Whilst being a business today requires you to adapt to the ever-growing useful technology that surrounds us- such as, social media- It doesn't mean you have to jump on every single social network on the web. If you're a business, who has been on social media for a while now, using platforms like Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn, you might start to wonder about other platforms for brand and product/service awareness. Specifically you may wonder if Instagram can be used "professionally"? While it may appear to some people as merely a long list of photos of peoples dinners, coffees and selfies, it can be and has been used by many businesses- some of which have found success through the platform.
Increase in brand awareness
Of course, Brand awareness/Promotion is the main reason for any business joining a new social media platform- but Instagram is particularly good with people selling a product. Take Levis for example. Seeing as Instagram is literally a photo sharing tool, Putting out their new product items of clothing did wonders. They gained a 24-point lift in Ad recall- that's nearly 3x over the control group!
Obviously, Levis were an extremely well known brand before Instagram came about. But it just goes to show the possibilities for businesses to thrive with this network.
So, how does a new business attempt the same thing without already the comfort of already being a household name, I hear you ask?
Since Twitter started with the now infamous #Hashtag, pretty much all social media platforms use the same method for doing a search within the network. I wrote a blog previously explaining the importance of using hashtags, the same goes here if you want to be found. Explore Instagram and see what the most popular Hashtags are that relate to your product. Make sure it's accurate too.
Why not try to include a hashtag with your business name in the receipt of every order made through your shop so customers can compare and #instabrag about your products once they have received them! This can even be used for services, so customers can tag an image of your handy work to share with others.
To make your product photos as eye catching as possible, make sure you're taking the photo in good light, a clean background (read our blog to find out a few more tips for creating your own photography on a budget ) and then make the most of the tools built into Instagram. You can transform a photo with some of the brilliant vintage-esque filters, blurs, vignettes and more with the tap of your screen.
Tone of voice
At the end of the day, it's up to you how you use want to represent your brand. Our Instagram has a mixture of new templates and features on the WebBoss system as well as what's going on in our office in Torquay. It's difficult to keep a tone of voice that comes across as professional, yet approachable. But if you can achieve this balance, you're on the right path.
Beyond the platform
Although Instagram is a great standalone platform, like a lot of others, it doesn't include features that would be extremely beneficial to business users such as viewing your stats, unfollowers and competitor comparisons. If you're serious about using social media to promote your business, it would be wise to make the use some of the free tools available. Things like Iconosquare, Crowdfire and many others provide free analytical tools for Instagram users.