Building business with Instagram: The bigger picture

With its very recent, very public and very pricey Facebook acquisition, the mobile photo maven coined Instagram has caught the eye of both big and small marketers, business builders and brands, worldwide. What started in 2010, as a seemingly small point, shoot and post application, has grown up to fulfill the visual needs of today’s tech-savvy social networkers.
So, what is Instagram? It’s Insta-awesome! At least we think it is. Instagram allows its 80 million+ users to broadcast their lives visually, vividly and artistically… FOR FREE! With some help from your mobile camera phone and a little photo-finishing, even the most mundane Monday morning office view can be brought into brilliance. Just point, click and share. Its simplicity is inarguable and to be quite honest, it really does make you feel like a pro photo pundit. Its features are few in number, but completely satisfy the bell & whistle requirement to keep this app usable, interesting and easy. Fun filters can turn an average afternoon walk into the embodiment of Ansel Adams. Unfortunate lacks in light can be brightened with a button-swipe. Even the most crowded images can be clarified using blur effects for extra depth of field. New office space? Share images showcasing the exotic interiors of your favorite Florida Advertising Agency and its mapped location, using a Geo-tag. Then invite them to come and see it for themselves. Most of all, Instagram images can be instantly shared with other users. Comment and “Like” capabilities allow for easy user interaction within the application. You can even choose to send your mobile image magic to your Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr feeds with ease.  Toss in #hashtag and search ability, and you’ve got a brand building brainchild that rivals marketing perfection.

How exactly can your business benefit from this billion dollar baby? By reaching your audience at their most personal levels, paying attention to their daily interactions with your products, listening to what they say (using pictures) about your brand or the business you’re in, and reacting accordingly. Still confused?

Let’s say you’re a new business, involved in wholesale. You’re small, but offer great prices to compete with the monsters you model after like BJ’s and Sam’s Club. You’ve recently launched your supercharged and supercool looking website, optimized for greatness, but there’s one problem… It’s been 2 weeks and nothing. Not one hit. So you pull up your Instagram account, slide to search and see what your industry giants are up to these days. “#Costco” Search and BOOM! Long lines and bustling buyers populate the images before you. They’re slammed! And they’re giving away free memberships for the next month! How this detail could have slipped by you is of major concern, but now you know exactly what you need to do. Within a week, your free membership offer is rolled out and the promise of premium and personalized customer service that only a small shop can offer is still on your side. Your big savings coupled with brand names and the same free membership the big guys are dealing makes you a force to be considered in the market. Now, you’re on your way!

[quote]Just as important as it is to pay attention to your audience on Instagram, is the equal importance of knowing how to utilize it effectively to push your story into the palms of your audience’s hands.[/quote] You’ve done your research and noted the trends. You’ve even found some unusual ways in which the market puts your product to use. Now what? If a picture truly is worth a thousand words, then this is your chance to TELL YOUR ENTIRE STORY! Imaginatively and strategically, you can populate your market’s minds with images of your brand. Build your web-persona using eye-catching close-ups. Share memorable moments from your most recent events. Entice new audiences to check out your next event. Host a photo contest, urging users to hashtag your business, bringing even more views to your profile. Start a trend centered on your brand! It’s easier than you think if you have a few willing friends or coworkers and some out-of-the-box photo opps. Opening an Instagram account for your business is like opening the curtains for a sneak peek behind the scenes. Users can have the coveted opportunity to see who and what makes you tick. Showcase employees having fun at work. Make it known just how awesome it is to be in the business you’re in. Post your favorite photos to your Facebook page and tweet your tinyurl off with links to each photo capture.

Above all, be genuine. They will know if you’re full of Photoshop.

Any of this sound insta-interesting? Enter the era of new marketing and contact an Orlando Marketing Agency that’s well-versed in the ways of the web. Integrate the social networks with your digital marketing strategy and see how much farther your reach will go.

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