Instagram is such a great and innovative app and Facebook knows this. Thats why Mark Zuckenberg dropped 1 billion dollars to purchase this photo sharing application. This used to be an iPhone only app and for that reason it felt very exclusive to iPhone users. Now that its available for many other platforms, some users feel that it is too open and do not feel the exclusivity any longer. Do you think thats true? I don’t. Even though its open to Android now, I still think that this app is used by all that have downloaded it.
Instagram is sticky. Its like Facebook, but you must upload a photo every time you update. People get addicted to uploading and viewing. It gives people an outlet for creating awesome photos by adding an assortment of filters within the program. After uploading photos they can share it, and add a status update/ comment and then hashtags to each photo with words that compliment and are associated to the picture. After that the photos are then entered into a stream where people either see it because they are following the user, or by the hashtag. Your audience can now comment or “like” your photo. (People aim to get the most “likes” possible per photo and to be on the “popular” page)
As I mentioned earlier the app is very sticky. Once you download it, you’ll get caught up. You will start to view it when you are bored, at a traffic light, while eating, waiting in line, to see what others are doing, and so on. The reason is because people are just curious. They like to know what other people are up to and want to see what they can’t see or experience.
The beauty of Instagram is that you get to see so much of the world through the eyes of another. Its very easy to use and by searching hashtags #, its fascinating how much of the world you can see by entering a keyword, and what people are doing.
So I recently shared with a friend of mine who is starting a business that he should use Instagram to promote his business. I have used Instagram for a couple of months and know that this is a a very powerful too to promote what you like, do and especially new businesses. I advised him to create his own hashtag with his business name and to constantly use that hashtag on every photo. I then told him to use Pic Frame, an app that lets you fit either 1-5 photos into one so he can maximize every upload. The next step was to find other hashtags that compliment the photo and to find friends that use that hashtag and follow them. Most people on Instagram will follow you if you provide good content and most important great photos.
The process was not difficult and within a 5 week period he gained over a 1000 followers with 95 photos. Each of the photos were very informative and were shot as good as possible from an iPhone lens.
What was found was that people reacted well to each of the photos. There were tons of “likes” and and comments as users started to anticipate the next photo. As it shows, the followers are almost even to followings, and I don’t see a problem with that. I think in this circumstance its good to follow back people that are following you. You want them to feel that you too are interested in what they are doing and what kind of photos they are uploading.
I told him that a good rule of thumb when viewing your feed is for every 5 photos you like, to comment on 1. With that ratio you engage with your audience, you let them know that you also notice them, and who knows, you might make a friend, or a fan out of. Everyone on Instagram is creative in his or her own way. Every photo that goes up shows you a piece of them and you want your fans to realize that you understand it.
Instagram can also be used to help with eBay or personal website/online store business also. Not only are you directing traffic towards your sites, but you are allowing more people to know that you are a seller and have these products for sale. You can add your ebay handle or web address in the short description that they allow, and you can post up photos of all the things you are selling. Adding the hashtags will make it easier for people to search what you have up for sale. Now I don’t suggest you only putting up pics of what you are selling, but let the customer know who you are also. Let them see within your eyes, and know what you are all about. Twitter can be linked to Instagram and you can double the hashtagging through both social networks.
This app to me is very important in any kind of marketing if you are looking to gain exposure for your business. Contests can be held, games to be played, doing a photo per day and creating a forum of people to join is also a neat and fun way to engage with your customers. People these days like to purchase and be a part of a company that acknowledges the individual.
I am no marketing genius and these are just some ideas that I have shared with people, and hopefully you find it interesting as well. I hope to hear from anyone that can add to it, or would like to share their success stories with Instagram for businesses.
P.S. You can view your photos on the web online at your desktop/laptop also with help from websites such as
Here they will also rate and give you statistics on views, ,likes, and when your photos are seen the most. It will also keep track of who follows you and unfollows you.