3 Ways To Use Instagram For Business

2 Jul

Alright, so as many of us know Instagram was recently acquired by Facebook for 1 BILLION DOLLARS.

This got me thinking, “what’s the big deal behind instagram, isn’t it just an app that makes your pictures look vintage?” Well it can be just that, or it can be so much more if we look at how we as marketers can harness its marketing potential. First lets explain how instagram works, then I’ll explain 3 key ways on how we can use instagram for business.

Basically, you take a picture with the application, add a “filter” so it looks more interesting and then you add a caption which, similar to twitter, lets you hashtag words with. The application is essentially its own social media network of people who follow other people for the pictures they post. Benefits of the app: They’re also able to link their posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr and most of them do.

Now to the 3 key ways you can use it for your business:

1. Make a campaign around taking pictures of your product. 
Lets say your business is a pizza place, you can put a sign next to the register, or on all of the tables that have your social media tags and info. The simplest campaign would be. “Take a picture and #(yourpizzeria’s name)”  best picture of the week gets a free pizza, or whatever deal you guys decide to run.  By having them hashtag your restaurants name (assuming it’s a small local business) you’re then able to look at all the posts under that hashtag and keep a flow of fan pictures of your food and by doing so they’re promoting your business to their social media network!

2. Managing Instagram Aside from Running Contests 
Keep involved with your instagram community. Lets use a real life example 5 Guys is a very respected high burger joint. Last week I personally went to 5 Guys and instagramed a picture of my burger. I hashtagged it as #5guys #bestburger and within an hour 5 Guys Instagram account liked, commented, and then reposted the picture and tagged me in it calling it the fan pic of the day.

By doing this they were able to create customer interaction at the same level as I would have had with one of my friends. I then followed them on instagram, and since have seen a few other pictures of their burgers and THE PICTURES MADE ME WANT TO GO BACK AGAIN! Isn’t that perfect? Free marketing!

3. Don’t limit Instagram to Instagram, use it on other social media sites as well!
In the points above I’ve discussed how getting people to post pictures and tag the restaurant could be effective on instagram, now lets think about the other social media networks. Say you decide to do “fan Instagram pic of the day” or something like what 5 Guys has in place, you could also post that same picture to facebook, and twitter. What does that mean for you? FREE CONTENT!  it means you can use it as part of your posting schedule, by creating something fun for your fans to do, and not hound them about deals you have or why your product is better.  By letting potential customers see that other customers are loving what you have to offer, it just makes things more real and personable on your social media networks!

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