With technology these days, you never really know how well a social platform will perform or how far it’ll go. Yesterday, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Instagram’s user base has now crossed over to 200 million users. Facebook first acquired the photo-sharing platform back in 2012, when it had just 100 million users, increasing to 150 million users this past September. Following yesterday’s big announcement, Instagram posted a blog highlighting some additional stats about the app, including that 20 billion photos have been uploaded and shared on Instagram, increasing from 16 billion just nine months ago.

It’s also been announced that Instagram is testing out integration with Facebook Places, Facebook’s own venue database. Instgram users have always had the option of naming the location of any pictures they upload via Foursquare location services. Now, that might be changing, furthering Instagram’s integration with their owner, Facebook.

Since it seems as if Instagram is picking up social success, here’s some tips marketers can use to grow their business and increase their brand awareness and referral traffic on this popular platform.

Get to Know the Community

Instagram is similar to Twitter in a way because the app allows you to follow other users to create your own community. Spend some time browsing Instagram to get a feel for what other people and brands are posting. Pay attention to what photos they engage with, who they follow, and what they comment on. This allows you to get to know your audience and to capture new followers and customers.

Instagram Hits 200 Million Users: How Brands Succeed on Instagram | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Stay True to Your Brand

What’s your brand’s personality and voice? Instagram is great for capturing and visually representing that. And what makes Instagram so infectious is that it’s not meant to be staged or serious but to bring out a brand’s transparency, quirkiness and interesting qualities.

Instagram Hits 200 Million Users: How Brands Succeed on Instagram | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Inspire Action & Experience

Instagram is all about posting moments, so why not post moments that inspire? Brands can use Instagram to show off products and product benefits, an interesting process, a behind the scenes look, and exclusive previews and releases. Whether it’s through a photo or video, use Instagram to show off the world or lifestyle that your brand provides for those who purchase your products and services. Show how your company sees the world and make it meaningful. This is what inspires engagement and action.

Instagram Hits 200 Million Users: How Brands Succeed on Instagram | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Instagram Hits 200 Million Users: How Brands Succeed on Instagram | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Include Hashtags

Hashtags area a great way to expose your content to the right audience, even a wider audience outside uses you follow. You can use hashtags anywhere in the description of any photos you post or in any comments you make. The point is not to place a hashtag before every single word, but make it appropriate and relevant for users to find the photo. A great example would be: Take a look at the new #socialmedia #stats for your digital media #marketing.

Additionally, for special events, conferences, or receptions, brands can take advantage of hashtags by creating their very own and encouraging attendees and guests to include the hashtag when posting photos from the event.

 

Promote Instagram Posts on Facebook

200 million users is impressive for Instagram to acquire, but don’t forget that Instagram is owned by Facebook and that partnership has allows brands to easily share Instagram photos directly on their Facebook business pages to reach a wider audience (818 million to be exact). Make sure your Instagram account is connected to Facebook to distribute posts to world’s largest network.

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