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Spreading your company’s name doesn’t just happen with a magical snap of the fingers, but it can happen overnight. With social media now able to spread content like forest fires across the Internet, it is now quite possible to get instant fame, overnight. Social media has become so important in today’s world that President Obama used it as a political tool to bring in over 47 million digital supporters. While Facebook and Twitter have become the big names of the social media arenas, there are a lot of other platforms that can bring in just as much, if not more, traction than the big names. The most underrated platform? Instagram.
With 200 million users worldwide, 60 million daily photo uploads, and 1.6 daily photo likes, Instagram cannot be neglected as a crucial source for spreading information about your company. It’s easy to use, it relies entirely on photos, and it’s accessible on every smartphone, which is where 90% of users get their Instagram information from.
In today’s world of online marketing, with blog posts and brand ads saturating consumers’ attention, visual content is far more on the radar than ever before. Instagram is all about the visual. It allows companies and individuals to showcase their products creatively, establish an online identity through that image, and create a #hashtag campaign to boost followers. Using a combination of high resolution, eye-grabbing photos and carefully thought out hashtags, you can create the perfect narrative for your company. Instagram allows you to do more than just market – it allows you to create an online persona. But remember, if you are establishing a personality, you have to know your following.
Hashtags and Engagement
Instagram #hashtags allow you to weed out your followers until you’ve found the right niche. Followers who are attracted to your brand or products will then, unknowingly, begin to market for you – the more likes you get, the more likely you are to get followed. Make sure that when you post photos with tag lines, you are engaging successfully with your audience. Edit your photos with a third-party editing app before posting them, and keep in mind that the most appealing photos have the subject of the photo in only two-thirds of the picture. Don’t be too redundant in your photo posts – aim for about 2-3 a week.
The easiest way to engage with your followers on Instagram is by liking and commenting on photos. Try the 5/3/1 formula as a rule of thumb: like five photos, comment on 3 photos, and you will earn one new follower. Get your followers to start campaigns for you, like Ben & Jerry’s #CapturingEuphoria campaign that got their 366,000 followers to take pictures of themselves enjoying Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Don’t be afraid to start a dialogue with your followers, but make sure you sell softly, don’t harass too much, and be witty and wise with your words…or photos, that is.
Editor’s note: In the UK a great example is provided by Joe Wicks who is an online nutrition coach, personal trainer and creator of The Body Coach Instagram account. Instagram has been his main social media platform and he has now built a successful business.
This guest post was written by Ivan Serrano for Marketing Fundamentals Ltd. Ivan is a tech writer and photographer based in San Francisco.
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