We’ve all heard the jokes about Instagram—about how it’s really just a delivery vehicle for cat photos and selfies, about how frustrating it is to see people posting countless food pictures and post-workout snapshots. In truth, though, small business owners laugh off Instagram at their own risk: Currently there are more than 200 million active monthly users, and more than a quarter of all Fortune 500 companies have their own Instagram accounts—a figure that’s steadily growing all the time, and that points to the real content marketing potential that Instagram offers.
Is Instagram Right for You?
Of course, as we have noted before, not all social platforms are right for all companies, and it may be that Instagram just doesn’t fit into your content marketing scheme. The conventional wisdom says that, because Instagram is an image-dominated, photo- and video-sharing platform, it is especially useful for companies that have photogenic, visually appealing products to showcase, and that’s probably true enough.
Just because you don’t have physical products to share doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from Instagram, though. For one thing, you can always use it to provide some “behind the scenes” snapshots, humanizing your company and your team. Memes and infographics have their place, and even if your products don’t lend themselves well to photography, you may be able to share pictures of the benefits you provide; for example, a lawnmower company may not get much mileage out of sharing pictures of their machinery, but pictures of DIY home landscaping projects will definitely attract some attention!
Building a Brand
If you do incorporate Instagram into your company’s content marketing arsenal, it is important to put brand building first. As with any other social channel, Instagram is only effective when it reflects your brand’s central identity; the photos and videos you share need to unquestionably reflect your business and its values. Take the Starbucks Instagram page, which is one of the most popular company pages on Instagram; it’s not the coffee that takes center stage in each photo, but rather the familiar Starbucks logo. Thus, there is never any doubt that you’re looking at one of the company’s Instagram pics!
More Than Images
Instagram is photo-driven, but it also includes room for written captions. Use this space to your full advantage, offering something that’s short and snappy and teases the user to check our your company website, share the photo, or at the very least click “like.” Note that while you can enter a company URL in your caption, users will have to copy and paste it into a browser for it to work. Also note that Instagram supports hashtags, and it is smart to create a hashtag that consolidates all posts related to your brand.
Finally, remember to integrate all channels in your content marketing campaign. While it’s not smart to repost every Instagram photo to Twitter or Facebook, you should sync them up to post a few particularly memorable ones—which will mostly serve to draw more users to your Instagram page.
Again, Instagram is not for everyone, but its benefits are substantial. Wondering whether this social channel is right for your brand? Grammar Chic, Inc. offers free content marketing consultations. Contact us today: Call 804-831-7444, or visit http://www.grammarchic.net.
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