For a while, only iPhone customers could experience the joys of Instagram. They took photos of life experiences, picked their favorite filter for the photo and then posted it on Instagram for all of their “followers” to see. Average photos turned into interesting photos with fun, unusual finishes with names like Hudson, Sierra, Lo-Fi, Toaster, Nashville and 1977.
Once Facebook bought the popular mobile phone app a few months ago, Droid customers were soon in on the fun, and it exploded as yet another way for businesses to connect with customers. Companies like CNN and Forever 21 got Instagram accounts and began using it to stay with the times and have major impact on customers.
Like Pinterest, Instagram is all about the visual. Sure you can include a brief caption with your posted photo, but the power is in the picture you post. And what makes Instagram unique at this point, is that it’s strictly a mobile phone app. There’s no uploading pictures to Instagram on your computer. It must be done with a mobile device.
Here are some ways you can use Instagram to entertain your customers and keep them interested in your brand or business:
Preview upcoming products/events
Make it known on other social media that only your Instagram followers will get the previews of products or events before they happen. While it’s a good idea to sync your Instagram with other social media like Facebook and Twitter, consider leaving some Instagram posts strictly to your followers on the app. Customers love to be in the know at the earliest time possible, so they should jump at the chance to follow you on Instagram if they’ll have an exclusive on upcoming products and events.
Hold a contest
One way businesses are using Instagram is having customers take pictures of themselves using certain products. Whoever posts the best photos then receives some sort of prize. Like Twitter, Instagram allows the use of hashtags (#) before words or phrases to make it easy to search for specific topics. Pick a hashtag for customers to post with their photo of themselves using your product.
Follow your customers on Instagram
Like all social media, Instagram will be even more successful if you use it as a tool to interact with your customers. Don’t make it all about your business, but instead see what your customers are up to in their lives. “Like” their photos by double tapping them on your mobile screen, or consider leaving a comment on an interesting photo.
Make a game of it
Have fun with Instagram! Take photos of odd things around your business or extreme close-ups and see if customers can guess what it is. Are you a food company with lots of machinery that makes a product? Take fun pictures of the machines and see if people can guess what that particular machine makes. This gives your customers a chance to interact with your Instagram photos and learn a little bit more about your business and how it’s run.
Have fun, and post daily
If you’re going to have an Instagram account for your business, make sure you have the time to commit to it. Don’t post as often as you would Tweet, but posting once or twice a day is certainly acceptable. If you have trouble coming up with photo ideas, contact content experts for help on what to do.