The Internet has been taken over by visual sites and the demand for and growth of image based platforms is showing no sign of slowing down. From no users to over a billion uploaded images in less than 17 months, Instagram is something that businesses should actively be using as part of their digital marketing strategies.
Being a smartphone based app, recently spreading onto Android, it can be challenging for business owners to understand where and how Instagram can be a great social tool. By providing interesting and in-demand images that people want to see, the power of photo sharing can increase not only relations with a customer but also create a pool of both business and people interested in it.
By engaging with Instagram users through successful links to other social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, any business can create a successful contest using Instagram. By starting up an image contest, using a specific and niche ‘hashtag’ i.e./ #CatsCupcakeContest will allow users to see all related pictures in one place.
Offering a prize out in return for social shares will be extremely worthwhile. When people share their contest entry on their social pages they will encourage their friends to join in too. The potential reach once a social campaign really gets going can be staggering.
Offer your followers perks regularly for being a loyal follower and fan. Whether this is an occasional image with a 10% discount code when they show the picture in store or enter a code online, this can really be a great way to generate a large following.
Not to mention, it adds a personal touch to your Instagram account. After all, people want to see a face behind the pictures and if you only post images of your products people will soon leave. Remember that people don’t have to allow you into their social media feeds if they don’t want to – offer them something they won’t want to miss out on.
As we’ve mentioned under ‘Contests and Engagement’, it’s easy to build up a buzz over a specific contest on Instagram once social sharing really gets going. This can also be tailored to generate some excitement about a specific event your business is going to hold. If you run a nightclub, get people to enter with their favorite photo in your club, as an example, and offer a VIP package for the best one.
This is a similar approach to general contests but gives you scope to be able to include a link to your event and update pictures of posters using niche hashtags. If people are already interested in your products, your events should be just as appealing to them – especially if you’re offering something to them for free!
Create an exciting image and then include details in the comments using relevant generic hashtags so more people will see your post!
If you follow all these hints and tips, you can be sure that Instagram can be a great tool for your business and really boost your online presence and engagement with your customers!
Katie Belliveau is an avid blogger and loves finding great ways businesses can harness the power of Social Media. She recommends all e-commerce sites have all the resources they need to make their business as successful as possible; refer to www.davpack.co.uk for great business supplies.Author's Google+