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25 Ideas On Using Instagram For Business

Instagram is a ‘real-time’ photo sharing application currently available as a free App for iPhone and iPod with plans to extend to a website and other mobile platforms in the near future.

More than that though it’s a storytelling, entertainment and engagement platform with 3 million users and growing, (update now at 10 million+) from every corner of the globe. You can see the world as it is, as it’s happening through the eyes of real people, share your own images and start conversations. Instagram also enables users to share their photos on other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Four Square.

Why are people using it?

The beauty of Instagram is that it erodes all of the problems of photo sharing. It’s fast and easy to use on the go. It makes photos, even ordinary ones look beautiful with a series of filters you can apply in seconds. It integrates seamlessly with other social sharing platforms. There are an increasing numbers of websites and platforms which allow Instagram users to share and buy physical products of images. It connects and entertains people. It allows them to tell their story. And it’s free!

Why should brands and businesses be interested?

Instagram is a place where people are sharing and telling their story through images in the moment. It goes beyond Twitter’s; ‘what are you doing?’. In fact many commentators are describing it as Twitter meets Flickr.
It provides ‘real time’ insights into how people are interacting with the world and most probably your product. This platform will enable brands to connect directly with users and customers like never before and gain ‘real-time’ insights into how consumers are interacting with their brand.

How and why businesses and brands should use Instagram?

1. It helps brands to find products for their customers not just customers for their products.
2. It’s an opportunity to conduct real-time market research.
3. To drive momentum.
4. To get people talking about what you do and why you do it.
5. For customer engagement and intuitive marketing.
6. To deepen relationships.
7. It enables you to put the customer front a center.
8. For running competitions.
9. To see and hear what consumers believe about your brand.
10. To get opinions before you need them.
11. As a way to create a buzz about what you are doing.
12. As a platform to help fans find and interact with each other over a shared love of what you do.
13. It’s free!

Getting started

14. Download the Instragram App and create your profile.
15. Obtain the all important username (many brands have yet to act on this, think Twitter).
16. Post photos of your products and behind the scenes of your business.
17. Announce your Instagram arrival to your followers and fans on other social sharing platforms.
18. Ask for feedback.
19. Listen to comments.
20. Interact with your followers.
21. Search hashtag categories to gain insights into how people are interacting in your space.
22. Tell your brand story in new and interesting ways.
23. Post regularly and monitor your account.
24. Share your photos across other social sharing platforms.
25. Optimize.

How non-profits are using Instagram to engage with their communities.
Is your business on Instagram?
How to run a photo contest on Instagram.
Instagram tips from top beverage brands.

Image by Xava du.