Strictly a mobile application, Instagram has dominated headlines recently in the social media realm this year with its $1 Billion buyout from Facebook, the introduction of an Android version of their app, and its announcement that it has reached the 80 million registered user mark. For those of you who don’t know, Instagram is a popular application for users to upload photos, with the main advantage of the app lying in the the various affects you can apply to each photo. Essentially, it gives the average Joe a basic version of the technology regular photographers use on a periodic basis. So how can your company use Instagram to increase awareness for your brand?
Share Interesting Photos
If imagery plays a significant role in your business, creating an Instagram account should be one of your first priorities when planning social media activities. Positioning itself as a blend of Facebook and Flickr, the photo sharing application has been able to amass a dedicated foundation of users who readily interact with companies and other users. This can prove to be especially useful for fashion brands, jewelry manufacturers, and local businesses with smaller marketing budgets. Introducing new clothing lines and products through the social media photo sharing application can provide your following with an added-value customer experience and encourage more activity within the community.
Link with Other Accounts
Through Instagram, you can share images to five specific social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare. This proves to be valuable because it allows for an easy-to-manage social media platform for distributing content and images to other sites. Considering fans are more likely to interact with visual posts, Instagram is becoming the foundation for brands to engage users on multiple sites. In addition, users can “Tweet” images they see on Instagram, further increasing its value as the most effective social media sharing site.
Hold Hashtag Campaigns and Contests
On a weekly basis, the Montreal-based newspaper The Gazette runs a contest where users submit photos according to a specific theme. By using the hashtag “#mtlfriday” in the image description, users will have their photos appear in the hashtag-based stream where The Gazette will then select the best photos to place in the Saturday edition. This is a cost-effective way to encourage users to participate in contests and create a community on the social media app.
Is Instagram Really that important?
Yes. The fact that Instagram has been able to cultivate a strong following though a mobile app indicates that it is on the rise and showing no signs of slowing down. As Facebook’s most expensive acquisition, one can only expect the social networking giant to find a way to monetize Instagram in the future through promoted products. Just like Google integrated Youtube into its platform, expect Facebook to take advantage of their new crown jewel and reap the rewards of the latest social media fad.