instagram-your-business
"While the business’s story matters, it is no longer the only one. In fact, the much more powerful story is in the hands of your consumers, customers and passers-by. It is the side of the story that you can’t control that really influences people."

The hugely popular photo-sharing platform can show consumers what inspires and motivates the company, as well as a selection of best-selling products, all through images.

Check out our guide to Instagram to find out what it can do for your business, and read on for tips on how to encourage consumers to Instagram your business.

Currently, the teenage demographic are the predominant users of Instagram (according to the 2014 Yellow Social Media Report, 53% of 14 to 19-year-olds use the platform) and it’s gaining lots of traction as the third most popular social media tool in Australia (after Facebook and LinkedIn), beating Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

But as social media strategist Stephanie Frasco suggests, another way Instagram can help grow your business is through the way the consumer conveys your brand or business on this highly visual site.

“I recently followed along with ‘live tweeting’ on Twitter during the Social Media Club LA (SMCLA) Foodie Event. While I wasn’t physically there, I was still inspired and through social media I was able to ‘be there’ virtually … One of the panelists, a local restaurant owner, said that they bring more foot traffic through their doors through Instagram than any other network. It makes a lot of sense, #foodporn anyone?

“There are millions of people taking pictures and documenting their lives through Instagram on a daily basis. While the business’s story matters, it is no longer the only one. In fact, the much more powerful story is in the hands of your consumers, customers and passers-by. It is the side of the story that you can’t control that really influences people,” she argues.

But to encourage people to Instagram your business, you need to make your business more conducive to imagery and have a message people want to share.

Frasco says looks matter. Having thought-provoking or intriguing décor in your store or office can make all the difference. People want to photograph something that’s visually appealing.

Furthermore, people like to be encouraged to whip out their smartphones and snap away. Popping up a sign welcoming Instagram use could work, she says. Offer discounts to customers who Instagram you, have an Instagram competition or get people to contribute and upload photos to a ‘wish-list’ from your store using specific hashtags.

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