How Businesses use Instagram

Many people say that pictures are more convincing and persuasive than words. Businesses can now employ this method through Instagram.

Social Media Examiner defines Instagram as a free mobile photo-sharing app with 800 million users and counting. Lisa Buyer from Search Engine Watch said, “the popular photo-sharing platform snaps up 7.3 million daily users in the U.S. and last month zoomed by Twitter in daily mobile traffic.”

Instagram is steadily becoming more popular with companies and small businesses.“Since a picture is worth a thousand words, anyone can tell a story with images on Instagram,” Rebecca Murtagh,  Chief Strategist / President of Karner Blue Marketing LLC, said.

Social Media Examiner has come up with a list of 10 creative ways businesses use Instagram. 

#1. Show products

#2. Show how the product is made

#3. Go behind the scenes

#4. Show what products can do

#5. Give a sneak peak

#6. Show offices

#7. Take consumers with you

#8. Introduce Employees

#9. Share celebrity sightings

#10.  Share the cuteness

Search Engine Watch also has a list of tips for using Instagram for businesses:

  • Optimize profiles just like you would other social media profiles.
  • Post images that pique the interest of target audiences.
  • Use trending hashtags or create your own hashtag.
  • Tags for each image should include the name of the brand, locations, keywords, the names of people featured (preferably with their permission) and what the image represents.
  • Use ‘Likes’ to validate how attractive the images are to the intended audience.
  • Share your Instagram photos on other social networks.
  • Don’t simply post to Facebook and Twitter every time you take a photo, optimize content for each medium – the post isn’t just the image – it is the story, notes Neher.
  • If your business is tagged in a photo, make sure you get permission from the photographer to use it.

Econsultancy has come up with a list of nine brands that use Instagram effectively.

#1. Red Bull uses Instagram to promote its image as lifestyle brand for extreme sports, such as snowboarders, skaters, skydivers, F1 cars and people partying, interspersed very occasionally with photos of Red Bull cans.

#2. Burberry uses Instagram to showcase some of its products.

#3. ASOS uses images of its latest ranges and behind the scenes looks at fashion shoots, It also places great emphasis on featuring user-generated content.

#4. Starbucks focuses on what people do while drinking Starbucks coffee rather than on the product itself.

#5. Selfridges frequently posts images of products and displays from its UK stores.

#6. Audi only includes images of its cars, but all the photos are sleek and colourful, promoting the idea that Audi is a luxury, aspirational brand.

#7. Tiffany & Co. has attracted more than 118,000 followers mainly by posting images if its products.

#8. Nike uses Instagram to get people to use its Nike+ and NikeFuel fitness products, featuring images of various groups of people working out and updates on how many people are using the products on any given day.

#9. Innocent Smoothies uses Instagram to associate its product with a lifestyle rather than just pushing out cold brand messages.

Econsultancy also provided an example of a negative use of Instagram

  • eBay used Isntagram to promote its “Walk the Red Carpet” competition, but four weeks after it was created, the account became inactive.

Instagram is an emerging tool for businesses to connect intimately with their audiences through images.

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