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5 ways your business can benefit from using Instagram
This week, Instagram announced that it will start to consider
implementing advertising into its photo sharing network as the
app hits 150 million monthly users.
Acquired by Facebook in a $1 billion move to rival Twitter’s
popular Vine service, Instagram’s growth has been rocket-
propelled since the apps birth in 2010.
Popular with the public f or its clean design and artsy portrayal of
images f or aspiring photographers, many businesses and brands
have adapted Instagram into their digital marketing strategy.
Companies such as Heineken are leading the way on Instagram,
and run competitions on the network to drive customer interest in
the brand, but without the f orce-f ed advertorial edge.
Sports teams are also proving ever popular on Instagram, with
f ootball clubs and basketball teams f rom the NBA using Instagram
to show their f ans an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at their
f avourite stars.
But how can your business benefit from using Instagram?
Lets start with a more traditional method of social marketing. With over 150 million monthly users,
Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular social networks in the world.
With the companies announcement that it plans to introduce advertising to the app f or the f irst time,
businesses could take advantage of gaining the attention of millions of users of the picture sharing
platf orm as they are exposed to, and take notice of advertising f or the f irst time.
The Facebook owned company are suggesting that any advertising wont subtract f rom the overall user
experience on the app (a promise made by many of our most popular, now advert inf ested social networks).
Despite this, any advertising during the f irst f ew months of its roll-out should be picked up by Instagram’s
highly attentive user base.
Brand awareness and popularity
Burberry are great at this. Whilst they could allow their Instagram page to simply document their new lines
and releases, the 155-year-old f ashion giant use their prof ile almost in the same way a celebrity blogger
would, uploading images of some of London’s top landmarks, as well as behind the scenes shots of
f ashion shows and photo-shoots.
Burberry have developed a handy knack of showcasing its trendy clothing in everyday circumstances, and
the people wearing the clothes are highlighted as the main f ocus of the picture.
Due to the brands popularity, the odd picture of the likes of Tinie Tempah enjoying the latest catwalk show
certainly helps with popularity on the social network, and raises a lot of interest.
Instagram is a great way to showcase your products in an artistic way. Brands such as Topshop use the
network to picture its clothing ranges in everyday lif e, as well as providing images f rom inside its many
Done correctly and Instagram can be a new social storef ront f or your businesses, showing f ans your
product ranges in a way that doesn’t make them f eel violated by over advertising.
Heineken lead the way on Instagram when it comes to competitions. The beer f irm took things to a whole
new creative level with their scavenger hunter competition, in which the user must f ind clues in a mosaic of
images to win tickets to the US Open f inal.
Competitions are always a great way to promote your brands awareness and popularity without strait-ball
advertising, and your online f ollowing can expand massively depending on the quality of the prize.
But asking the entrant to do more than simply like and share something creates a greater brand
engagement, and promotes more interest.
Whilst competitions play a large part of f an engagement, companies can of f er a lot more in the way of
interacting with their f ans.
It has long been said by industry experts that every brand on social media need a personality behind the
brand logo whilst posting online, and f an engagement is a perf ect example of giving your page personality.
Red Bull are a great advocate f or this, and as well as promoting its own high octane images in promotion of
its energy drinks, the account will of ten like its f ans images which represent people “getting their wings”,
such as high adrenaline sports.
It can of ten be dif f icult f or business leaders to see the benef it of putting time and money into social media
such as Instagram. Yet whilst 70% of businesses say they f ind customers through social media, a lot of it
is to do with a brands popularity and awareness.
Fans of certain brands will remain loyal if they provide quality content to their social streams, and in return
are more likely to click onto the latest product releases, and pay attention when you must become more
Having a selection of accounts, f rom Facebook to Twitter, and YouTube to Instagram helps reach the
largest audience possible, and increase brand awareness even f urther. You can create a mosaic of
business driven outlets, to which you control the content, tone and message, and reach a much larger and
more engaged audience than simple advertising alone.
If you think your business can benefit from social media, have a look at Fabric’s digital marketing
services. Also, read my other article: 4 Ways Twitter Can Benefit Your Business.
Writer Arthur Wilson is a digital marketer, blogger and f reelance journalist working in Manchester. You can
f ollow him on Twitter @Ayup_Arthur.