute puppies and lush landscapes.
In addition to a domain name, website and profiles on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, Instagram is yet another online tool that can help you build and promote your brand, connect with customers and prospects, and generate sales.
What you can do on Instagram
While Instagram is especially useful if you’re selling tangible products or promoting causes with strong emotional appeal, this photo- and video-sharing social platform can benefit virtually every type of business and related effort. You can, for example:
- Make your followers feel like insiders by posting a photo of a product in production.
- Encourage followers to post photos or videos of them using your product or service.
- Boost brand awareness and excitement by hosting contests to promote your business. For instance, you could offer a free, soon-to-be-released product to the follower who posts the best pic of one of your current products.
- Build credibility by posting pics or video at trade shows and other industry events.
- Garner support for your company’s philanthropic efforts by posting a video of your employees volunteering at a charitable event.
To boost engagement, you can tag a fellow Instagramer in a picture by leaving a comment or a caption on the image that includes the @ symbol and their Instagram name.
In addition, you can identify your images with specific, relevant hashtags to help you connect with like-minded Instagrammers. For example, you could tag a photo of your latest and greatest widget with #widget, which will cause that image to load in all Instagram searches for #widget.
How to create an Instagram account
- Download the Instagram app from either the App Store (Apple devices) or Google Play (Android devices).
- Create a username that your audience will remember. Your username is how people search and tag you in photos, so make sure it’s short and fitting for your business.
- Check out Instagram’s tips for businesses.
- Start taking pictures and creating videos.