Instagram for Personal and Small Business Use

By Emily A. Hay, Founder, Hay There Social Media

Written for the Internet Advisor Show on WJR 760AM.  Check out the social media toolkit and links to podcasts.

We’ve learned that Facebook has acquired Instagram for a “modest” $1billion, pretty much the dream scenario of any tech start-up.  This acquisition shows how a good idea combined with the right timing can be a winner for the entrepreneurs and end-users alike.  Instagram has millions of its own users and Facebook recognized that Instagram enhances the experience on their social network particularly via mobile.

In today’s post, we’ll cover:

  • What Instagram is
  • Why people love it and how business owners can use it
  • Why this makes sense for Facebook
  • What’s next

What is Instagram:

It’s a free app that offers fast, beautiful photo-sharing.  It allows users to snap a photo, add a filter to transform the photo (you can make it black and white, or “blurry” to look vintage/“artsy”, and many more), then post to Instagram.  From there, the photo can be shared to other social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

An Instagram photo shared on Facebook may look like these (notice the “DATE via Instagram” message, the black border arond the photo on the left, the cool “effect” on photo on the right and the instagr.am url to click to her Instagram album?):

(Photos courtesy of my friend & Instagram enthusiast, Valerie Richards!  Thanks Val!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An entire album created from Instagram on Facebook:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why people love it and how business owners can use it:

It’s free and simple way to share photos from mobile device.  It’s particularly popular with the “younger crowd” as more than half the website visitors are 35 years of age or less and teens can’t get enough of it.  Users recognize sharing photos on Facebook with Instagram is even easier than with Facebook’s own mobile photo sharing capabilities.

Remember, since photo sharing isn’t limited to personal use, neither is Instagram.  As a business owner, share photos of your products on Facebook from Instagram by creating albums that are more visually interesting.  Download your instagram photos from Facebook and include them in your blog posts or on your company website.   Trying to reach a younger crowd?  Perhaps photos that have been “Instagram-ified” will grab greater attention.  These are just a few additional ways Instagram can enhance your customer’s experience with your small business.

Why this makes sense for Facebook:

Let’s face it, photo sharing makes up an enormous portion of user-activity on Facebook.  People love to share photos and social media has allowed this activity to take place at staggering levels with minimal effort.

Furthermore, mobile is a huge area of growth for web and social media users and Facebook has not quite capitalized on that yet.  Since Instagram has a huge piece of mobile real estate, it could have competed with Facebook for users time and attention.  Instead of allowing it to be a threat, an article on the daily beast stated that with this acquisition, Facebook “bought an insurance policy.”

What’s next:

From the Instagram experience, Facebook will be able to build upon other apps that also keep users happy with their social network.  Mark Zuckerberg stated in a Facebook post that the company intends to build and grow Instagram independently, a sign of collaboration that is very exciting in this digital era.

For now, I encourage you to download the Instagram app, pose for a photo, say “Internet Advisor!”, then snap and share the photo with us on Facebook.

If you have more questions for Hay There Social Media on how Instagram and other social media can help grow your small business, please contact us today!

 

 

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  1. Facebook Gobbles Up Instagram : Internet Advisor - April 14, 2012

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