Chances are you have probably heard of Instagram. Even if you don’t use it, but you use other social networks (Facebook or Twitter), you will probably have seen your friends either post photos from the platform or see they have liked someone else’s. Or perhaps, like me, you use it to upload photographs of your food, hairstyle, nails or your cute looking pet.
Instagram must have another, more productive use though right?
Yes – beneath the vintage-inspired filtered photos, there is a very powerful marketing tool at your fingertips (literally), of which businesses of all sizes can take advantage.
How can you as a brand, an individual or a company use it to your advantage? Instagram is a brilliant way to connect with your customers, your staff and the general public. With the popularity of social media, it is important that companies create a personality for themselves, a more personal approach to business and selling perhaps.
Use Instagram to help brand your business
Businesses can use Instagram to create brand awareness and relate to their customers. You can create a ‘face’ to your company by photographing things that are important not only to your company, but to you on a daily basis. This could be your pet cat, your kids or your favourite place. If people feel like they have a personal connection with your brand (and the people behind it), they are more likely to stay connected with you and follow you on other social sites like Facebook and Twitter. The more people who connect with you on these platforms, the more advertising opportunities you have and the more products you will ultimately sell!
Let’s have a look at how a company successfully uses Instagram….
Burberry use Instagram (and all their other social media channels) exceptionally well….
The British fashion brand focuses on their heritage, including lots of photos of London, whilst staying up to date with behind the scenes photos of the making of campaigns, their models and their catwalk shows.
An example of some of Burberry’s photos…
Their choice of photos lets their followers view a side to their business that they wouldn’t normally have a chance to see. It gives them a backstage glimpse of their events and it gives people a chance to know the brand far better than just going into one of their shops. Also, with a high end fashion house like Burberry whose products are out of reach to a lot of the population, it gives fans a chance to feel like they can be a part of and enjoy the brand, without spending hundreds of pounds on a trench.
Now back to you….
Using Instagram for YOUR business
Whilst you may not own a multi-million pound global company, it doesn’t mean you can’t take inspiration and learn from the big boys.
Are you a painter? Jeweller? Baker? Why not take photos of your creation at each stage? A blank canvas, your paint tubes all piled up or your brushes? Coming up with a new recipe – post photos of all your ingredients, your cookware or your freshly baked bread just as it comes out of the oven.
Let’s take a look at a small business which has just started using Instgram:
Bedroom Factory Knits
Kate at Bedroom Factory Knits has recently got herself an iPhone, so the next step for her business was to get on Instagram. Kate had never used it before, so everything was new – however, she is being sensible and taking her time to get to grip with the platform. She is building up her content before she advertises her account on her website and Facebook – the last thing you want is for your customers to go to your account and find you only have one photo – they probably won’t be coming back!
As you can see, Kate uses her Bedroom Factory Knits account to show samples of her new patterns (the pineapples), the finished article and also photos from her personal life – pie making! It is this kind of balance that will make current and prospective customers identify with her brand, make them feel like they know you and your brand and (hopefully!), buy your product!
This post first featured on FourBerry Digital’s website in January 2013.