Instagram has the reputation that it makes anyone with a smartphone a professional photographer. It has been embraced by young bloggers people for some time. Now also commercial operators has started using the free social media for marketing.
Heard of Instagram?
Instagram is a camera and effects application for smartphones that make it easy to share photos with others. The app is very simple and works by taking an photograph, edit the photo as you wish and attach a text that describes the photo. When you have shared your image, other people can comment and like the picture. The simplicity of the service is probably some of the things that makes it so popular.
There has been a tremendous growth in the number of users of Instagram in the last year. People use Instagram to keep in touch with friends, and follow people/profiles that they think are interesting to watch. You can call Instagram «visual blogging» – everyday events and moments are shared through photographs.
How are Instagram relevant to your company or your project?
Recently, Instagram has been used also by commercial enterprises, especially for photo contests where one encourages users to upload photos via Instagram and tag with a special hashtag. This way it is possible to show all images tagged with the #hashtag on a website. Many who uploads a picture with Instagram sends it directly to both their Twitter and Facebook profiles simultaneously, which means the word quickly spreads to other social media as well.
Only our imagination sets the limits to how we can use images from a photo competition. One company chose to print selected Instagram images on milk cartons. A museum may choose to display the images randomly on a big screen in a physical exhibition.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, and we have every reason to believe that it is here to stay and will become more and more prevalent.
Yet another social media …
Unlike Facebook, Instagram is a social media that doesn’t require a lot of time from a company’ staff in order toupdate statuses on a regular basis. With Instagram you can use just the users’ own activity to create awareness around your brand.
Pinterest might currently be used mainly by the most eager internet users and inspiration-seeking souls, but Pinterest is for everyone who uses the internet more or less. Everybody needs inspiration! Well – just choose the right categories. Not everyone is interested in design and home decor, but Pinterest is so much more. Or can get to be so much more.
Heard of Pinterest?
Pinterest is another social media with rapidly growing popularity. It is simply a photo / link-sharing site in form of «pinboards» where you share your favorite links, images and videos found online. Pinboards are assigned to categories and pins are tagged with keywords and descriptions.
What’s new about that?
A social media with photo sharing is nothing new of course. Pinterest formula for success is that they’ve made it so easy to share links to inspirational sites on the internet. And they have manges to do it an a very appealing visual style. People rarely just share an image, but also the link to the page the image came from.
How can you use Pinterest for marketing?
The major cue to Pinterest is INSPIRATION. Your company can use Pinterest to inspire with solutions involving your products.
- Like the Facebook and Twitter share buttons you can now have «Pin it» buttons on your website. Of course, you want to spread your content as much as possible.
- Watch what users comments and likes and re-pins from what you put on Pinterest. You may gather useful feedback.
- I think the possibilities are endless, and all the ways to use the Pint Rest hardly have been invented yet. You’ll just have to be creative.
There are some guidelines for Pinterest, like other social media. For example, do not share photos exclusively from one site (read: your own website). Pin not only from your own website, but also another inspiration that is of value to your followers.
Good old Twitter and Facebook
As with all social media with great popularity, there will always be some people who think it is too much and too commercial.Some of the things I have noticed:
Facebook is accused of annoying commerciality as the pressure on earning money increases. Companies must be careful not to annoy their followers.
Many also believe that Facebook has become too open and that you get to know too much about too many. It has almost become a science to get the settings to work as you want to – in addition to the settings and options constantly changing.
Twitter has become more popular and widespread. It’s definitely not just a niche thing for the most technophiles. Many different kind of businesses have found their good ways to communicate with followers. Many complaints about products and services have been taken care of, praise has been spread, and problems have been resolved.
One of the most interesting things about good old Facebook and especially Twitter is to see how they have played a major role in revolutions and uprisings in the world, and how some governments are looking at those as threats and completely bans them.
For all businesses using social media, it’s about balancing the amount of advertising and value in communication. As a business, you should have a strategy for each social media, and it is important to ask how social media helps to achieve corporate goals and how it will strengthen the company. Most importantly, perhaps: Are your customers there?