Instagram is the fastest growing social site globally, with a 23% growth in active users between 2013 – 2014. With 4 million users Australia wide, chances are your customers are on there too.

Instagram for iPhones

So why is Instagram useful for businesses? I recently attended a webinar hosted by Tourism Australia on “Mastering the Art of Instagram for Business” and here were some thoughts they shared:

  • “When it comes to destination marketing, pretty picture postcard images are no longer enough”. As consumers become more and more digitally savvy, they yearn for conversation and connection. Instagram isn’t just a pedestrian viewing platform, it’s a space for potential customers to share via word of mouth their thoughts on your products and services. Be prepared to utilise the same Customer Service principles you use on other platforms.
  • A great post will share some information that your customer may not have known. Tourism Australia regularly captions their “regrammed” images with insider local knowledge. Your business can emulate this successful strategy by including behind the scenes images of your business activities.
  • High engagement can equate to high brand awareness. Include strong calls to actions in your posts, link to other relevant accounts and include your website link on your profile to convert the engagement to follow through.
  • Find creative ways to include this great (free!) content on your website. Hamilton Island feature a live feed of images that feature the #HamiltonIsland hashtag, providing an incentive for customers to prolong their 15 minutes of Instagram fame. Be sure to include a disclaimer in your profile about how the images will be used.
  • Post regularly and pay attention to your audience. Tourism Australia have found their ‘magic recipe’ for engagement success comes from posting four times a day and featuring a mix of people, produce, coastal and fauna pics, informed by past engagement statistics and industry research. Handy tools like Iconosquare can tell you useful information about which images are the most engaging and popular. By paying attention to what times, what tags and what content are the most popular, you can create your own ‘magic recipe’ for engaging with your audience.

By following these simple steps, you can use your business’s Instagram to maintain, engage and grow your customer base.

Image Source: Shutterstock

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