Instagram pages help you connect with customers

This month Instagram launched its long-awaited web profiles.

The photo-sharing service, which had previously only be available on mobile handsets, now offers profile pages accessible from a regular web browser.

Instagram said it made the new addition following requests from users for a simple way to interact with the service away from their mobile. The pages, which are currently being rolled out, allow visitors to navigate a user’s photographs. They display pictures in a rotating ‘spotlight’ form, as well as in chronological order. They also show the user’s bio and web address.

How could this help my business?

Instagram’s new pages have a number of potential implications for businesses. Perhaps the most obvious is that they provide another place for your business to ‘live’ online. The pages are well designed, and in keeping with Instagram’s generally minimalist aesthetic. It would appear that the company has chosen to keep the design as simple as possible in order to ensure that it does not interfere with its business users’ branding. It is perhaps unsurprising that they give Nike’s page as an example of their new service.

If you already have an Instagram account, you should consider publicising your new Instagram page in other digital media. For example, you might choose to link to it from your website, or tweet a link to it.

Make sure that you understand exactly what will be displayed on your page. Take this opportunity to sift through your photos to ensure that your account includes only photographs that you are happy to be displayed. At the same time, revisit your bio to make sure that it is ‘on message’, and ensure that your web address is correct.

Why should I use Instagram?

Businesses are rapidly realising the potential benefits of Instagram. The photo-sharing platform has a huge user base, and provides firms with a new way to interact with potential customers. If you don’t already have an account, you should think about how Instagram might be able to help you:

• It’s popular
You need to identify where your customers ‘live’ online. As Instagram’s user base expands, the likelihood of finding potential or existing customers (and competitors) on the platform increases.
• It’s creative
Instagram offers you the opportunity to present your business in a more creative manner. In a world of increasing ‘content overload’, this can only be positive.
• It works well with Twitter
Instagram is fully integrated with Twitter. If you are already active on the micro-blogging platform, Instagram can help you to vary your content and add creative value.
• It’s another way to interact
Finally, remember that Instagram is a community. By engaging with users both on your own profile and elsewhere, you can continue to build meaningful relationships.