Making the most of social media to promote your business is about diversifying platforms. Not only can making use of multiple platforms to convey your message increase your exposure, but different platforms can also be used to play to different strengths or provide fresh prospective. Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to edit, post, and share pictures on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. It has gained tremendous popularity as a marketing platform. By allowing a warmer, more engaging persona for your business, Instagram gives you the opportunity to reach out to clients and connect on a human level through shared pictures and other visual information.
PICK YOUR PICS
Unlike other social media platforms, which are content driven, the pictorial nature of Instagram can at first seem daunting. Learning how to connect with your audience through images is easier than you think. Through care and selection of your Instagram content, you can convey the best about your practice.
Plan before you take a picture. Your pictorial content needs to be visually appealing to provide the initial connection that will influence marketing prospects to follow you.
You should set goals that direct the kind of images you gather and share through Instagram. These goals should include
• A clear understanding of your audience. Whom are you trying to reach?
• A plan to make connections. How can you reach your audience through pictures?
• A means to inspire. How can you generate conversations about your practice?
Unlike most other social media, Instagram is driven by creativity. While a picture really is worth a thousand words, you want those words to reflect positively on your enterprise. Brand promotion through images can be a powerful way to reach audiences, but it requires thought and strategy before you can begin to post pictures to your account.
Here are a few ways Instagram can make connections for your business.
TRACK YOUR RETURNS
Use Instragram’s analytic tools to track your performance. As with any marketing effort, feedback and review are crucial to making the most of any promotion. Instagram’s analytic features let you see how you are performing and where you can improve.
DISPLAY SERVICES OR PRODUCTS
Use Instagram to share information about products and services. By using visuals to present your business, you can foster trust and interest in what you do.
SHARE PICTURES OF YOUR STAFF
Giving your business a warm, human dimension is an outstanding way to connect with your audience, and nothing provides this social perspective better than images. Pictures of team members in action, and photos of your entire team are a great way to show the people behind the product. If your staff engages in community outreach, Instagram is the perfect means to show the ways your company works to help the community.
COMMENT ON OR LIKE OTHERS' PICTURES
Customer feedback can be captured in a positive way by commenting on or liking pictures from satisfied customers. You can also like another business’ pictures, and forge meaningful business-to-business connections. Instagram allows you to maintain friendly personal contact with your followers.
Instagram is an ideal way to raise your profile. Although it gives little room for engagement like Facebook or Twitter, the quality of contact and communication that Instagram provides far exceeds the limitations of communicating through pictures.
Shama Kabani is a best-selling author, speaker, and president of The Marketing Zen Group in Dallas. Ms. Kabani may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Shama.
Cary M. Silverman, MD, MBA, is the medical director of EyeCare 20/20 in East Hanover, New Jersey. Dr. Silverman may be reached at email@example.com or via Twitter @The LASIKdoc.