Instagram is for the kids, that’s what they told you. Instagram is just for making funny pictures look vintage and classic and artsy. Instagram is for selfies and James Franco and models and the overly self involved people. Well you know what? That’s all totally true. I can’t argue with it. But, and there is a big “but,” it can also be pretty useful for your business, specifically in the PR and outreach departments. And it’s not really that hard to use.
First, you need to understand exactly what Instagram is and isn’t, before you decide whether or not it can help your business. Instagram is a social medium for posting lots of pictures. In fact, that’s all you can post. You can’t post text updates unless they are attached to a picture. The driving force behind Instagram, at it’s core, is pictures. This automatically makes most businesses feel as if it’s of no real value to them. But many businesses rule Instagram out much too quickly.
Instagram is a social media that’s primarily focused on gaining followers, it does not lend itself well to the sharing aspect of things. For example, on Facebook, you can see which articles on the web your friends LIKE in your own newsfeed. You can share a picture from a Facebook page with your friends, and they can in turn share that image as well. On Instagram, this is not possible, it isn’t a part of the function. So for the fundamental use, Instagram is all about your account liking other photos, commenting on other photos and following other Instagram accounts, all for the sake of getting reciprocation. When you have Instagram followers, they are valuable. You can put your company info in the bio of your Instagram account and followers will check it out.
Now, Instagram plays really nice with Facebook (FB owns Instagram) and with Twitter. So you can post from Instagram to Facebook with relative ease making it a very natural social media evolution for your company.
But why would posting pictures all day help my company?
Do you have product? Can you take pictures of that product? Then Instagram is probably for you. Posting examples of your product being used and tagging it appropriately with hashtags so likeminded individuals and businesses can see it is huge promotion. If you offer a service, posting pics of staff or of related services is a great idea (again, think niche hashtags) and of course, don’t forget, you put up short videos.
Instagram is unique in the way that it’s somewhat more private (sounds crazy, I know, but not being able to follow what other people’s activity is makes it so) but it can be a pretty big marketing tool for you.