Social Media Marketing - Using Instagram to Engage Customers

Studies show that as of October 2011 there were 95.8 million smartphone users in the US alone. Studies also show that more and more people are spending time online on their smart phones rather than their computers.  The trend shows that more people are preferring to use their smart phones for what they once used their computers for. What does this mean? Well as marketers, you need to make sure that you're connecting with your clients customers in the areas where they are spending their time.

What's an extremely visual and fun way to do this? Instagram.

For those who may be unfamiliar, Instagram is an app for iPhone users that allows them to take pictures and transform them into instant works of art.  This app features 16 vintage filters for users to chose from, and once finished, the user can then upload their image to any social network.

What this app can do for users doesn't stop there. With some creativity businesses, brands and marketers can use the app to engage with existing and potential customers. And the best part of all - its totally free.

Through Instagram, brands and marketers can:

1. Create a Unique Industry View

Businesses can uniquely position themselves in their market by using this photo sharing app.  It will shape their position in the market place with an edge.

2. Create a Unique Visual Sense for Themselves

Through the images a business uploads, they will be displaying what makes them unique and they can further flex their creative muscles.  You can display your passion for your product to others

3. Engage Customers with a Story

For as long as cameras have been around, the photos we take are used for the purpose of story telling. Seeing as more and more people are utilizing smart phones and the apps that are available to them, it only seems fitting to go where the people are going.  Companies such as Starbucks and Red Bull do a great job of brand story telling through Instagram.



Here you can see how both display visually interesting photos. These brands use their uploaded images to further solidify their identities. It's definitely a great way to elevate their presence in their respective markets.

4. Capture Exclusive and Interesting Brand Images

Brands can capture insider information for their customers through the photos they take. This will give existing customers a reason to stick around as they are constantly being engaged with their beloved brand.  By providing exclusive brand images you can also entice potential customers to further check out what you're all about.

Some think that using Instagram for any marketing purposes devalues what the app was intended for.  Personally, I love seeing the exclusive images that you just wouldn't find on any website.  I think it's a great way to ensure you're connecting with customers in the areas they are spending their time.  It's just a little something extra that when done correctly, can add value to your social media marketing.