Have you ever wondered about the possible beneficial applications of Instragram to business, more specifically YOUR business? And what type(s) of content would best promote your business on Instagram?
Wonder no more, dear friend. Read on to discover how you can use Instagram to increase the visibility and mass awareness of your business via engagement with an exploding Instagram community.
First you need to know the animal.
What exactly is Instagram? Instagram is a free mobile photo-sharing application with more than 80 million users…and growing! As a software application with this much widespread use, there has been constant expansion and improvement to serve a multitude of proliferating needs. Business promotion via social media marketing is one of the fastest growing areas of application for Instagram.
With Instagram’s skyrocketing popularity and the memory of other recent software platform’s that started out as mere socializing interfaces but whose market saturation in terms of mainstream use rendered them powerful players in the sphere of business marketing tools, it seems that Instagram might be the next social software platform to jump on board with. It certainly couldn’t hurt. But exactly how and what can it do TO HELP?
Here are a just few ideas:
#1: Show Your Freakin’ Products!
This one should seem like a no brainer. No matter what your product is, you gotta “get it out there”, right? People are visual. They like to see things. Sometimes when they see these things, they want them, in which case they often buy them if possible. So if you have things you want people to buy, showing them said things is always to your benefit, especially if it’s via a venue/vehicle that people don’t immediately associate with advertising or marketing. Their ‘guard will be down’,
meaning they may be more likely to attune themselves to it naturally and/or less likely to be indifferent/closed off.
What if your business is more service oriented?
No problem. There is still a plethora of ways to showcase services. You could show some of the equipment and/or supplies that play a role in the services you provide. Or you can show this equipment and/or the personnel that operate it, in action. For example, if you’re a personal trainer you could show off a trendy or exclusive piece of equipment that your clients have the privilege of using via your services. Or better yet, show one of your clients using the said piece of equipment under your instruction or in a regimen of your design. If you’re in a very tech related business you can showcase your technical prowess or relevancy by displaying the latest and greatest equipment and revealing your knowledge of the benefits such equipment and your skills can provide.
#2: Show How It’s Made and/or Where it comes from
There has been a spark of renewed and/or increasing curiosity as of late, about how and perhaps even more importantly, where our goods come from. Likewise, the increasingly popular local food movement is something that feeds upon people’s desire to know similar things about the products that they physically consume.
With Instagram you can let your followers in on the origins of their favorite products with snapshots taken at various points in the manufacturing or generating/
growing process. If that process is a long one, you might consider making it a multi-part post that follows the process from planning to production to delivery.
#3: Go Behind the Scenes: Show the Secret Side.
Simply getting ready to launch a product, or all the work that goes in to pre-promotion inmore traditional marketing pathways is a lot of hard work that people never see. But people like to see things…that they don’t get to see every day. Take and share photos of interesting moments in the behind the scenes life of your product(s) and/or business. Doing a photo shoot? Filming a commercial? Doing an interview? Backstage is a privilege. People like thinking they are privileged.
#4: Get Down and Dirty: Show What Your Products Can Do!
Imagination is a wonderful thing but sometimes our imagination gets lost and forgets to ask for directions. Use Instagram to create demand by guiding consumers in visualizing the uses YOU imagine and/or intend for your products or services. This is also a perfect opportunity to invite user-generated content. Followers and fans can submit their own photos demonstrating/featuring your products. Put your customers to work as advertisers.
If your business provides a service like design, repair, or consultation, show your Instagram followers the impact of your work with a shot of your subject before and after you do your thing. Visual side-by-side comparison speaks for itself.
#5: Give a Sneak Peek.
Everyone likes to be ‘in the know’. Make your Instagram followers feel special and give them exclusive previews of products and services, or virtual tours of your new stores, production facilities or offices in the making.
#6: Show the Workplace.
People who develop a keen interest in your company, products, or services, may start to wonder about what it’s actually like at your company. Post photos that provide a glimpse of a-day-in-the-life at your office—work areas, the corporate gym or playing field, personalized work spaces, meetings in progress, training sessions, employees at lunch, employees at play—you get the idea. And if you happen to be hiring, you can mention that in the captions.
#7: Taking it on the Road
Going to a trade-show or sponsoring an event? Use that as an opportunity to take your Instagram followers along for the ride. Followers that happen to be in those locations might be especially interested to know you’re in their neighborhood. Folks can also get a better grasp of your brand by learning about the events or causes you attend, support or sponsor.
#8: Put a Face to the Name and Pump Your Team!
You can humanize your brand by using Instagram to introduce your followers to the uniquepeople who make your company what it is.
Employees might enjoy the recognition and Instagram followers will get a chance to see the people behind the product. You might even turn this into an ongoing campaign that takes fans around the office to meet staff serving in a variety of roles within your company.
#9: Sell it like a Celebrity!
Whether people admit it or not, we are a society of celebrity junkies. What so-and-so ate for lunch is somehow big news. Whether or not it’s good news may be questionable but here’s some:
You can cash in on this if what they ate happens to be your company’s granola bar. Sharing pictures of celebrities interacting with your brand can be a huge boom to your brand and company, possibly spiraling virally through multiple networks and interfaces after you post it depending upon the person and circumstance.
Last but not least, apart from famous people there is no rivaling the power of cute. Turn this cuteness into capital.
Whether they’re just staff member’s children (shameful, we know) or pets visiting the office or they are actually starring in your advertisements (at which point you’ve already got a head start on the exploitation) never miss an opportunity to get a snapshot of them being adorable, and more importantly, being adorable in your company’s schwag. Post this to instagram to be dispersed out on the interwebs. Just make sure the little cuties aren’t doing any hard labor in the photo as this could totally backfire on you in this case.