Now that most of us have finally determined how to spell Pinterest along comes Instagram. Instagram is a mobile application that is the brain child of Kevin Systrom, a university friend of Mark Zuckerberg’s. Actually, Zuckerberg invited Systrom to join him at Instagram when the social networking site was still just an understanding in Zuckerberg’s head, but Systrom opted to stay in school. That decision has ended in Systrom becoming Silicon Valley’s, and Stanford University’s, latest internet billionaire.

Instagram is a free photo sharing social networking site launched on October 6, 2010. It allows users to download photos, process them by way of a digital filter, and share them with other users they are linked to. Instagram continues to be wildly successful in the first place. By December 2010 they already had over 1 million users. By April 2012, 30 million users were downloading over 150 million photos on Instagram. Also in April, Instagram became available to android users. Seeing a menace to its social networking dominance, Facebook acted fast to neutralize its latest competitor. Again in April, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion.

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How can local small businesses utilize Instagram? First, you have to register. To register a business you have to have a location page. In order to generate location page for your business, you must create a free account in Foursquare. Foursquare is a location based social media marketing site for mobile users. Instagram uses Foursquare’s location database to tag a photograph for that location. In case your location is not really already listed on Foursquare’s database, you can add it by simply following these steps as recommended on Instagram’s webpage:

1. Sing up making use of your name brand since the user name.

2. Add a profile picture, information about the business and a link to your website

3. Connect to our other social media marketing accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

Now that you have your account set up, you can start to create a presence on Instagram. Among the strategies which you can use are:

1. Share compelling content. Where have you heard that before? Those who have followed inbound marketing, seo, and building an online presence is aware that everything starts with content. Don’t be scared to try out your photos. Request feedback from the followers. What do they like the most? How about the least?

2. Use hashtags to locate more followers and share your photos. When using hashtags, be specific. This will help you find like-minded those who will be more likely to be interested in your product or service. So rather than simply saying #car, say #bmw. Make an effort to engage the people who are most directly thinking about your product. Take a look at what other businesses are doing within your industry. They probably have used ideas who have not occurred to you.

3. Share the photo on other social networking sites. Instagram enables you to easily share photos on Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Once these users see your photo they will go to your site, or commence to follow yourself on Instagram.

4. Ensure your photos tell the history you want to tell. Posting a picture of this great steak dinner you’re about to eat won’t can you much good should you own a tire shop. Be authentic. Your users will be able to know if the photos you happen to be posting are actual or otherwise not

5. Be consistent. Don’t over-saturate your site content, but post often enough to maintain our followers engaged.

One of many criticisms of Instagram is the fact its filters destroy good photographs. This complaint has arrived mainly from professional photographers who may be feeling the warmth of competition. Their standards of what is appropriate are generally higher than the general public at large as well. For many business purposes, the photo reproduction in Instagram is “adequate”.

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One other criticism is that Instagram has no business design and virtually no income. But that is Facebook’s problem, not yours. As more and more online searchers conduct business on cellular devices, it is the prudent online marketer who can benefit the most. Leveraging apps like Instagram will probably pay dividends down the road.

Instagram is not the area to easily share product shots on a regular basis. Think about the experience individuals have using what you’re offering, or perhaps the benefits it gives people. Even better, show real-examples. Seeking user-generated content from the audience is one way to achieve this. This means that users share their photos employing a hashtag you provide.

You don’t must cram every hashtag you can think about in a single post, but you will need at the very least a couple of. A hashtag is definitely the # sign then descriptive words about your image as with this example, I used #marketing and #ctaconf, which was the conference I used to be attending during the time. When a user clicks/taps on a hashtag or types a hashtag to the search box, it raises all images which use that hashtag. The consumer can even sign up for continue to follow that hashtag.

Anticipation is definitely the user will spot your photo, head in your profile and best-case scenario, follow you and get engaged with more of your own posts! However, when hashtags are really popular, competition to show up inside the results is fierce. Similar to SEO keywords, the greater popular a term is, the harder it is to keep on the top of the search engine rankings. Thus, my illustration of using #marketing really lwvnib futile if I desired to get any traction from that post.

You want to create your hashtags highly relevant to your business and location, but in addition engaging enough that the user would type them into Instagram’s search box. Make sure to let people know their images might be featured on your page and you also can improve your Instagram content big time – at no cost!

Regardless of how you use Instagram for the business, be authentic and true for your brand. It’s just what the platform is centered on, and it’s going that will help you grow your business, gain Instagram followers and attract sales or leads.

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