Instagram and it’s Benefits
The importance of using images in social media updates is something that is well talked about for driving up interest and engagement in the content posted. With Instagram, that importance has never been higher as the social media platform focuses it’s attention on the pictures not the words.
Combining photo sharing, video and social networking in one mobile app gives users the opportunity to portray scenarios, market products and even try to capture an emotion in the pictures they upload onto the site. With the focus being so much more on the images, it forces the user, business or person, to be more inventive and creative with the pictures they use to create a feel relevant to themselves, their brand or their company.
Benefits to your business
Instagram gives you the opportunity to learn more about your audience and reach them very easily.
Imagery, whether pictures or videos, always travel further online especially through social networks than the written word as images offer visual stimulation and capture the imagination of people more than text. Coupling that with hashtags included in the accompanying caption categorises the post and allows it to travel further, past just followers to be found by other users searching for particular images. Through Instagram, you can also see at a glance what your audience are interested in through a quick scan of their profiles instead of having to read through wordy status updates on Facebook and Twitter.
There is a big audience on Instagram but less business competition, giving you a greater chance to be seen.
With over 400 million monthly active users (CNBC.com, Sept 2015), there is a huge audience of people of all ages out there to connect your business with. At the moment, business adoption of the platform is still relatively low, except in the fashion industry, however that is set to change as more and more businesses are seeing the benefits of the platform for marketing and engagement with their customers. The benefits of the platform are huge with engagement 58 times higher than Facebook and 120 times higher than Twitter! (forrester.com, April 2014)
New audiences are easier to reach
Hashtags categorise your posts so people searching for a certain topic will find your posts among them. An example would be a Sheffield fashion brand hashtagging their pictures with #sheffield and #fashion so people searching either topic will find their pictures/content there.
Also, location tagging is a good way to reach more people, tagging your store within all your pictures gives people the opportunity to find you but it also gives you the opportunity to see pictures others have taken and tagged at your store. You can then engage with these users through commenting, liking or sharing their images and pushing up your engagement levels and audience reach even further.
It’s easy to share Instagram content across other channels
Once you have taken and edited your picture and added a caption, hashtags and your location, you then have the option to share your picture with your followers on other platforms when you click post on your Instagram picture. There is the opportunity to share your picture on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr blogs and Flickr, the photo sharing website. This easy and simple way to share content across all your social media at once saves time, increases your potential audience and keeps all your profiles regularly updated.
Good photography generates sales and increases website traffic
Pictures are meant to speak a thousand words and in the world of business and marketing, one very good shot can do so much more for sales and your reputation than any press release or catchy slogan. Instagram has forced people to be more creative with their photography coming up with new ideas and having a focus on subtle advertising. Getting your photography right will increase engagement, the sharing of your content and visitors to your Instagram profile which in turn will see more people inclined to visit your website and possibly buy something while they are there, driving sales forward.
Instagram’s casual tone gives personality to your business
Like Twitter, Instagram focuses on the more casual side of networking with others. This casual tone can be a huge benefit for any business as it gives them the opportunity to show a side of themselves that people rarely see, the human side of the business. Behind the scenes pictures of offices, stores, buildings etc, the day to day running and staff pictures all show the side of a business that people don’t see often but are very interested in. These snapshots can not only drive up engagement through sheer interest but create a more trustworthy and easy to connect with business. This kind of content really can improve people’s opinions of a business in a way that seems completely natural and less business oriented.
Instagram is free advertising!
With most marketing and advertising campaigns, there is a huge cost to the business and if it does not succeed then the business can stand to lose a lot of money. With social media, including Instagram there are no costs involved unless you decide to pour money into it. There are no set up costs, posting and creating the content is completely free and the advertising you inevitably get for your products, services or business cost you nothing. You can pay for certain things, like someone to manage your account for you or to take professional images you can use as content for the next few months like photos of the next season’s fashion stock you will be releasing, but to just use Instagram itself and share content has no cost to yourself or your business.