No, not a drink, this does not involve alcohol!! This is more of a New Year’s marketing resolution – the one you should have made – to try something new in 2012! Better still this is not just a marketing ploy – it takes care of the (neglected?) mobile device crew as well.
The suggestion is to consider getting involved with Instagram, an immensely fast-growing photo sharing application created for mobile devices (which just happens to be free to download). Better still, it is already immensely popular, having 15 million users with an estimated 2 million users per month signing up for it. It was first released in October 2010 in beta, but the stable version has been available since 14 December 2011.
The application is designed for users to take photographs, edit them by applying one of the eleven different custom filters available and then share them instantly on their social networking sites. Currently Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and FourSquare are supported, with others due to be added in the near future.
So, how can you use Instagram? Pick a relevant or memorable username, set up your account and then you need to start posting. Use a similar frequency to the one you use for social networking or blogging perhaps. Instagram is all about quality photography so make sure that yours is well-produced and interesting.
Let the world know you are there by getting involved, share your Instagram images on Facebook and use #hashtags on Twitter. Join in conversations and like/comment on the images others have shared. Finally, tag your location (which will make your account easier to find).
Stuck for innovative images or ideas to post? Here are a few ideas I prepared earlier:
Alternative to above…. A Staff Gallery
Think of innovative or funny ways to present one of your products or even a member of your staff
Ask followers or clients to post an image (in return for a freebie or discount)
Create a ‘How To’ series of images
Hold a ‘village fair’ style competition (Name the…., Guess the Weight of…..etc.)
The possibilities are endless, but if you are really stuck, you can download even more apps to increase the functionality of Instagram, or, as a last resort, pick a subject and seek inspiration from Google Images, making sure you are not going to infringe any copyrights of course.
Having read this, it may be the case that Instagram is making you jump with joy and you are thinking of the best possible way to leverage it in conjunction with your existing social networking strategy.
Alternatively, it could be unsuitable for your particular product or service at this time. Either way, as an inbound marketer, it always pays to know what is happening out there in the big wide world and what others are doing in it.
We hope that you all have a very Happy (and prosperous) New Year!