Using Instagram to Promote Your Business or Service – 1

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Using Instagram to Promote Your Business or Service – Dumpor, The first time I tried Instagram, I must have spent an hour going through all the different ways to retouch an image. I sampled a photo with all available filters, framed and unframed, and tested how I could share my posts on other social channels. It also surprised me how quickly I gained followers after a short amount of time and of course the social media strategist inside me wondered how I could use this great tool for clients.

If you are not familiar with Instagram, it is an application that works exclusively with mobile phones as a photo-sharing program. Users can download the app and post photos – untouched or enhanced with filters that give photos a retro look – to a public feed. As with most social networks, users can follow each other, like and comment on photos. While it is possible to access Instagram feeds through various websites, users can only add new photos through the app. – Hjdh

Since its launch in late 2010, Instagram can claim more than 30 million registered users and the interest of Facebook, which made a bid to buy the company for $1 billion. A number of services that allow users to turn their Instagram photos into postcards, stickers, and magnets have also been launched in the past couple of years, enhancing Instagram’s impact on mobile.

As a company that offers products or services, you may be wondering how you can use Instagram to your advantage. The app is used to share ,photos, so naturally your first inclination is to fill your feed with relevant photos and encourage likes and comments. The only challenge with Instagram is that you can’t link an image to another website, so you can’t rely on it as website references. However, you can use the app to get people involved in sharing your brand.

Instagram users, like Twitter users, can often tag photos they upload. One idea to promote your business might include contests where users can tag a photo with a theme according to the contest rules. Not only did you establish your identity on the network, but also provided the opportunity to go viral as participants’ followers pick up the tag and feed.

It is also worth noting that Instagram can be integrated with Facebook pages and integrated web applications. You can set up an Instagram tab on your Facebook page to have photos with a specific hashtag and encourage users to tag their photos for viewing. People using Hootsuite, for example, can easily share Instagram photos via their Facebook and Twitter profiles. Offer people the opportunity to share their photos – this creates a good contest that can go viral.

As people are turning more to mobile apps to connect, your business needs to think outside the box and use social media to reach people. Play with Instagram and see how it can benefit you.

Kathryn Lively is a Social Media Strategist specializing in Social Media Writing [] and Social Media Marketing for businesses.

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