Social media marketing star Instagram has begun marketing itself as much more than just a photo sharing destination. In February, Instagram launched a social media marketing campaign of their own aimed at attracting, not only the major brands, but small businesses as well. In a statement posted at their business blog, the company states that “when it comes to brands and businesses, our goal is to help companies reach their respective audiences through captivating imagery in a rich, visual environment.”
This announcement, and a fresh new small business social media marketing blog series, has coincided with the release of their book entitled The Instagram Handbook for Brands. The new book takes a look at eleven major worldwide brands and reveals how these heavy hitters are driving traffic and increasing sales through what Instagram calls “captivating imagery and a focus on their respective communities.”
Some of Instagram’s most notable major players include Disneyland, Nike, Victoria’s Secret, and Ben & Jerry’s. New York City based think tank L2 released findings in February that found one hundred of the world’s major brands have established residency at the photo sharing giant. The report has been labeled rather profound and it has been suggested by many analysts that social media marketing has begun to move toward a more visual platform.
The report stated that these major brands post at least once every business day and nearly half are posting at least twice every day. Over seventy percent of brands are posting video content and the engagement leaders continue to be the fashion industry and retail. Victoria’s Secret leads the way with nearly four million followers. The report has sparked a social media marketing movement toward thinking about mobile marketing being the premier target and that engaging visual content needs to lead the way.
So how does this affect small business social media marketing? Instagram gleaned some sure fire strategies from the major brands that it has begun to introduce to the small business community.
The first suggestion that Insagram makes is that small businesses social media marketing needs to be focused on themselves and their own individual brands. Try to make any visual content you post be an extension of the company, its vision, and its personality. Next, the report suggests that know your customer’s, and thus your audience, and reflect that in a series of presentations designed to increase traffic and inspire your customers to be spokesperson’s for you own little brand.
A large part of small business social media marketing is being able to relate to potential customers and to be able to effectively communicate with them. Instagram suggests that you bring the direct experience into play. Show photos and videos of satisfied customers enjoying your product or tell a story of how your service made life better for your customers. Show, don’t tell seems to be the rule. Finally, your small business marketing needs to inspire people to somehow take action with regard to your product or service. For instance, the report relates how Nike has created a campaign designed to inspire people to snap photos as they are running in the Nike footwear.
Social media engagement is moving toward the visual and toward mobile. Take some time to retool your small business marketing strategy so that it reflects these new trends and opportunities. You can bet your competitors are.