- Posted by wainscot
- On March 26, 2014
What is Instagram? Launched in October 2010, it’s a photo-sharing app that was originally only available for iPhones but is now also available for Android and Windows phones. Instagram was acquired by Facebook in February 2012, and today over 20 million photos are posted daily.
Why should your local business bother with Instagram? One thing is clear- photos get people talking. According to Fast Company, not only do Facebook photo posts get 39% more engagement than text, link, or video-based posts, they also account for 93% of the most engaging posts. But if you want to take your photo-sharing game to the next level, it’s time to get started with Instagram: as shown on Media Bistro, Instagram users like and comment on photos 15 times more frequently than they do on Facebook (1.53% vs. 0.10%). Take advantage of this engagement, and use contests and exclusive promo or discount codes as a way to not only reward those who follow you but to boost your sales.
Because it’s all about the images, Instagram will be helpful for any local business with a focus on the visual. Do you own a boutique, or are you a fashion designer? Consider posting a photo of a model wearing your latest fashions. Do you run a restaurant, or perhaps a small café or coffee shop? Instagram is full of photos of food, so don’t hesitate to share a snapshot of a new dish, or perhaps the fresh, colorful produce you’ll be using in tonight’s special.
Don’t forget to include people, though- research by Georgia Tech said that Instagram posts with human faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments. Social Media Examiner suggests showing employees at work; you could also post photos of customers engaging at your store or event, or with your product. Hubspot’s recent posts include a “2013 Best Moments on Instagram” montage, a picture of employees celebrating Halloween, an a snippet of a blog post.
Like Twitter (and unlike Facebook), Instagram does not differentiate between personal and professional accounts, so if you want to create an Instagram page for your business as well as a personal account, you’ll need to create a separate login. But once you’ve done that, it’s easy to link your Instagram account to Facebook and Twitter, which will allow those who follow you on other social networks to see a stream of photos about your business.
Are you ready to give Instagram a try? From your smartphone or tablet, download the app (instagram.com, or search for it in the app store- it’s free!), then sign up and create an account. There are a variety of photo-editing apps available, many of which are free- has some great suggestions- but for now, focus on taking quality photos that will engage your followers.