Monday, September 12, 2016

Instagram for Business Marketing

Marketing With Instagram
Success for brands on Instagram takes more than publishing attractive images—it is the product of thoughtful strategy, a well-defined brand identity grounded in visual creativity and effective community management.
                                                                                 Alicia Johnston

Chances are the thought of using Instagram as a business networking application hasn't crossed your mind.
There's no shame in that - very few small business users of the popular social app effectively apply its potential toward projects. By providing creative and interesting content that engages readers, an Instagram account can be just as effective as a 30 second commercial on network television.
Instagram users make up 24.2% of the online population (eMarketer 2015). That equates to 77.6 million users altogether. The effect of using Instagram cannot be denied. It is a visual media powerhouse. Instagram is the platform of choice for teens and millennials, and this demographic cannot be disregarded in your marketing campaign.
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The focus should be on originality and eye appeal, drawing on the strengths already inherent in the application. Instagram enjoys wide-spread use, crisp resolution, and fast load speeds. Pairing these with short and punchy copy can capture the imagination of your followers, transmit your branded message and prompt customers to interact.
Marketing posts aren’t much different from personal posts on Instagram. What a focused business networking post does is use the tools available to reach your target audience. Instagram, and Twitter for that matter as well, both have a built in targeting feature called the hashtag, often seen as "#". By determining exactly what audience you wish to engage with is as simple as choosing the right hashtag for the biggest bang.
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But in the battle for practical application, Instagram wins over Twitter hands down. After creating the mandatory visual image, the typing field will inform the user of the popularity of the hashtag being typed, while at the same time suggesting similar tags.
For example, if you choose to post an image of the dinner you are about to eat and want to share it with the largest appropriate audience, spend a few moments thinking of possible hashtag communities that might enjoy the image. Good examples are #Food, #Foodie, and my favorite, #Foodporn. A recent post using these tags showed 210,340,675, 34,068,828, and 92,545,997 posts, consecutively. I also like to use #MMM at 3,735,238 posts, versus #MMMM at 700,364 - or even #MMMMMM at 291,724 posts. The more posts a hashtag has, the more followers pay attention to posts in that community. This translates to more views of your business networking application.
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Using the post counter that populates below your message drafting space will help utilize valuable real estate on posts to gain the largest audience with the smallest and most concise selection of hashtags. Though there is a greater amount of space in an Instagram post versus a Twitter post, you still want to be aware of your 140 Twitter character count as you can create one post on Instagram and share it via Twitter. It’s a real time saver.

At the prompts asking you to tag people or add your location are a selection of five social media platforms outside of Instagram's control that you can post to. These are Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Swarm and the inevitable Twitter. Simply activate the platforms you wish to share with and your message will be forwarded to those accounts. Be wary, however, as the one fault on this sharing is that those social media platforms will not post exactly the same way. Though Twitter will post your message, it will do so as a link back to Instagram in order to see your image, meaning your audience will need to actively engage in order to see your full message.

Keep your message concise, engaging and accessible and you’ll get the hang of Instagram in no time.