You already know the importance of creating a presence for your small business on major social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but another is quickly growing in popularity — Instagram.
Instagram is a mobile phone app that allows users to upload photos and give them an aesthetically pleasing tint, resulting in fun, pretty images that people enjoy sharing. Previously users were only able to view Instagram photos from a mobile device, but the company has recently released a new web profile feature, that allows users to check out images on a desktop computer.
Instagram web profiles contain a profile photo, bio, and all the photos a user has uploaded to the site. Creating a profile for your small business is a great way to use images to visually show customers what you’re all about, instead of simply telling them. Your customers can follow you, just as with other social networks, so any new Instagram photos you post will appear in their feed.
Making Instagram Photos Work for You
Similarly to Twitter, you can post hashtags with Instagram photos, so they will come up in user search results for specific key words. For example, if your small business is a bakery, you could put the hashtag #weddingcupcakes on a photo of cupcakes you’ve prepared for a wedding. This gives people searching for wedding cupcakes the chance to see your work and can bring in new business.
Instagram photos can also be used to show your small business products off and even to demonstrate how to use them. For example, a florist could post pictures of a centerpiece they created to show potential customers the kind of work they can do for them. Or a boutique owner could post pictures of different ways to wear accessories sold in their store. Basically it helps you to show customers why your product and services are great!
Another great way to use Instagram is to encourage customers to post their own pictures of themselves using your products or visiting your business — even encourage them to use your hashtags! Not only will you benefit from your own followers seeing these posts, the images will appear in the feeds of their followers as well, creating more exposure for your small business!
Promoting Your Instagram Account
When creating an Instagram account for your small business, it’s important to promote it so your customers know you’ve joined this social network. Put an Instagram badge on your website, just as you probably already have for your Facebook and Twitter profiles. This lets all visitors to your site know that your company is on Instagram, and it provides a direct link to your web profile, making it easy for people to check you out.
An Instagram account can serve as an excellent marketing tool for your small business. While other social networks rely on words as the main form of communication on the site, Instagram operates on images. Instead of simply telling customers what your company can do for them, you can use Instagram photos to prove that your small business excels at what you do.