5 Ways to Use Instagram for Your Business

With Instagram boasting some 500 million monthly active users and a fifth of Internet users apparently calling upon it, it’s been a while since it was an under-the-radar iOS-only app merely for creative hipsters. Today, the image-oriented platform is firmly mainstream, so it makes sense for your business to investigate the many ways to spread awareness of your brand, products and services.

Here are five of the best ways to do exactly that, while respecting the distinctive nature of the platform.


Place the emphasis on your brand

By that, we mean that you shouldn’t just post an endless series of product and service-related snaps – after all, it’s your brand to which prospective customers will actually make an emotional connection. You need to show your company’s ‘face’ – what does your brand represent? What kind of people work for you or use your products or services? What happens ‘behind the scenes’ of your company on a day-to-day basis?

Remember that humans like to interact with other humans, and that a sense of your business as a ‘family’ could help people to identify with your brand, which may be especially crucial when you are only just starting out and trying to build a customer base.


Demonstrate how your products or services are used

The fact that Instagram is so image-focused surely makes this an obvious route to take… or at least, you might have presumed that. In truth, many businesses fail to take advantage of the clear opportunity to show to their Instagram followers the various interesting ways in which their offerings can be used, or even to go further by inviting customers to submit their own images with a relevant hashtag.

You might even create a separate microsite – linked to your Instagram account – to better showcase your follower submissions. Whatever exact approach you take, involving your followers is a great way to create the ‘social proof’ that encourages more people to buy from you.


Make the most of hashtags

As alluded to above, hashtags are quite the big thing on Instagram, as they are on other platforms like Twitter, helping to get your brand noticed when you use the most relevant ones.

You could use an analytics suite like WEBSTA or Iconosquare to identify the most suitable hashtags, or you might just observe which ones are used most often by fans of your brand and other accounts in your industry, and which are therefore most likely to show up in your target audience’s searches.


Run limited-time-only promotions

You may have long presumed that Snapchat dominated the market for disappearing social media content, but it seems that Instagram is now attempting to muscle in on that territory with its recently-launched Stories feature, which is based on the creation of photo ‘stories’ that vanish after 24 hours.

What feature could possibly be better-suited to the formulation of short-term promotions, for example, complete with discount codes that only those who actually saw your Instagram Story will be able to use?


Create a sense of scarcity

If your business’s offerings are naturally those of a limited supply – for example, vintage goods – it makes sense to highlight this to Instagram followers by posting images of them and encouraging followers to leave a comment to reserve the item. They could then be asked to contact your store to provide their ID and payment details.

You’ll need to be careful with this one to ensure that no one ‘hijacks’ the purchase by turning up to claim an item that another Instagram user had reserved, so asking the initial commenter is also include their full real name is probably a sensible idea.

As you can see, Instagram offers many opportunities for you to maximise your social reach, and you don’t even need to be well-versed in it to quickly start taking advantage of it. Simply get in touch with the Shaboom Marketing social media marketing team today, and we’ll discuss with you how you may use Instagram to generate brand awareness and attract more customers.


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