Instagram has been gaining popularity in the past couple of years, and some businesses are beginning to take advantage of the app’s growing audience. A couple weeks ago I listened to one of Social Media Examiner’s Podcasts about marketing opportunities in Instagram. SME’s Michael Steltzner interviewed Sue B. Zimmerman, a Cape Cod fashion boutique owner who successfully uses Instagram to draw business to her store. She also helps other businesses implement marketing strategies within Instagram.
Although Instagram is most effective for businesses that sell attractive, picture-ready products, Sue claims she could make any business successful. The photo app is perfect for showcasing employees, behind-the-scenes projects, inspirational quotes, and other content, even if no actual products are included in the images.
Why Businesses Should Use Instagram
Many businesses can benefit from an Instagram account. Google Trends shows the growing online interest in the app since 2010:
Instagram has over 150 million users who share about 55 million images daily! That is one engaged and consistent user base of potential followers. One of Instagram’s biggest appeals is that it’s predominantly mobile. It is very dynamic and allows for real-time content sharing. In addition, with 20 different filters almost any image can be turned into a photo masterpiece, making Instagram easy and fun for anyone.
Sue spent a lot time during the podcast talking about the marketing benefits of Instagram hashtags. People follow different hashtags that appeal to their interests, and businesses can identify the hashtags their target audience follows and incorporate those in their images. Common hashtags are adjectives that describe the image, brand name, or location. There are also several tools online that marketers can use to identify what hashtags they should be using, such as Tags For Likes and many others.
Analytics and Management
According to this Social Media Examiner list of Instagram tools, there are now several apps that help with the management of Instagram campaigns and offer additional features that the native Instagram app lacks. Marketers can now see what images received the most attention, generated most followers or comments. Some tools offer scheduling, so that you can plan your posts ahead. There are many marketing opportunities within Instagram thanks to these third-party apps, and I highly recommend reading this article and make use of them, whether you are marketing a business or your personal profile.