The internet is replete with examples of how to leverage Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to improve the sales of your business. However, a popular social media platform which is too often ignored is Instagram.
Granted, working with a format which primarily promotes products and brands using pictures can seem challenging at first, particularly depending on your industry, but when done correctly, a well-curated Instagram page can be a phenomenal brand awareness and sales generation platform.
Why Instagram Matters
Despite being one of the younger, trendy social media platforms, since its inception in late 2010, the visual sharing platform already has a staggering 800 million users as of September 2017 worldwide. In just the United States alone, Instagram is the second most often and second longest used social media platform, coming in just behind its parent company, Facebook.
Furthermore, Instagram's exemplary business uses may very well position it to eclipse its parent platform as an effective means of branding and promoting products. For example, Mercedes-Benz has recently released images of its new A-class on Facebook and an identical post on Instagram. In the case of the former, the post received 12,000 likes, while the latter garnered an impressive 170,000 likes.
The reasons for this platform’s current and projected success are myriad, but the primary is likely due to a deep fundamental aspect of human psychology – the human mind is more apt to engage with and retain information presented in an image, not a string of words.
The Basics of Using Instagram
Don't misunderstand, promoting products on Instagram isn't as simple as just posting a series of pretty pictures to your page. Fortunately, though, you can easily create a competitive Instagram feed by following many of the same strategies used on other social media platforms.
First among these, extensively engage in hashtag use. Currently, Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags per post. Correctly identifying the proper trending terms targeting prospects who would benefit from your products or services will accelerate the discovery of your page.
Second, always maintain the utmost quality and consistency with your posts. The fundamentals around which your picture aesthetics should be structured include using a well-photographed image with proper lighting, high-definition quality, and should communicate a concise concept. That said, don't be afraid to experiment with different color schemes, backgrounds, and layouts. As a rule, visual advertising diversity is a strength.
As a final note for this point, remember, marketers made filters for a reason. Be sure to use them.
Why Niche Companies Can Use Instagram
Even if your firm is rather unique, that shouldn't deter you from using Instagram. In fact, niche, small businesses can raise awareness for their brand by solely using Instagram's unique features. For example, with Instagram's live streaming function, specialty product reviewers and affiliate marketers can not only feature the fun or beneficial aspects of a given product in real time, but also get immediate audience feedback. This applies to products your firm may be selling directly, too. For instance, if you are running a website which gives dieting advice or produces wellness-based cookbooks, simply prepare a few of the recipes you've written about as promotional material.