Think Instagram Isn’t for Business?

Given the tremendous popularity and adoption of Instagram, it was only a matter of time before we marketers discovered good ways to channel that into marketing goodness for brands and products. Even though Instagram was purchased by Facebook and undoubtedly there will be changes in the future, for the time being Instagram represents a fantastic opportunity.

Witness the recent (2014) study by Forrester Research that shows among other things, that Instagram is beating its parent Facebook in terms of user engagement by a measly 60X! Add Facebook’s recent trimming of marketer’s sails when it comes to organic ad reach, and you can understand why people are actively looking to see what Instagram is capable of doing for their brand. Listed below are 7 ways we’ve found that companies are using Instagram to help with their social marketing.

7 Ways to market on Instagram

Put your business on Instagram – Perhaps an obvious first step, but ensuring that you’ve secured your business name on a business account, or as near as you can get to be recognized, along with completing your profile and connecting to Facebook and other social media channels is the base for everything else you hope to do.

Don’t be shy about using hashtags – Be sure and use hashtags in your updates, as that’s a big part of how people find you via mobile. Likewise, use your brand hashtags and make sure you monitor these, as you’ll want to catch any comments or concerns before they explode.

Practice engagement – Use this platform to heavily engage your customers and followers, by Liking photos, videos, making comments, embedding when appropriate and even highlighting your customers on your feed as well.

Use Instagram’s new 15-second videos – Use these to exhibit products, people and your brand.

Show off your products – Instagram is a great way of getting your products some wide reaching audience they might not have had.

Use Crowdsourcing to generate excitement about your products – Set up a contest and ask users to submit their best images of your products, showing their best uses and results.

Be sure and post often – Often could mean many things to many people, but there is a sweet spot that’s best for you and your brand. Find that and be consistent, and you’ll find your audience and following growing.