As Facebook’s reach slowly declines, companies and brands are racing to discover the next big social media goldmine. Last year, Forbes touched on the growing power of Instagram, the photo-sharing app that Facebook bought in one of the best deals in its history. Instagram has huge commercial potential—the Forbes article’s headline declared that the app was “shaping up to be the world’s most powerful selling tool.” Here are five reasons Instagram is a jackpot for marketing, and why you should claim your own little corner of this massive and ever-growing social media site.
1. The Power of “Raw” Photos
The biggest upside to Instagram’s potential is its purely photo-based platform. However, this is also the biggest challenge. Instagram users reward powerful, emotion-filled photos, so each picture you post really has to be worth a thousand words. By posting striking and evocative photos of their products, brands make them memorable, which helps instill the desire to buy.
2. The Potential of Hashtagging
Another marketing challenge presented by Instagram is its lack of direct links. Instead, it groups and links photos together via a hashtagging system. This system can be used by a brand to gain new followers by tapping into highly popular tags such as #instagood, #throwbackthursdays, and #latergram. This method is also a way to group together pictures for specific marketing campaigns and generate more submissions, which increases brand awareness and user engagement with your product. Photos submitted to your hashtag can be grouped into a stunning collage, which you can display in a gallery on your web page.
3. Personal Connection
Of course collecting and submitting pictures is only part of it. Use your branded hashtag to reply to users who post under it, keeping your relationship with your customers authentic. People love when their favorite brands respond to them personally, so use this system to your favor. Brands can also set up triggered responses to photos using their hashtag, showing up automatically as a comment on the picture. This encourages users to keep engaging with your brand, which increases the likelihood of a conversion.
4. Free Publicity
One of the best things about Instagram is its organic reach. Customers love when brands relate to them directly, as with interactive branded hashtags and comments. Instagram gives brands an opportunity to aim their marketing campaigns directly at real consumers who have already expressed interest in them. In addition, well-known bloggers and Instagrammers who post under your tag can easily direct their followers right to you. You’re simply more visible on Instagram than virtually any other social media platform.
5. Connect Galleries To E-Commerce
Extend the impact of Instagram galleries by connecting them to relevant product suggestions in the display gallery or microsite. For example, a woman who posts about her new dress using a marketing campaign hashtag might like to see your spring or summer collections under that same tag. Brands can build product suggestions right into user-generated content galleries, streamlining the purchasing process for everyone. Additionally, the tools to build your Instagram market galleries are all free and easy to use.