It’s the latest thing. It’s growing fast. Big brands are jumping aboard.
But is Instagram right for your small business?
What is Instagram
Instagram is a fast-growing social network app that allows you to upload, edit, and share your own photos and videos. It’s free and currently available on Apple iOS, Android and Windows phones. There is a web interface but you can’t load photos to it – that has to be done through the phone app.
Facebook bought Instagram for $1Billion in 2012 but has kept the platform separate.
Who Uses it?
90% of Instagram users are under 35, but its popularity is growing fast amongst the older generation.
There may be plenty of celebrity selfies on there, but brands are now realising the power of this user base and are starting to develop their own strategies and presence.
Starbucks has nearly 3 million followers and fashion ecommerce brand ASOS nearly 2 million
Should you be on it?
I know, yet another social media platform to think about. If you’re struggling to keep up with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, never mind Google+ and Pinterest, then one more social network to update is the last thing you want.
But if you have a fashion, food, entertainment or other lifestyle type business and under 35s are your target market, you really shouldn’t ignore Instagram.
(If you’re a financial advisor targeting the over 50s, then breath a sigh of relief – for now).
For a step by step guide to using Instagram, check out this article
It’s still early days for businesses on Instagram, so there is very little definitive advice around on best practice for small business.
So my advice is just to dive in, have a play around, look at what other businesses in your sector are doing and then think about how it could work for you. And check out the Instagram for Business Blog
Here’s some best practice tips:
- Don’t just post catalogue product photos. Instagram is great for behind the scenes, informal pictures that let people get to know the story behind your business.
- Link your account to other social media
- Let your fans/followers on other social media know about your Instagram account
- Use hashtags (lots of hashtags!).
- Post regularly but don’t bombard your followers with images every few minutes.
- And, as always on social media, be sociable – it’s not a sales channel.
Are you using Instagram? Does it work for your business?
PS: I’m strictly dabbling on Instagram at the moment, but if you like cat pictures, flowers and crafts you can follow me http://instagram.com/wrenalison