Instagram is a mobile app that allows users to instantly take and / or upload photos and quickly edit them using a unique set of filters and a branded tilt-shift feature (3-D effect) that sets them apart from the rest. It's taken off in popularity faster than any other mobile app and is most likely the reason the person standing in line next to you at Starbuck's is taking a picture of the pastry case for no apparent reason. Instagram is addictive and it has a whole nation of iPhone and Android users hooked. And where the public goes, your business should follow.
If you're the owner of your company and / or the person responsible for branding and social media, you should be privy to the 6 Reasons Instagram is perfect for your business:
1. Instagram is Instantaneous
There is no waiting around until you get back to your home or office to take full advantage of Instagram for brand building. Using your iPhone or Android, you snap the photo, edit, upload, add a comment (remember to #hashtag keywords), and share from your brand's profile within seconds.
2. No Duplicate Accounts Needed
Unlike Facebook and Google+ where you're required to set up a lengthy personal profile before you can set up a brand page, you are allowed to jump right in as a brand on Instagram without any controversy. It's a fairly easy set up process.
3. Everyone Has an Inner-Photographer
Many business owners are at a loss when it comes to using social networks to grow their customer base for the most part because they do not have a way with words or know how to hone their creative juices for content marketing. But everyone likes taking photos and let's be honest – almost every one of us feels like we have a knock behind the camera. While darkroom results often prove otherwise, the ease and foolish editing of Instagram will in fact turn you into the Herb Ritts of your product / service content marketing.
4. It Makes Your Brand Look Interesting
This is the great thing about using Instagram to showcase your product / service. Instagram filters make office supply suppliers, garbage removal services, and even internet marketers look cool. Use Instagram to show off your product / service and even your corporate culture by capturing candidate office moments. Instagram albums give personality to brands in a manner that no other sharing network has been able to accomplish then far.
5. Create a Location Page for Your Business
Google Places and the new Google+ Local Pages for businesses have demonstrated the importance of having a physical location attached to your brand's online presence. Instagram's integration with the Foursquare location database allows you to Geotag the location the photo was taken from (ie your place of business) which allows it to be added to the location page on Instagram. If users are browsing photos based on location and see a product of yours that appeals to them within their area, you may have a new customer. If a location is not listed, you can add your business to the Instagram / Foursquare database .
6. It's Easier to get Followers
Because you can not post links on Instagram, the public will not feel like they are being bombarded with SPAM when following your brand account. If you frequently post interesting images that feature your product service on Instagram, customers are more likely to follow you there than on any other Social Network. It will be easier for you to build brand recognition with a larger fan base. Because Instagram easily links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, it helps those social networks grow for you as well. The same rules of social network marketing apply though – interact with (comment and "like") and follow your customers FIRST. On Instagram, they actually follow back.
While it does not provide the linking opportunities that many internet marketers are overly obsessed with, Instagram is the easiest and most fun-to-use social sharing network out there and it can be a tremendous tool in developing your business' brand persona and in gaining brand recognition with your online customer base.