Instagram may seem like just a mobile application for aspiring photographers, but it has grown into a much larger social media platform over the past few years. With major companies such as GAP, Starbucks and AOL all maintaining an active presence on the app, Instagram certainly looks like it's shaping out to be a great online marketing tool that helps add a visual component to small business branding.
In addition, Facebook recently bought Instagram for $1 billion, making many social media experts even more curious about its future capabilities as a partnership.
"In order to monetize mobile, Facebook needs a lot more mobile participation," Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at Altimeter Group LLC, told Bloomberg on Monday. "What they bought with Instagram was a photo app with high brand recognition and an enormous audience."
So, how can small and medium-sized businesses get started with Instagram? While the platform doesn't yet have an account specifically for brands, you or your employees can still sign up for Instagram. Once you've created your account, you can follow your businesses contacts from Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites automatically, and post pictures of your company and products. Feel feel to get creative with images, filters and other aspects of your business that make it unique and special, and be sure to follow other companies in your industry and interact with fellow users.
If you or your employees are unsure about how to use Instagram or other social media websites for marketing your products and services, you may want to partner with a small business marketing consultant such as MarketShare Communications. Our marketing professionals can teach you how to have a successful online presence that captures the voice and image of your company, and makes it even more appealing to your customers.