In this post, we are going to talk a little about what Instagram is and why you should use it as a part of your marketing plan for your local business. Just in case, you aren’t familiar with Instagram it is an extremely popular social network that provides a fun way for its users to take and share photos with friends and followers online. Instagram logo

Unlike other social networks you can only access Instagram from a mobile application. So, to take advantage of this powerful network for your business you’ll need a mobile device like your smartphone, iPod touch, iPad, or tablet and an Instagram account. Then you can snap, upload and edit your photos on the fly for sharing on multiple social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr.

The success of Instagram is so massive it has images generating over 4800 likes and thousands of comments per second.

It has taken off faster than any other app in recent years and has quickly become the go to choice for users that want to edit and share their photos on the go.

However, not just social users are indulging in Instagram. Many businesses are finding ways to tap in to the massive mobile traffic that it receives every day and using it as a way to build their brands and market their products and services.

Instagram reaches out to an extremely wide audience and allows for in depth searches on the web. With daily updates and added features like geotagging and hashtagging, followers can find specific products and information much faster and easier.

If you haven’t considered using Instagram as a part of your marketing strategy here are some of the main reasons why you should.

Primarily, Instagram provides instant gratification for its users. They snap, edit and upload. They can also like, share and comment on photos that interest them which makes the viral power of Instagram virtually unstoppable.

Imagine having thousands of people comment and share photos from your business, literally within seconds. It really can be that easy!

Secondly, it offer users an easy set up so there is no need to fill in a lengthy profile like other social networks require. You simply download the app to your mobile device create an account and get started right away.

For marketing purposes you can use it to showcase your products, services and increase the awareness and popularity of your brand online. Instagram photos and albums are extremely powerful for adding personality to brands in a way that no other network has been able to achieve successfully.

If you’d like a good example of how major brands are using Instagram, try doing a search for major brands like Starbucks, Puma or Red Bull and you can see how their utilizing simple photos to build their online presence.

Another powerful feature of Instagram that makes it appealing to businesses is that it is integrated with the Foursquare location database, which allows users to Geotag the actual location where the photo was taken. This instantly links the photo to the location of your business.

Are you beginning to see how powerful this can be? Hmm. Free traffic anyone??

Instagram has always been an almost exclusively mobile platform. So to use it you must download the iPhone or Android app to your mobile device to set up your Instagram account.

Keep in mind that all accounts are public by default, but you can create a private account, but from a marketing standpoint that really isn’t a good idea, because the whole point is to get your message to the masses.

Once you are registered, you change your profile picture and edit your profile information. Be sure to take some time to include a good bio. You only have 150-characters to do this so make them count and don’t forget to add a link to your website.

Here’s a video with a few more tips…