By John White.

If you’re an entrepreneur who’s trying to build a brand and be found online, you know that social networking is one of the most effective ways to convey who you are and what you’re doing.

It’s essential that entrepreneurs have a visual strategy to their marketing.

And what better platform to do it on than an image focused platform like Instagram? Which by the way, happens to be the world’s fastest growing social media platform.

Instagram is projected to grow 15.1% this year. Over the next four years, it will grow by an expected 27-million users, which would be more than double Twitter’s projections.

Yet, some entrepreneurs have been slow to adopt this high growth platform. A move that many experts think could be costing them business. Sue B. Zimmerman, (creator of “Ready Set Gram,” an online course for business owners who want to understand the power of Instagram) on why entrepreneurs should be on it: “Instagram gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to tell a visual story, which is the glue to building stronger relationships.”

So what are the best ways for an entrepreneur to tell his or her story on Instagram?

When entrepreneurs head online to detail their latest projects, they usually do so in text format. Instagram allows them to further highlight their work by adding visuals. As a bonus, those visuals can quickly convey concepts that might be difficult to explain purely in words, making the nature of the projects more accessible to non-technical people.

In a similar manner, entrepreneurs can use Instagram to demonstrate the impact of a product on the real world. If you’ve developed a Web-connected thermostat that you think will rival Nest’s ecosystem of products, for example, what better way to show it off than filling an Instagram feed with media detailing its use in-home?

If your app has a real impact on how a particular community lives and works, photos documenting that impact can potentially sway a lot of future customers into trying out your offering.

For founders trying to attract talent to their startup an Instagram account can help brand their workplaces as fun and hip. Instagram can prove an ideal platform for showing off outings, events, and carefully curated “behind the scenes” views.

Increasing the utility of Instagram is a matter of using hashtags, which group pictures under searchable, industry-specific themes. For example, Throwback Thursday (#TBT) is a good way to gain a few followers (and laughs) by posting older images that demonstrate how far things have come in the tech used in your industry.

Maybe your startup has solved a problem for consumers or improved a community? Use an older photo for #TBT that shows people doing it the “old way” and how your product has innovated the marketplace and improved lives.

Can Instagram boost your SEO?

Instagram still doesn’t offer clickable links in the text when posting pictures. However, you do get a link in your profile that customers can click on.

When posting pictures make sure to use a call to action directing people to the link in your profile. Doing so will encourage people to click through to your website where they can learn more or make a purchase.

While Instagram won’t replace your website, adding visual documentation of a carefully curated list of projects as a way of fully explaining what you do can be a difference maker.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

By John White.

John White is the CMO and founder of Social Marketing Solutions. He is also a brand ambassador for beBee (a startup social-media site based on affinity networking with 10.5 million global users). Full bio

Sourced from Inc.

 

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