Getting Started on Instagram
Instagram profile can be valuable and effective marketing channel. Keep an active interaction with your fans and on long run it will be worth the effort.
There is no need to talk about how important promotion on social networks is nowadays. There is increased online engagement on Instagram from big multinational companies to small shops and manufactures. Everyone sees opportunity for growth and development. There are many social networks where billions of people are active daily, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Snapchat. One of them is Instagram, application for sharing photos and videos made with smartphones. If you use Instagram, that is just one of the ways how to successfully promote your business on social media.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is social network that allows people to interact with each other through photos and videos that they make with their smartphones. You can create an account and you will have a news feed and a profile just like in Twitter or Facebook.
Once you post something on Instagram it will be displayed to others and they can put likes or follow you. When people start to follow you they will be able to see your posts in their feed and you can see theirs if you follow them. Your posts can be private or public and you can use wide varieties of digital filters that can make your photos and videos more interesting.
Some of the companies that are active on Instagram are Audi, Nike, Red Bull, Ford, Starbucks, General Electric, Gap but also many more.
Instagram was created in 2010 as a free mobile application. First it was working only for iOS and two years later it was also available for Android users. In 2011 Instagram introduced #hashtags, that became widely accepted on many social networks as well. They didn’t aim at professional photographers, but instead they initially approached to those people that do photography as hobby. They wanted to get high-quality photos instead of mass pictures. Instagram grew exponentially in users and value and it became widely accepted as one of top three social networks.
Many famous people are active users, they share personal videos and photos every day. When Instagram changed its rules that they can sell images without compensation, some of celebrities deleted their accounts. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of famous people and brands that still use it.
Some of the motives to be active on Instagram can be interaction with others, archiving content and self-expression, everything that good marketing team can use to promote its work.
Instagram gained a lot of new users and it had continuous growth since its introduction online. It was bought by Facebook in 2012 for billion dollars. After that Instagram grew by 23% and reached a lot of new users.
First, their photos were square shaped unlike typical camera 4:3 in that time. After that, they introduced widescreen resolution and now it is allowed for users to upload media captured in any ratio, but not in full size. In beginning it was used only for photos and later on it was possible to upload short videos as well.
Users can connect their Instagram account to other social networking sites, enabling them to share uploaded photos to those sites and gain new followers from other networks.
Like we mentioned before, they grew rapidly from 100 million active users in 2012 to more than 300 million in 2014. Two thirds of users are female and one third is male. Instagram usually attracts younger generation of users, almost 80% of total users are under the age of 35. Also it is the similar number of people that prefer user photos when they decide about purchase instead of professional photos. Since people are visual beings by our nature, it makes sense that Instagram today has more than 600 million monthly active users and that it continues to grow.
There are many numerous benefits of using Instagram application in your business online. Some of them are more direct and instantly visible while others are indirect.
Some of them are:
- Better visibility
- Different content (content marketing)
- Better conversion rate
- Fans engagement
- Increase traffic
- Trust and personality
Posting not so interesting photos will make people scroll down and not pay attention, your photos need to be attractive enough to find and keep followers. That can be either your biggest advantage or disadvantage.
Also pictures need to be square so if your photos are not like that, some parts of your photo might not show in the feed, that can be a problem if you have text on picture and it can be cut.
Instagram application doesn’t work on Linux or Blackberry so if those users are your target audience you won’t be able to reach them.
A decade ago no one knew about term selfie and that is how much Instagram and other social networks changed the world. Selfie is a self-portrait photography taken with a smart phone or a digital camera which became word of the year by Oxford Dictionary in 2013.
Selfies are some of the most used ways to create photos of people on Instagram.
Companies like Coca Cola used selfies to promote themselves when they putted names and last names on bottles and many users took picture with it and that can also be part of your campaign.
How can you use Instagram?
Now we came to a crucial question, how can your business use Instagram for promotion? If your company is visually oriented than Instagram can be a great tool for you. You should check in what are your potential fans interested in. You should also create a posting calendar, how often you post and what do you post. If you are active and you create a good content than your followers will also be active. You can’t expect from them to be active if you aren’t.
Try to represent your brand as good as you can, see what is popular in other posts and make interaction with fans. Be spontaneous and active even if your photos are not high quality, capture emotion or feeling, followers will respond better towards it.
Considering your field of work your videos or photos can be of:
- From events
- Online competitions
- Employees or customers