With nearly 150 million users and counting, Instagram is currently one of the fastest-growing social platforms – with 23% more users signing up in the second half of 2013.
Using Instagram offers another personal way for your business to connect with target markets. Social media demographics suggest that women under 50 – particularly non-whites in urban and suburban areas – are more likely to use the site, so it offers a way into a potentially lucrative target market.
Which brands marry Instagram and eCommerce best? How can a start-up or small eCommerce store use Instagram to grow its reach online? Let’s take a look:
Show what’s going on behind the scenes
A picture paints a thousand words, so they say. And a behind the scenes image is a little like inviting your followers over for dinner; making your brand seem more accessible and offering them a little exclusivity.
Check out how Mac Cosmetics publishes images of its make up being used backstage at fashion shows – putting you at the exclusive after party and building a bond with their brand.
Show your company’s culture
Likewise, if you’ve got a fresh, exciting brand, plenty of people will be wondering what it’s actually like to work with you.
How your company treats its staff says a lot about the brand overall. So snap any social events, exciting goings on in and around the office and you’ll make your company appear forward-thinking and vibrant.
The handbag brand Nica shows how this can be done, posting a festive picture of its team celebrating before Christmas.
Show your brand in a personal way
No individual product is ever the same as another, as it affects each individual consumer in a different way. You can use Instagram to reflect the way that your products affect other people – and by extension, will affect others online too.
What’s more, by showing pictures of your products being used in places, situations and styles familiar to your target market you can reinforce your brand’s identity. See Starbucks emphasises the individual emotional connection of their universally analogous products:
Show what inspires you
Instagram is a haven for creative types who want to get inspired for the latest project. So why not share the photos of all of the things that get your creative juices flowing?
The computer giant Intel shows how even companies that aren’t stereotypically suited to Instagram’s demographics can post amazing facts and inspiring sights to develop a brand identity.
Show how followers can win
if you’re looking to grow the amount of people that are following your brand on Instagram, competitions are still a great way of doing it.
Dunkin’ Donuts showed how a competition can capture the excitement of Instagram users last Halloween. It invited customers to customise a DD coffee cup in the scariest way possible, with a $100 gift card available for the best entrant.
Show your Instagram elsewhere
The truth is that, compared to social behemoths like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is still pretty small fry. That’s why it’s important to get the message out that you’re connecting on Instagram – add social share buttons to your website, feature your best snaps in a blog and promote any competitions on your offline channels.