How businesses can build brands with Instagram

Instagram is an app that allows users to create cool-looking photos taken on a smart phone by using different filters. So for example, you can transform a photo into vintage-style picture or use faded sixties colours. But the real power behind Instagram is that it’s hardwired for sharing, so pictures can be instantly shared on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, encouraging comments and further sharing. From this simple concept has come exponential growth – in just two years Instagram has grown to over 80m users, who generate 5m pictures per day.

Why is Instagram useful for small businesses?

As with all social networks, what started as a person-to-person tool has interesting applications for businesses and brands too, mostly in the sphere of marketing and CRM. Using pictures is a really good way to tell stories and stories are proven to be much more effective in engaging people, in generating an emotional response and ensuring recall.The savviest brands are using Instagram as part of their marketing strategy.

Here are the three ways you can use Instagram in your business:
  • to get people talking about you, in other words get people aware about you
  • to build loyalty, in other words ensure your customers come back for more, ensure that they want to join a conversation with you
  • to build brand, it is a great opportunity to differentiate yourself in the market, and express stories and experiences that define your brand

There are two ways that you can use Instagram – either as a broadcast tool, taking and socialising pictures for your fans and followers, or as a conversation tool, getting your fans, followers and potential customers to take and share images with you and their friends. You should be sure that your target audience will be reachable through Instagram. If you’re talking about using it as a broadcast tool, your target audience should be at least regular social media users, likely to be fans or followers of brands already. If you plan to use it as a conversation tool, your market is that much smaller, since your target audience will have to be smartphone owners and users – Instagram is currently only available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Instagram is a great way to give your customers and potential customers exclusive views behind the scenes at an event, or views of new products in a creative way.. Instagram is an ideal vehicle for photo Instagram Photo Contest, encouraging your customers to express themselves to a theme and, by entering, share their passion for your brand with their social networks. It’s also a great way to start up conversations with your customers. You can give recommendations or consultations just on Instagram. Instagram is a great, relatively inexpensive way to express yourself, and the style, values and point of view that differentiates your company.It makes your brand richer in the eyes of your customers.

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