A previously niche social media app was thrust into the spotlight with Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram. Many small businesses had not even heard of Instagram before Facebook’s purchase.
But before we dive into some case studies of small businesses embracing Instagram, here’s a quick review:
Instagram is a photo sharing application started in October 2010. What makes Instagram different from other photo sharing applications like Flickr is that Instagram enables users to do “post-production” work on their photos right on their phone. (Normally a photo would need to be manipulated in a program like Photoshop.) It offers filters and other tools to create artsy/quirky/beautiful photos. It’s the ability to make an ordinary photo look extraordinary, that makes Instagram so unique and so popular.
Users then share their photos on Instagram and their other social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Similar to Twitter, users can “follow” other Instagram users and they can also organize their photo posts by subject using the hashtag tool (#skiing, #flowers, etc etc).
Businesses have the ability to reach potential customers on Instagram by gaining followers on their own Instagram accounts.
Here’s a great article by businessinsider.com that provides a step-by-step guide to opening your own Instagram account:
So now that you know how to get started on Instagram, the question becomes: how to be effective, stand out and ADD VALUE to your future followers.
The following articles provide some examples and case studies of how businesses have harnessed Instagram to their advantage.
The Rise of Instagram in Social Marketing: Tapping Into Consumer Creativity
Instagram for Business: 3 Creative Ways to Build Loyalty