Maybe you’ve heard of Instagram, maybe you hear your kids, grandkids, nephew/nieces talk about it but still don’t know what it is. If you are reading this and do know what Instagram is, fantastic! But for the sake of this article, let’s assume you don’t really know what it is, and more importantly why it’s important to a locksmith business.

If you have no idea what Instagram is, as defined by Wikipedia, Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 16:9 aspect ratio now typically used by mobile device cameras. Users are also able to record and share short videos lasting for up to 15 seconds.

Thanks to a great article, here’s a compressed list of 8, not 10.

Instagram

When a business, be it big or small, thinks of implementing online marketing strategies, it can easily do so with the help of Instagram. Here are 8 innovative ways to use Instagram to boost your online marketing presence:

The Personal Touch:
Businesses often share customized pictures and videos on Instagram and then have them reposted on to sites like Facebook and Twitter. This opens the doors of the business for all its clients (present and prospective) to take a peek. In addition, the personal touch also shows that it really cares about its public image. This makes the business, and thus its products, more appealing and eye-catching to the potential consumers.

The Whole Nine Yards:
Smart businesses should use Instagram to display in images the whole process their products or services go through, before they reach their customers. Everything from the intake of raw materials, to the processing/manufacturing and final presentation of the finished products can be shown using pictures. This helps in creating a bond of trust.

This is How We Do It:
Some businesses create products that can be used in several ways. To generate sales and create awareness, Instagram can be used to show the various implementation methods of a product. This can be taken a step further by allowing the products’ users themselves to post their innovative ways of using the product.

Creating a Brand:
There are businesses that implement online marketing strategies that are specifically aimed at creating an online brand image. But, what more can present a sharper image more than, well, a picture? By consistently sticking to a theme, a small business can ensure that its name is related to a specific product or service.

The Online Portfolio:
Pictures that are shared on Instagram can be designed so that they speak for the company. They can be distributed in a way that they themselves serve as a business’ online portfolio and album. The great news is that Instagram has its own tools that can be used to ‘tweak’ images to make them more attractive and appealing – all it takes is a little creativity to end up with an unforgettable image or video!

Keywords and Hashtags for More Traffic:
Images shared on Instagram can be attached to popular keywords and/or hashtags. Other social media networks, like Twitter, will then pick-up these Keywords and Hashtags . Wisely searching for trending keywords and hashtags and including them in the pictures’ names or descriptions, can lead to a significant rise in visitor traffic to the business’ website and, if smartly handled, a jump in sales via their conversion.

Calling All Winners:
Everyone loves winning stuff – especially if it is easy and free to do so. Smart businesses are cashing in on this human nature by holding contests on Instagram. Competitions that involve simple, multiple clicking on images have the added advantage of creating more exposure and awareness of the business and its products (in other words “advertisement”) – the main reason for launching online marketing strategies.

Put a Face to The Name:
One of the best ways a business can create a great following is by making sure the public knows the community behind the brand. Posting pictures of the people that drive the business makes it more familiar to the general public. The “family” image goes very far. This is especially true in the business’ early years or when it is still dealing with customers in a relatively small community. Nothing builds loyalty better than the sense of knowing the people behind the business.