Several months ago, Facebook purchased the rapidly growing photo sharing application, Instagram. At the time, Instagram already had an impressive 30 million users. Since the $1 Billion purchase, the application has set fire with 50 million users in its short, twenty-one month existence.
While Instagram is available only to those with an Android or iPhone, its popularity has caught the attention of many as imagery and photo sharing is all the rage in the social media world. For those who are not so acquainted with Instagram, you may wonder what all the hype is about. Aside from the fact that Instagram allows users to take photos and virtually transform them into a masterpiece in a matter of seconds, it has the potential to be a great marketing and business tool for any company.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is free photo sharing application available on the Android and iPhone. Once you have downloaded the app, you are able to create your own username and have the option of connecting with other users through your phone contacts or Facebook and Twitter accounts. When you are ready to take your first photo, simply hit the camera button and take a picture. Next, you have the option of applying a filter or blurring out part of the photo, which can transform the image in seconds. The final step is to share your photo, where you may add a caption and instantly share to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
And it doesn't stop there. Similar to Twitter, Instagram allows its users to add hash tags to each photo posted. For example, if I were to take a picture of something representative of Nashville, I could hash tag my photo with #Nashville, thereby allowing anyone who searches the term to see my photo. Users are able to search hash tags and connect with other users who have similar interests and experiences.
How Can Your Business Use Instagram?
With the ability to hash tag photos, users are able to connect with people who have similar interests as their own. When I searched #marketing, 17,774 photos appeared, from users all over the world who wish to share their own marketing stories and experiences through a photo. This can be huge for any company that aims to connect with customers through social media and imagery. If a new restaurant is opening and wishes to connect with potential customers, they can simply create an Instagram account and upload pictures of their entrees, decor, menu, etc. and use creative hash tags that will attract clientele. The sky is the limit when it comes to creatively marketing to customers with Instagram.
Do you have a positive photo sharing experience on Instagram? Would you consider using the application for your business? Let us know in the comments section!
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