The following is a guest post by Greg Fisher. His bio is at the end.
By now, most businesses recognize the importance of social media and the value of investing in a strong presence across these platforms. Social sites allow you to leverage the interconnected nature of the Internet and to make use of the existing networks out there in the real world to aid the viral spread of your messages.
But where many of these companies make the same mistake is in ignoring social networks that fall outside of the ‘big two’. Facebook and Twitter might be the biggest kids on the block in many ways, but that’s not to say that others can’t be just as powerful for spreading your message – and particularly for those in particular industries.
Read on. We’ll look at one of the slightly lesser-talked about social networks – Instagram – and at just why it’s such a useful marketing opportunity for your organisation. We’ll also take a look at some examples of companies that have made a success of their Instagram campaigns and at some actionable tips you can use to do better with your own.
Why Instagram is so powerful
• Viral Potential
Instagram makes it incredibly easy for other users to find and like what you upload. Because there’s a slightly smaller community on Instagram, it’s considerably easier for users to find your images by searching for different tags. You’ll also find it relatively easy to get up to a hundred likes even early on if you choose smart keywords. Images lend themselves easily to viral memes, as well, which certainly doesn’t hurt either.
If you can create a meme of your own, then this will do wonders for your business. In fact #meme is a highly popular tag and there are several accounts such as ‘Memebase’ that can help you to spread these images quickly.
Another great tip for going viral on Instagram? Try to stay relevant to current events: people will search for things like ‘Olympics’ and ‘World Cup’ and this creates a great opportunity for exposure. Nike does this well and is one of the most popular brands on Instagram.
Letting other users get involved is also a good strategy, such as ‘BeyondTheWeek’ which promises exposure for amateur bodybuilders and fitness fanatics if they include the brand in their posts.
Once someone sees one of your images, this can then easily lead to affirmative action or a ‘follow’. They say that an image can tell a thousand words. So, getting someone to look at a single one of your images is a great way to make a statement and pique their attention. Of course, this format lends itself particularly well to businesses that have a visual nature – web designers, artists and product manufacturers will do well promoting their products on here. The effects are just enough to make a good product look incredible and to convince someone to make a purchase.
A great example of this (and of the above ‘involving your followers’ tip) is Bonobos: a clothes company that posts pictures of its fans modelling their clothes!
For the biggest impact, try to be different and stand out. You can also get your creative juices flowing with this list of great Instagram profiles.
Better yet is how quick and easy Instagram is. Most mobile devices will allow you to simply share an image straight from your camera or photo gallery and, as it’s all visual, there’s no need to think of anything witty to say. You literally just point and click then hit upload to make your point and start getting views. There’s no expectation either for you to upload something every day, so you won’t risk making an account that immediately looks and feels like a ghost town.
Compared to something like Facebook or Twitter then, Instagram really doesn’t require much of an investment of time and will let you rapidly create a following for yourself. And seeing as you can easily share your Instagram images to Facebook and Twitter, this can even make it easier for you to keep on top of those accounts. This is a big reason why many celebrities have taken to Instagram and Twitter over more complex social sites like Facebook.
Other visual networks
Like using Instagram? Then there are plenty of other visually-oriented social networks to look into too:
- Pinterest is another great tool for sharing and finding unique images
- Tumblr is perfect for artistic audiences and images also go down very well on Reddit.
If you want to expand your audience, then expanding onto new social networks is a great strategy . Instagram’s visual nature may just give it the edge you need!
Greg Fisher is the founder of Berkeley Sourcing Group. He has a strong manufacturing and engineering background, and is proficient in Mandarin. In his leisure time, he enjoys playing a good game of chess with his friends.