Many tech-savvy individuals consider Instagram to be the next big thing in social media. According to comScore, more than 7 million active users launch Instagram's smartphone app daily, and on peak days these users share upwards of 10 million photos. With so many people actively uploading, sharing and viewing photos, more brands are beginning to see Instagram as a viable option for growing a business.
The photo-sharing service allows users to take pictures and then add different filters or effects, creating different looks for each snapshot. They can then use hashtags to classify each photo and provide captions, all the while sharing with their followers and the general public. Users can also follow other profiles, whose pictures then show up on a main feed every time the program is launched.
This platform provides a new way for businesses to embrace social media, but in order to be successful on Instagram, companies should follow some general guidelines for expanding their brand.
Find an Identity
Instagram can be used in a variety of different ways, so businesses will first have to decide how they want to portray themselves. They can choose to show off their goods, reveal the culture behind the company or try to build a relationship with fans and consumers. The message should be consistent, and these organisations should capitalize on their existing strengths when deciding how to approach this new marketing tactic.
Build a Following
Once businesses have decided how they want to project themselves on the platform, they have to begin to grow their following. Companies can search for their own name or products to find fans and see what people are saying, begin following similar users and then grow from there.
According to The Globe and Mail, 80 per cent of consumers want to help brands with co-creation projects and like to give their feedback. With Instagram, users can comment on photos of different products or share their own creations easily, providing a means of communication as well as a unique way to share experiences.
Customize to the Business
The current Instagram layout doesn't offer much in the way of branding of personalization when it comes to the platform itself, so most of the customization will be restricted to the photos themselves. Businesses will have to decide what they want to market, how they want to share the pictures and what level of interaction they want from other users.
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