How to Market Your Small Business With Instagram

Posted on September 20, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

Instagram has proven that photography and social media go together like a rainbow and a pot of gold. Launched in October 2010, Instagram was originally designed for iPhone users. By April 2012, the photo sharing technology was also being made available to Android phones.

Snapping photos has always been an integral part of the cell phone experience, and studies now show that over a billion photos have been taken with Instagram. People, it seems, love visuals, and visuals are an essential component to modern business marketing.
While many people use Instagram as a fun and recreational way to share pictures, other people are utilizing Instagram in a more serious way.


Businesses are launching huge and successful marketing campaigns through the use of this innovative photo-sharing app. It has become another important tool in the technological toolbox that is enabling both small businesses and large companies to stay connected with their audience through visual communication. Instagram is the fastest growing social media site. With over 80 million, highly-involved users, if you want to boost brand awareness, Instagram is the first place to start.

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Below are the top 3 ways that Instagram will benefit your business.

1. Share-ability

The real beauty (and marketing weapon) of Instagram is that when you post a photo using you mobile phone, you can also instantly post it to social media juggernauts like Twitter, Facebook, Flicker and Tumblr. It is as simple as that to reach all interfaces with one photo. Sharing new photos associated with company news, new products, and cool projects will also help generate free marketing for your company as users share your promotions on their facebook and twitter as well. Hint: it helps if your photos are awesome, and truly reflect the purpose and product of your company.

2. Brand

One of the most important aspects of a good business is building your brand. Instagram will enable you to boost your brand awareness and acquire fan-generated reviews and responses. Keeping photos consistent with your product and audience will create a gallery of photos designed for your target market. Experts agree that galleries with ’themes’ have the most success. For instance, local coffee shops often take photos of featured drinks, like pumpkin spice lattes in the fall, to suit their customer’s interests. The way people react to your picture-post is important, and most businesses using Instagram will create hashtags to get their audience involved, so that they can tag their own photo of the #delish #pumpkinspicelatte from #TheWoodsCoffee and show all their friends. Using Instagram to help brand your company is exponential when your followers identify with your brand and share it with their friends.

3. Involve Your Audience

Instagram is an ideal way to share, organize, and promote your brand across all the social media sites, creating a thorough and well-rounded online presence. However, it is absolutely essential to make sure your audience is involved, or your efforts are worthless.
This concept is key to having a successful business in the modern world, especially with social media marketing. For instance, get followers involved by creating a contest where followers can post a picture related to your brand, tag it with a hashtag, and vote on which picture is the best by liking the photo. Photo with the most likes wins a cool prize! This type of marketing idea gets the audience involved and generates a strong word of mouth. Also, respond to comments, just like you would on Facebook or Twitter; followers like the personal touches of Instagram.

To get a better sense of how best to be involved with your followers, pay attention to which photos receive the most feedback in terms of likes and comments, and what time those photos were posted. Paying attention to when your audience is most likely using Instagram will help you promote things more effectively in the future.

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For a modern business, Instagram is like a dream come true. It is a technological platform designed for product placement, but it has all the added benefits and perks of the best of social media. However, what may turn out to be more important than both of these things is the fact that Instagram is fun. The more people who enjoy Instagram, the larger the audience your business can reach.

Author Bio: Hannah is a 22 year old Western Washington University graduate, specializing in technology, adventure, and all things marketing. She is a writer for and loves exploring the newest social media sites to find the best possibilities for customer interaction. Follow her at @hongryhannah, and thanks for reading!

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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