Whereas social media mainstays like Twitter and Facebook are largely text-based, Instagram is almost exclusively reliant on images. Sure, the aforementioned outlets enable users to share images, but they primarily function as tools for micro-blogging. Conversely, Instagram allows users to post text, but it primarily functions as an image-sharing tool. In the digital age, this is a very astute business model. Digital Current states, “Social media ads are affordable and straightforward, which makes them great for beginner-level online advertisers.” With human attention spans now shorter than ever, we largely depend on images – not text – to get messages across. Needless to say, Instagram can play a pivotal role in promoting businesses of all sizes. While not necessarily a substitute for Facebook or Twitter promotion, efforts to grow your business via Instagram can nicely work in tandem with other social media marketing endeavors.
As is the case with Twitter, hashtags can get your posts noticed by a sizable number of prospective customers on Instagram. Fortunately, checking the crawl on either of the aforementioned sites will provide you with a solid understanding of which hashtags are trending on a given day. Keep in mind, however, that any hashtag you incorporate into a post should have at least some relevance to the image you’re sharing. If other users pick up on the fact that you’re just littering your posts with popular hashtags, they’re unlikely to follow your account.
Nothing gets your follower base energized like a well-organized social media contest – and Instagram, with its strong emphasis on showing instead of telling, is the perfect outlet for such contests. The exact terms, rules and prizes vary from business to business, but most Instagram contests involve entrants sharing photos of themselves using a company’s products. In some cases, winners are determined based on the number of likes and shares photos receive. In others, winners are named by the company who organized the contest.
Since contest entries generate a fair number of shares, events like these can help make thousands of prospective customers aware of your company’s existence. Contests whose winners are determined by the majority tend to be more effective at drawing in new business than contests whose winners are chosen by the organizers. Still, majority-determined contests can give an unfair advantage to entrants with large follower bases, so when determining the rules, it’s often necessary to walk a fine line.
Take Part in Contests
In addition to holding contests of your own, make a point of participating in some of the site-wide contests organized by Instagram. Even if you don’t win, this can be an effective way to get your company a substantial amount of exposure. When taking part in such contests, task your organization’s finest creative minds with crafting enticing images that will grab users’ attention.
It should come as no surprise that Instagram has become popular with businesses large and small. As The Guardian’s Suzanne Bearne puts it, “Instagram has become a powerful marketing tool in recent years.” Like other social media outlets, Instagram offers companies a free and relatively simple means of promotion. Businesses looking to capture their audience’s interest with fun and intriguing images would do well to hop on Instagram today.