October 2016

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Build your Brand with Instagram

Leverage “Visual” Social Media to gain followers and increase sales

Manny Mandrusiak

Manny Mandrusiak,
Executive Director, Q College
and Q Academy

Contributing Editor

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As the world of technology continues to evolve so must the need for businesses to continue to leverage new platforms to stay competitive.  That was a sentence that I wrote in a past article when I was writing about leveraging Facebook and Twitter to help companies build their brand because those were platforms where potential customers were waiting for them.  Now with social media Apps continuing to evolve and become more integrated with smartphones potential customers can now instantly share images with the world. What does that mean for people trying to sell products and services…it means that the way that people are influenced to make buying decisions must evolve too.

Instagram’s tagline is “Capture and Share the World’s Moments”. It’s all about visual moments and that means visual marketing.  Now visual marketing by definition is a source for customer engagement in the modern age of point and click cameras on cell phones.  It has become an extremely necessary part of online marketing as a picture has always been worth a 1000 words.

So what exactly is Instagram?  Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, and social networking application that provides end-users with the ability to take photos and videos, and then share them either publicly or privately on the app.  It also integrates well with other social media platforms like: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr.  Here is a link to a great YouTube video that explains Instagram

So what does Instagram mean to a business?  What it means is that any business can grow an audience simply by staying engaged on the app.  It is a great way to humanize a business.  As a society we love to put faces to names, and Instagram provides a perfect platform to do that.  The pictures and videos that are posted tell a story about your business; how products are made, who your employees are, and what your company stands for. 

The other reason for a business to consider using Instagram are the more than 200 million users of the app.  A huge percentage of that 200 million are under the age of 35.  What that means for a business is viral marketing opportunity.  An opportunity to get a corporate name in front of potential employees and potential customers.

contemporary Instagram also provides a business with the opportunity to get to know your customers, and in a very personal way.   Instagram users have a chance to follow those people and ideas that have interests in line with their own business.  It provides a platform that enables you to provide your customers and evangelists for your products and services.  Essentially it is the most popular, and simplest platform to keep your finger on the pulse of new industry trends and what your customer really wants from your company and its’ products.

Having recently purchased a new cellphone I noticed that the Instagram app was automatically installed.  I decided to try it, and I am a fan.  I get continuous updates from feeds that I am interested in, and it is constantly refreshing!  Where Facebook is a little more static with text and images, Instagram is images with minimal text and hashtags.  Once again a picture paints 1000 words.
Instagram is here to stay, and it is an asset in any business’ marketing asset.  Humanize your business, grow your client base, and increase brand awareness.  By leveraging Instagram, you are helping to increase your business’ brand awareness and ultimately converting more sales. 


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