Using Instagram as an Online Marketing Tool

Thursday, 06 December 2012 Written by Ruqing Pan

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Helpful tips for using Instagram to promote your business?

 Starting a business is not easy. As an entrepreneur, you have many decisions to make. Whether to use Instagram to promote your business is one of them. We all know that social media can be a powerful tool when it comes to building an online community and boosting your visibility, but how can your business benefit from using Instagram?

According to a recent blog post by Instagram, the community has grown to more than 80 million active users who have shared 4 billion photos since the app was launched two years ago. From established companies Ben & Jerry’s and Burberry, to small startups, all types of businesses have started using Instagram to try to gain attention and reach out to a broader market.

Not only can you use Instagram on your Apple iOS and Android mobile phones and devices, now you can also find its new online tool called Instagram Profiles available on the Web, which allows you to display and share photos on your mobile phones as well as traditional web pages.

As an entrepreneur, you may find yourself short on time and money. So, how can you get the most out of this free photo-sharing app and grow your business? Here are simple steps to get started:

  1. Sign up for an Instagram account, choose an account name that will be easily recognizable and easy to find, preferably the same as your Twitter handle.
  2. Create a profile for your business, and make your profile photo stand out.
  3. Connect your account everywhere you can to promote your Instagram web profile. Mention it on your business page on Facebook and your company’s Twitter profile. Add the Instagram badge to your company website.
  4. Promote your content. Upload your photos to Instagram –– photos of your office, photos of projects you’re working on, photos of your team working behind the scenes, photos of meetings and events you are attending, etc.
  5. Host photo contests. Create a specific hashtag for the contest, and invite your followers to submit photos to share their personal experience of using your products and services. You can also invite your followers to submit captions for your own snapshots. Pick “the winner of the week” and reward him or her with a friendly @mention.

Not using Instagram yet? There’s no real reason not to. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect and engage with your potential clients, customers and business partners. Show some flair and brand yourself. Then, start monitoring, engaging, and measuring how it works out for your business.

Already use instagram as a marketing tool? Then share your experiences and thoughts on Instagram in the comments section below.

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