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The What, Why and How of Instagram

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Once upon a time social media was simply an online place where friends and families conversed and shared photographs of their children, but that is not the case these days. Businesses are tapping into the source of potential customers and clients who can now discover them thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Instagram… Yes, Instagram.

Essentially a photo-sharing site, there is a lot of potential for your business to grow, even if it may seem like yet another social media platform and one that you really don’t think that you need. After all, how can a few photographs really help you reach out to more customers? In this article we’ll look at what makes Instagram work, how to use it and how it can achieve higher figures for you and your company.

According to various studies, approximately 60-65% of us are visual learners and it’s known that the brain processes images much faster than text, so it stands to reason that your current and potential customers will see, register and respond to the images that you put out there.

Signing up is easy, especially if you have a Facebook account already because you can log into Instagram using that. Then you simply snap some photographs and upload them, or take pictures directly through the app, which in my opinion is better because then they fit the square frame and you’re not cropping off half of your picture. As with Twitter, you can use and create hashtags which will help people find your images and a new update which I love is that when you start typing a hashtag, Instagram tells you how many other posts are using it. This is great as it gives you an indication of how popular it is and therefore how likely people are to be using it in this modern world of ‘trending’.

According to Instagram’s own statistics, 70 million photos are shared every day by its 300 million monthly active users and those users aren’t just plonking photos on and running away, oh no, there are approximately 2.5 billion daily ‘likes’ of photos so people are interacting. You can create further interaction by making up your own relevant hashtags, encouraging your followers to share their pictures of your products and reposting their images to show engagement with your followers and customers.

It’s a very simple and effective concept that puts the visual aspect of your business out there for people to see. You can upload pictures of your products, your staff, your work environment or the office dog and people will see it, like it and follow you. You can integrate Instagram into your advertising campaigns in the same way you would Twitter, so set a hashtag and encourage people to use it on social media because then their followers will also see it and be directed to your profile to see your work.

People like a personality behind a company, so by interacting with them, you will stand out from the crowd. Make your brand approachable, make it fit into the lives of your customers and they will respond, it’s worth a few minutes of taking a quick snap and adding a hashtag.

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