The Power of Instagram for Business – Free Marketing and Customer Interaction and Reach

Increasing followers on Instagram is no longer a 15-minute fame thing. The social media app that’s meant for sharing photos with image filters has evolved into something this social force that even big conglomerates have taken notice. With more than 700 million monthly users (significantly larger than Twitter), IG is a force to be reckoned with. The attractive graphic user interface (GUI), the bright colors and easy to use an app is getting popular and hits all the right market from the very young to very old. Here’s how you can use the power of Instagram to your advantage.

Instagram from Pic Posting to Advertising

At the creation of Instagram, you would never have thought that such a small app would make a splash in the world of business. The developers made enough money already through the app downloads, they never thought at first that it can be used for marketing.

The journey started with celebrities using the app to document their lives. As more fans logged on Instagram, advertising agencies saw it as an opportunity. Celebrities soon started plugging sponsored products to their feeds. Ordinary but very interesting individuals also gained large followings and they too started getting sponsors and plugging the items on their feeds.

That went on for a while, with many models dominating the scene by posting more about their glamorous lives. Then a second shift happened. Instagram finally allowed companies themselves to create IG accounts. This allowed the company to cut costs by removing the middlemen and start advertising directly to consumers. Coupled with advertising slots from IG themselves, the app is a ripe place for marketing your website, product or yourself.

Navigating IG and Your Advertising Campaign

These are the steps you can follow if you want to launch a successful IG campaign.

Know Your Product

Before you dive into IG, scrutinize your product first. This will help you determine if you need a celebrity or an IG celebrity to make initial posts about it. Granted, you can make your own IG account, but without the backing of a few well-established IG celebs, it will be hard to promote your own account. There are many sorts of IG celebs on the gram. There are fitness models, travelers, crafts, humor and more.

Say you have a product for feminine hygiene. There’s an IG user who chronicles her relationship with her Jewish mother that you can use to promote your product. If you own a travel agency, then give a couple of models complimentary tickets and have them post about their trip and tagging your account in the posts. That’s why you need to know what your product is to find the right IG stars to jumpstart your company.

Creating Your Profile

Your company/product profile should be catchy. IG is all about images, so use graphics that can be pleasing to your target population or customers. You only have one way to link your IG to your website and that’s through the profile page, which would make sense as people will see your profile more than your posts.

Your profile picture and bio should also be recognizable. Build it around your brand and stay within the product or company color scheme.

Be Busy as a Bee

Learn how to make engaging Instagram posts. Regularly upload images and snippets.  Increasing follows on Instagram relies on how many relevant images and interesting information you can post daily. You could have a series of photo shoots for a product, but instead of posting them all at once, tease each picture every day for a whole month with interesting captions.

As IG already allows videos, small video posts can also capture the interest of users and with the right hashtags, your post may reach a lot of people at a fraction of a nationwide TV commercial cost.

Be Pretty as a Flower

Just a piece of advice when creating posts, avoid hard selling. While you need to make continuous posts, the IG culture is all about subtle imagery. That’s why models plugging products as discreetly as possible clicks more with people than an overly scripted IG post. The caption should grab attention, not because it’s obnoxious.

Take the example of a bottled water campaign. A very obnoxious post would look like it’s peppered with information about how good water is on a hot day or that a human body is made up of 70% water and you can get dehydrated easily so drink water every day. Now that’s too hard to swallow.

The same ad campaign but this time with a single graphic image of a man or woman showing a bit of gleaming sweaty skin and drinking your bottled water with one caption “Thirsty?” can garner more attention. Instagram for business is all about posting an attention-grabbing image with a subtle message.

Social media is chock full of apps that can be used to promote your business. In fact, you can cross over ad campaigns to other social media sites. What to learn how to do it? Collaborative Works tells you how to bring an effective ad campaign from IG to Twitter and vice versa. Also get business tips in the age of mobile internet, it’s an emerging market that will likely be bigger than television.