The evolution of the Internet also brought changes in the way businesses conduct their marketing strategies. Nowadays, trends in various social media are used to predict and monitor customer behavior.
In 2010, another social networking giant was born: Instagram. Since then, it grew to its current 80 million user base, which business owners saw as another opportunity to further improve their online marketing strategies.
Instagram is a free downloadable application that can be installed on selected iOS- and Android-powered gadgets.With this app, you can take pictures using your phone and then edit it using various retro-style filters. Photos that have been edited can now be published on your social networking sites or within the Instagram community.
Using Instagram for your business
Unlike other social networking sites, however, Instagram is all about photos. This is what sets it apart from the usual sites—it is all about what you capture and what other people think and feel about the picture you took.Here are a number of ways to you can effectively use Instagram for your online marketing strategies:
1. Post engaging photos.
When Ford released its new Ford Fiesta, the company decided to take an innovative approach to its marketing tactics. Instead of the usual way of marketing—publishing on papers, approaching ad agencies, and various other methods—Ford decided to take it to Instagram. They launched a contest online and called it “Fiestagram”, where the ultimate prize is a brand new Ford Fiesta. Suffice to say, the advertising campaign was a success.
The edge of this app when used for business is that people can see what you have to offer. Keep in mind that a picture can stir different kinds of reactions from people. Instagram does not only help you post your pictures; it also is a great tool to help you come up with unique and conceptual photos to entice potential consumers.
2. Use Hastags.
The use of Hashtags on Instagram has helped businesses categorize their products and/or services, depending on how they want to market them (e.g. #Halloween, #music, #discounts). This would help your followers easily track what you have to offer.
3. Host a photo contest.
Nothing convinces a consumer better than to see your product in action. How about taking a leaf out of Ford’s book and host a contest? For instance, you can have your followers post pictures of them using your product. The one with the most creative shot would win. The prize is up to you, as long as it is worth playing for. Through your contests, you can gauge how effective your marketing strategies are based on the response rate of your followers.
Social media has indeed made a significant change in the way businesses implement their strategies. Sure, no one knows how long these social sites would stay on top. But a lot of both small-time and big-time business owners have already decided to tap on the power of social networking sites and effectively use them to increase their visibility and reach out to customers.
+Kyle Kam is a marketing consultant for Affilorama, an affiliate marketing portal. You can also check their affiliate marketing blog and affiliate marketing forum for more tips and information about affiliate marketing. You may follow him on his twitter @undisputedkyle