3 Strategies to Use Instagram in Your Business

Unless you’ve spent the last year living under a rock, you know how Instagram has given a new definition to social media and how the brand has managed to achieve an almost cult-like following. And, for the ones who really were living under a rock, Instagram is an Android and iPhone app that allows user to add amazing vintage effects to their pictures and share them with friends on Twitter and Facebook. With the filters that Instagram offers, users can make dull, lifeless photos appear brighter, and more colorful. Applications that depend on visually appealing content have become the life of social media in 2012, so it would be safe to assume that 2012 would test the creative marketing genius of businesses.
Here are 3 strategies that businesses can use to market their products and services through Instagram to increase engagement and branding:

Photo Contests

Photo contests are a great way to market products, and the possibilities for creative contest ideas are limitless. Businesses can use it for getting votes on new products, feedback on services, or simply as a medium to know their customers better. For example, a local bakery could ask customers to upload a picture of them eating a product or standing outside the bakery. Similarly, a home accessories business can ask home owners to upload pictures of stuff they’ve bought and how they’ve used it around the house. Ask fans to use a specific hashtag when creating a photo contest. This helps you in finding pictures effortlessly.

Share fan photos

Because social media has the potential to boost customer engagement and is also a measurable customer satisfaction factor, sharing fan photos helps your brand connect with your customers are a “human” business. By sharing their pictures or simply commenting on them, you tell them that you care about what they share and you value them as a customer. In future, when your customers are shopping for products you sell, your business will be the first they’ll think of, making them customers for life.

Market an event or share photos of your work place

Instagram is a wonderful and inexpensive way to market an event virally; all you need to do is start sharing with the hashtag of the event. Sharing photos of your work place is also a neat way to improve customer service. This helps in building trust because they can now relate a face with your business. A restaurant or café can use Instagram to share photos of daily specials or even a random item off the menu.

The possibilities of using Instagram as a part of your social media strategy are limitless. There are just so many things you can use it for!

Before using Instagram, take a survey to determine what percentage of your users use a smartphone. You can also see this through the Google Analytics reporting dashboard, or ask your fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter.

Author Bio: Khushboo Aulakh-Bhatt contributes for social shopping site Broadband Genie, who help consumers find the best broadband, mobile broadband, and smartphone offers. For advice on the iPhone 4S, check the iPhone Genie’s review.