While working on my marketing strategy for our new arts and crafts website cartgalore.com, I looked at the power of image sharing across the web. During this time the photo sharing programme Instagram was acquired by Facebook and it began to get even more attention from social media ‘gurus’ around the world.
With all this attention and such a fast growing user base I decided that it would be too good to ignore as part of our social media strategy which would be largely based around image sharing. I figured it was probably a no-brainer for Facebook to acquire the platform with image-sharing social networks quickly becoming the next big thing and with Instagram currently having over 100 million users , but the real question was how can we use it as part of our overall social media strategy?So I did a little research and began using the platform to see exactly how it can work for businesses.
Firstly, it is important to look at Instagram’s features; it is a simple application allowing users to share images in their social network. It turns otherwise banal looking images into stunning retro pieces of artwork in a few simple steps which you can then share to other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. This is where its real value lies; sharing beautiful images that encapsulate your brand to offer your audience a more interesting, visual experience than reading paragraphs of text on a web page. (Check out my photos of the lovely animals of Dublin Zoo). Visually stimulating anecdotal images are much more interesting than straightforward product shots and users will respond to photos they find eye-catching and interesting.
So, my advice, with people being bombarded by advertising, it is a refreshing way to reach out to your audience and create a more personal story of your brand through images, capturing moments which reflect your brand, without the hard sell of direct advertising. Whatever you do, don’t ignore it, especially if your brand or product lends itself to great images. There are lots of resources out there to help you harness the power of Instagram effectively, here are some good articles on the web that will help you get started;