#INSTAFEEL: Is Instagram Right For Your Business?
On June 21st 2016, Instagram announced that its community had grown to more than 500 million Instagrammers worldwide! More than 300 million of these Instragrammers are power users who go on Instagram every single day to share the hashtag love. Instagram is also becoming ever more global, with more than 80 percent of users living outside of the United States. These factoids alone easily explain why the world-famous photography sharing platform, born in 2010, is one of the key social media channels that a growing number of businesses are hoping to capitalise on. Do you want to jump on the Insta-wagon to improve your online visibility? Here are some things that you should know before you develop and carry out your own Instagram content strategy.
Smile, you’re on camera!
Just like you would do with any other visual campaign, set out your goals and define objectives before you go online. Map out your priorities, whether that's raising brand awareness or driving more visitors to your website. Create images that speak for themselves, and that are in line/in harmony with your company’s tone of voice. Craft them with care and loads of creativity, and let the look and feel of your brand shine through amongst elegant compositions and bright colours. Not sure how to get going? Take advantage of Instagram's comprehensive guides for businesses starting out on the platform, covering everything from content strategy to visual storytelling.
It’s the little things that matter the most
Once upon a time, your company was nothing more than a tiny idea, and yet it was an idea strong and meaningful enough to keep you up all night. (Maybe it still does some days?)
Although it’s good to celebrate big achievements and milestones, Instagram is all about sharing everyday moments. If you think you don't have much to say about your company’s little stories- you’d better change your mind quick. Talk to your employees (not just your Marketing and PR team!) and collect their personal anecdotes related to the business, from funny customer stories to their own career journey. Remember to share and relive the little moments that made a big difference.
Use tasteful marketing techniques
You are not allowed to say you don’t understand hashtags- on Instagram they will become your new game-changing allies! There are tonnes of applications and online resources that can help you discover trending topics and hashtags: all you need to do is cherry-pick the ones that suit your photographs and brand. Research tools also help you discover people and locations that can be relevant to your business, while tagging places and adding people will make it easier for everyone in your area to find you.
Worldwide PR made easier
Getting worldwide exposure and viral word-of-mouth recommendations has never been so easy. Instagram has taken the game to another level; with its impressive density of influencers and bloggers with millions of followers, mentions and shares can give your brand and products a huge online visibility boost.
Customer care-wise, remember to address all comments and direct interactions with your followers. Although it’s time consuming and sometimes it can feel a little bit overwhelming, it will help you build customer loyalty and give you direct and useful feedback about how people feel about your company.
Last but not least
At this point, we are pretty sure you cannot wait to set up your account and begin your Instagram visual adventure, but we want you to be 100% sure about it- take a look at a few reasons why maybe you should consider using another social network that’s more suitable for your business:
- There is no desktop app for Instagram and Windows phones only have access to a beta version. You can always use Hootsuite to post from your desktop, but the majority of your Instagram activity will have to be made from your mobile phone. Is your business set up to handle this?
- Are your main audience and customers on Instagram? What sort of reach are you hoping to get?
- Instagram is very visual, so there’s no point in joining if you don’t have strong visual content or a strategy to create some.
Meet the new kid on the block
Now, let us introduce you to another social network based around visual content. Here’s a clue: it has over 100 million daily users and more photos are shared on it than on any other social network.
Since its initial release in September 2011 Snapchat has quickly become the leading social platform for people under 34 (70% of users).
- Every second, nine photos are shared on Snapchat!
- 75% of overall mobile data traffic is spent on Snapchatting in the UK.
- 14% of all mobile internet users are active on Snapchat.
You can use Snapchat to give your customers a behind the scenes peak: share previews of upcoming products before their official launch or live blog during company events, special occasions and milestone celebrations. Although Snapchat’s advertising platform will soon reach 16M viewers a day, only 1% of advertisers are currently using the visual app. You’d better be a Snapchat pioneer and get in there quick, before it gets overcrowded!
Whether going for visual Instagram, or pioneering Snapchat, remember to align your social media strategy with your overall brand and business goals. And don’t forget to have fun whilst you’re at it! Social selling is about connecting with people and letting your hair down.