Social media, Instagram especially, has undoubtedly become an indispensable part of any kind of business nowadays. Instagram is the third-largest social media network in the world with 800 million users, and has been the most popular platform for promotion in recent years. It helps much for bringing in new customers and boosting business, while online business would benefit the most.
Making good use is the key to success
Instagram's effectiveness in helping business is not questionable, but the efficiency is in doubt until sufficient time and resources are offered properly. With plenty of success stories in the market, it would be no surprise if the revenue were multiplied by the use of Instagram. To be a veteran of Instagram, this money-making tool has to be known thoroughly first.
Four questions about using Instagram
Almost all companies have official websites, many of them are also involved on social media. It is certain that these companies have a good understanding of the mobility of social media, where they could interact with their customers through mobile devices anytime and anywhere. Close connections with customers always means business growth.
The most direct promotion brings the fastest benefits
Many companies are content with their established Facebook, Twitter or YouTube network. But the truth is, doing promotion on Instagram with its visual imagery has its exclusive effect. It is revealed by research that social media users show stronger responses to visuals than texts. Standard format of posts on Instagram also help companies to impress their customers the most effectively with product photos, introductions, and videos about company culture, for instance.
How to run an Instagram account well?
Could Instagram make money for a company? The when and if will depend on how much time and resources are put into building and developing the Instagram community. If the account holder has been doing good and working hard, it would not be shocking to see even a small and medium-sized enterprise’s new Instagram account growing from 0 to 10,000 followers in just a month, or to 100,000 followers in a few months. By the way, it might need 3 to 5 posts a day to gain this kind of success. Rome was not built in a day.
Community and interaction on the web
Instagram is not a platform for one-way news releases like a company website or a product launch, but an interactive community. The number of followers on a company’s Instagram account, as well as the interactions per post and the content of the replies, could also give directions for a business to go. Making a success on Instagram is almost like doing business well. The amount of information a company could take from its Instagram followers is in fact higher than that given out. Holding an inactive Instagram account for a company is actually worse than not even having one. But sadly there are too many companies that just opened an Instagram account and stopped, and it ended up hitting the rocks. After all, Instagram is a platform for customer loyalty, every move of a company counts on Instagram.
What businesses need Instagram the most?
Basically, every business could benefit from a successful Instagram account it holds. Not to mention the direct-selling posts that explicitly provide product information and sales channels, a fruitful Instagram account could raise awareness and customer loyalty for a company, and that is money eventually.
Open the door for B2C business
B2C companies could reasonably benefit more from Instagram than B2B companies do, as Instagram and social media are designed for the mass market. With the friendliness of the post format, B2C companies could expect high penetration and effective communication among the public from Instagram, which is definitely a powerful tool of promotions to them. To those who run brand rather than business, no matter if they are small and medium-sized enterprises, online merchants, individual enterprises, and freelance workers such as photographers, designers, makeup artists, performers, etc., Instagram is a borderless media network for promoting and creating influence.
What should an Instagram profile look like?
It is a network generation for an official social media account to act like a spokesperson of a brand or company. The brand images of a company across various social media platforms require consistency. Therefore, there would be no general solutions nor guidelines for different businesses and industries to choose the most appropriate profile for their Instagram accounts. The types of Instagram profiles can be divided into businesses, personal brands, and fan pages. Companies can decide which one to use depending on the type or stage of development of their business.
Numerous variations derived from the three types
The first type of Instagram profile is a business account, which, as the name suggests, is officially representing the company on Instagram. For companies accustomed to selling products and services directly and clearly, a business account is a powerful and significant platform for products to be effectively displayed. Fans who stay tuned could also obtain accurate and authentic information on Instagram officially. Hong Kong Disneyland's Instagram profile (@hkdisneyland), for example, is an account for promoting festive events, which is full of images of its brand and products.
The second type of Instagram profile is a personal brand account. This type works perfectly well with KOLs, thought leaders, owners of individual brands, or celebrities who own multiple businesses. The contents of posts on personal brand accounts are relatively soft, including individual advocacy, recommendations, life hacks and snapshots. In most cases, the posts are in fact promotional though they look cordial and casual. This is how a reputable individual makes use of this type of account to do promotions. For example, Lam Yat Hey, the ex-boss of “100 Most”, a famous online media company, has more than 200,000 followers on his personal brand account (@lam1hey).
The third type of Instagram profile is a fan page account. Such accounts promote no products but often a specific theme that focuses on creating communities and fans associated with the theme, with an intention to bring an upsurge and encourage discussions. Once a group of themed customers is formed, it would be within reach to attract advertisers and sponsors, and even to drive business. A number of food-themed accounts named “Hong Kong XXX Concern Groups” have been springing up in Hong Kong in recent years, and one of them is called "Hong Kong Siu Mai Concern Group" (@hksiumaiconcerngroup). It has attracted nearly 50,000 followers to share reviews of siu mai (a street food made of fish in Hong Kong) being sold in various districts. If the holder of this account is actually engaged in the siu mai business or something relevant, setting up such accounts to make noises and create needs in the market is certainly an uncommon but effective way of promotion.