Social engagement is a big deal for business. If this is new news to you, check out one of our previous blog posts with some simple tips on how you can start, or amp up your social practices. However, today we’re going to talk about a rising star in social media platforms: Instagram.
When most professionals and adults think about Instagram they think about, well, young people. It’s a world of hashtags, hipsters, and selfies. However, big companies like Nike, Starbucks, GoPro, and Adidas are using Instagram and have millions of followers. Recent research has shown that Instagram is indeed the rising star of social media platforms, and that user interaction with branded content trumps that of Facebook and Twitter.
Yet, is there reason to believe that it’s a good idea to promote YOUR business on Instagram?
I believe the answer is a resounding yes, especially in a world where technology is changing so rapidly, and the younger generations are stepping up to the entrepreneurial plate with such vigor. A perfect example is a young, but thriving comapny called Hey, Sweet Pea, whose motto is, “Transforming creative businesses into thriving brands.” It is run by young, 20-somethings who are already experts in their field, and often aquire business by marketing their business classes through inspiring, creative images on their Instagram account.
Here are a few thoughts to weigh in on when thinking about whether your business should use this social media platform.
1.) You Give Your Company a Real Face
Ever get the feeling that a business is run by robots? You know their logo, you’ve seen a commercial, but have no idea who is running things. Giving clients real people to associate with is key to their emotional connection with your company. The easiest way to do this is to give a glimpse in to the day to day functions of your business. For example, you can show pictures of your team at work, office celebrations, or events that your team recently attended. People want to know that your business is genuine, and sharing your story via images helps do just that.
2.) Opportunities to Collaborate
It can be intimidating to pitch ideas, products, or services to other companies. You or someone else may have a great idea about how how to add value to another company, but just aren’t sure how. However, if that other company has made it a goal to put on a real face and interact with their followers, they may just listen to what you have to say. This can become a win-win for both sides.
For example, you search the hashtag #entrepreneur, and come across a business excited about growth. You check out their website, and see a few areas where they could use a little help that you happen to be an expert in. Leaving that business a comment on their picture is not only exciting for them, but is an easy way for you to get your foot in the door.
3.) Push Your Creative Boundaries
With marketing, and really with business, being on the cutting edge is critical. Giving yourself a reason to get out of old ruts and think in new ways could lead to huge business boosts. With attention spans practically disappearing, images and video clips are the leading way to get information transfered quickly to users. Some businesses seem to be a perfect fit for image sharing and others not so much; however, that should only come as a welcome challenge to companies who find it a little more difficult. Their are plenty of articles with tips on what to post and how to post to make a compelling image statement.
4.) Widen Your Testing Ground
Business is a numbers game. We want to be able to monitor our strategies and have hard fact reason to believe certain efforts are more valuable than others. A past misconception was that Instagram is not measurable; however, there are plenty of new companies that have created platforms to do just that. Companies, mind you, that use Instagram to gain business from other companies. For example, Nitrogram is a platform used by MTV, McDonalds, and Jet Blue Airways to analyze their Instagram data. This platform gives simple, yet relevant data to users to measure audience and engagement.
While sticking to social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are definitely a good idea (for now), there are more and more reasons stacking up to give this newer avenue a try. If you want to delve a little deaper into what it could look like to use Instagram for business check out their site here.