Instagram, the popular photo sharing application, is widely popular because it breaks up the hum-drum monotony of word driven social media apps. You can log on and endlessly scroll a screen of finely filtered photos, and even look up streams of niche-specific photos utilizing hashtags.
Because of the apps ease and popularity, it has become increasingly important for businesses to run Instagram accounts, and attempt to gain followers that can see daily posts by the business. Large businesses, such as Verizon mobile or Wal-Mart can benefit from using Instagram in that they are reminding any followers of their business’ purpose or motto, but small businesses can see even greater benefits from using the photo-driven app.
Smaller businesses, unlike large, are not often already on the radar of many people. Maybe locals know about the regional seamstress who creates one-of-a-kind dresses and nightwear, but anybody outside of the word-of-mouth focused small town probably has no idea about this genius sewing expert. That’s where Instagram can be a real tool to a small business owner. Using Instagram, a small business owner such as the afore mentioned seamstress, can create a profile wherein she uploads pictures of her alterations and designs, filters and frames them well, and employs strategic hashtags so that users from all over the globe could come across her designs!
If she were to hashtag say, #eveningwear, #design, #alteration, #weddinggownrenewal, #recyledfabric, etc, beneath a photo she shares of a gown she created, then any Instagram users who type in those hashtags will be directed to her work! Small business owners should use Instagram because it can put them on the map for potential consumers.
Also, small businesses, because of the nature behind most small businesses, (family-run, locally sourced, local support, niche specific good/service), could really benefit from giving supporters a behind-the-scenes type of look into their business. People always want to feel involved in, or a part of something, and with a small business that can be a very feasible vibe to create.
If you are a small business that is centered around making and serving farm-to-table food, then an Instagram account wherein you post pictures of the food’s prep work, the farm where the food comes from, or smiling chefs preparing the evening’s roast duck breast, you give followers a small bit of insider knowledge into the business, strengthening their affections toward it and inclination to support it.
Instagram also proves effective for small businesses who are looking to create a following solely online, i.e. a crafts person who sells their crafts online, a painter, graphic designer, etc. Instagram prides itself on creating that “community” feel, and not unwarrantedly so. When you follow someone, begin to “like” their posts, and engage with them often on Instagram, you forge this virtual bond that usually manifests itself in reciprocal support. So if you are a small business looking to launch and operate primarily online, then Instagram would be an effective social media application for you!