Social Media Marketing has allowed businesses to create a whole world and catalog to give to consumers at their fingertips. We don’t communicate through just text and phone anymore, but through images. We all know a picture is worth a thousand words, but it’s now also worth a lot more to modern brands. There are two key players when it comes to social media and images: Instagram and Snapchat.
Instagram and Snapchat are both utilized to attract consumers’ eyes, as they are both social media platforms solely based on images. Business Insider reports that 158 million people use the app every day, opening it on average 18 times daily. Instagram has 700 millions users, and it also has stories like Snapchat to engage and capture more active users. Using these stories as part of your social media marketing plan is a great way to give short messages consistently and engage your users even more. Let’s start with Instagram.
Instagram stories are similar to Snapchat stories as they are temporary, only lasting 24 hours. It’s an amazing way to market meetings or current events for your business and engage your consumers even when they aren’t physically there. They also added live streaming. Like Facebook, you can join a stream and watch to see who comments and likes the video.
For example, were you to release a new product or are in process of creating a new service, streaming that with a live stream is a great way to soft launch it. Your followers also get a notification for when you go live. What happens when you want to share more than one photo? Maybe you want to show different angles of your showrooms. You can do that now! So with every post, you have the option to post more than one photo and turn it into a gallery. You can promote your Instagram posts and have a call to action so a user can purchase or learn about your service or product right away.
Now that you are aware of Instagram, how do you use it? Photos create an empathetic attachment that words can’t directly do. There are some key guidelines when posting on Instagram.
- High quality images are a necessity. A good quality image is eye-catching and trustworthy (i.e., no stock photos).
- Use hashtags to get more unique visitors– this is how users of Instragram search for photos. And when you’re deciding which hashtags to use, think of words or phrases related to your business. At right is an example of hashtags used by esalerugs for one of their Instagram posts. They include things like: #persian rug, #homedecor, #homedesign, #interiors, #homeinspo, and more.
- Engage with other users and your customers. People will become more interested and invested in your business the more you do.
- Establish a posting pattern so people can follow you consistently and they’ll look out for your posts. This goes back to building that trust.
We touched on the similarities of Instagram and Snapchat. Now what makes them different? Snapchat was first used mainly as a communication tool between users to share moments or images temporarily. Businesses saw this as a great opportunity to transmit messages to the millions of users on Snapchat and market. Snapchat stories expire after 24 hours and can either be video or photo. Companies can keep track of who and how many users view their story. A story is a great way to showcase products or your business to users in spurts, similarly to Instagram. Just as Instagram has done, Snapchat can create live stories specifically to a location so you can see what’s going on currently within an area using geofilters.
Here are some key guidelines to using Snapchat efficiently and for your business.
- Snap ads are 10 second clips that give a call to action. It should provide information on your product or service quickly and properly.
- Sponsored geofilters are location based and let people become familiar with your business and where you are.
- Sponsored lenses are filters that apply to video and photo that can distinguish your business from others.
- Snapchat Discover is a new format to give brands and businesses advertising space on the Discover page.
WHY USE THEM?
Social media marketing was built on creating connections with many people across the globe. Businesses are based on relationships. You see where we’re going with this? Social Media Marketing is a great opportunity for a business to build relationships with customers and show new prospects that you are committed to connecting. As you build a relationship and garner trust, consumers will want to learn more and understand your brand. Consumers will want to purchase something from you because you built a relationship with them. You should document your day-to-day operations so customers know you aren’t a faceless company. Upload quality content regularly so they can have your brand and image in mind when your name is brought up. Interact with Instagram and Snapchat users. Respond to them so they know they can trust you and are willing to do what it takes to have their business.
Build a relationship with your customers and prospects. Build your brand image and create a successful business in the process. Relationships are everlasting; use Instagram and Snapchat to gain them.