When Does It Make Sense to Use Instagram for Business?

Pinterest and Instagram are both social media tools that allow a person or business to share images with friends, family, clients, customers, suppliers and employees. Pinterest primarily allows the user to share images found on the internet, which makes it easy for a business to share photos that link back to the business' catalogue or website.

On the other hand, Instagram is geared towards users of smartphones. It allows the user to upload and share photos taken with the smartphone. It even provides unique filters that allow users to get creative with their photography.

Instagram is considered by many to be a more personal social media platform than Pinterest. This aspect can encourage the development of more personal relationships between a business and its customers, which can lead to an increase in customer loyalty.

Instagram is better suited for sharing photos that are not already on your website or in your catalogue. It allows the business to provide its customers with insight into how a product is made, how the business functions or what a typical day is like for employees.

Instagram encourages creative use of the platform, which may be particularly useful for a business based on creativity, such as a photographer, designer or artist. For a creative business, Instagram may actually help to showcase the skills and talents provided by the business.

Instagram's mobile apps make it easy for customers to take photos and upload their own images. This can make the platform ideal for businesses that want to get to know their customers. The business can upload its own images, related to the business but not necessarily photos of the product, and ask customers to upload images of their own. For example, a business that sells fishing rods and tackle might ask customers to upload pictures of the fish they catch with the business' products, while at the same time uploading fish caught by employees. This type of use might encourage customers to purchase the business' products simply by providing inspiration to get out fishing.

The ease with which customers can upload photos also makes Instagram ideal for contests and giveaway promotions. A business can ask customers to upload photos under a particular hashtag and offer a prize for the best photo or offer random giveaways to customers who upload photos.

Instagram can be a useful tool for business, particularly if the business is willing to use it for more than just an avenue to share images of new products. Its best feature may be its ability to help a business develop personal relationships with customers or clients.