Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Instagram: Not Just for Millennials Anymore

May 19, 2016

Instagram isn’t for everyone, but if you haven’t at least explored it for business use, you should.

Instagram

These days, visuals are a must. Your content marketing strategy undoubtedly includes the use of photos and videos. Maybe you embed how-to clips on your website or blog. You might regularly post topical pictures on your social media streams. Perhaps you even have a YouTube channel.

Why would you need Instagram?

You may not.

According to recent statistics, the site has over 400 million active monthly accounts. Its “per-follower engagement rate,” though, a number that reflects something about how active users are in interacting with brands, actually beat Facebook and Twitter in April 2016 quite handily.

Simplicity and Usability

Instagram 2Instagram is really quite a simple site. Designed for mobile access, it’s without the news feeds and ads and links to navigation controls and anything else that isn’t needed. There’s a horizontal toolbar displaying five icons at the bottom of the home page and a few other buttons found within.

Tap on one of the main icons, and your smartphone turns into a camera. After you’ve taken the shot or recorded a video, you can play with its settings (filters, brightness, etc.) and write a caption (add hashtags for visibility and categorization). You can tag people and places, and pinpoint their locations on a map.

Where Content Goes
Instagram content has two primary uses. You can post it on other sites and you can create a picture book for your audience to browse.
Instagram 3A while back, I created an Instagram account just to check it out. I posted a picture of my dog. That was it. In a few days, I had three followers (not canine-related). Why? Because for whatever reason, a few businesses had searched for my business. And they must have liked my dog.

If your company has a lot of visual content to share (and someone has enough extra time), it doesn’t hurt to have a presence on Instagram. Its no-frills approach may be appealing to people who just want to see who you are and what you do without a lot of extraneous noise.

Instagram can help you promote your brand. You might also be more likely to post casual or even humorous content here, more behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s not buttoned-down like LinkedIn, and it’s not the free-for-all that Facebook is.

Making a Plan

If you decide that you want to make Instagram a part of your marketing/social media strategy, be sure you know upfront:

  • Instagram 4Why you’re there.
  • What types of content merit posting.
  • How the work will be divvied up.
  • When and how often you’ll post.
  • Who will give final approval (to ensure consistency with your brand and your corporate culture).

So look around a bit on Instagram. Are your competitors there, and how are they using the space? Do you think your customers will notice if you’re not there? There are a lot of things to think about before committing, but you’ll make a better decision once you’ve immersed yourself in the culture for a time.

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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