Instagram – Why and How to Use in Your Business

So…you run a business. You have a location where your customers come to buy from you. What’s the one social media platform that you need to be on right now? The answer will probably surprise you.

“My business is already on Facebook, it’s already on Twitter, and now you’re telling me you need to worry about yet another social media platform?”

The answer is yes – but here’s the good news – most likely, your customers are already using this platform and all you
need to do is sign up and thank them for what they’re doing. Which platform is it? Instagram.

Everybody (500 million users, 300 million of which use Instagram every single day) has Instagram in their pocket/purse, and anytime they have a great experience at a restaurant, a retail location, or maybe a place where their kids are playing, they pull out their phone, take a picture, and automatically tag that location in their photo.

Why is this really important? It’s really important because when people tag this location, they’re giving you – meaning your business where you’re running it out of that location – social proof to their friends. They’re saying “look at me and look at all the great stuff that’s happening here.”

Business before social media – loyalty programs or mailing lists

All right – let’s stop just a second talk about why this is really important. Pretend that there’s no social media. People come into your location, they buy from you, (so they’re your customers). After they walk out the door how would you keep in contact with them? How would you know who they were?

Unless you had a loyalty program, or unless you had somebody sign up to be part of mailing list, the majority of your customers walked out the door and you had no idea who they were.

Now with social media – especially with Instagram – people without any prodding from you whatsoever are going out to their entire network and saying “Look at me and look at the great time I’m having here.”

What’s a great first step that you can take right now? Sign up for Instagram if you’re not already on it and do a location-based search – search places for your address. There’s a high degree of likelihood that people have already been at your location, tagged it with a photo or video – as well as a caption – and talked about their experience with you.

What I want you to do first is go on and simply thank them. This is important for two big reasons – the first is that thanking your customers is just good business. The second reason, though, is a lot of us have a fear when it comes to social media and what it is that we share. We fear putting stuff out there and having no one reply to it.

If you’re one of those people who replies to somebody while they’re sharing their experience at your location, they’re going to start paying more and more attention to you. As a result, your “thank you” and the attention that you’re paying to them will grow their loyalty to your business.

Give customers a reason to mention you on Instagram

Going to step further – at your business you may have the obligatory stickers that say “Like us on Facebook or Review us on Yelp.” How about you think of a simple way to incent people to share their photo – their video – and a quick experience on Instagram? Reward them with something. Say, “Hey, if you do this I will give you something in return.” That simple act – that they may already be doing right now, with a slight prodding from you – will only increase that behavior.

More people who see other people doing that same thing – so, talking about their experience at your location – will lead to even more people doing it. The opportunity to get to know and to engage with your customers individually is better than it’s ever been and your best opportunity to do that right now is with Instagram. Get started on this strategy right now.

Before you leave don’t forget to subscribe and let me know in the comments about the experience that you’re having with Instagram. What successes are you having? What struggles are you having? What content are you creating where you find it to be the best for your business?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Spencer X Smith

Spencer helps you save time through teaching digital marketing and social media strategies in plain English, after proving they actually work for himself first. He also is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and a columnist for InBusiness.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below