What the deuce is Instagram?

Instagram is an online platform designed to share photos and videos via smartphones at the touch of a button. Users can add filters to make things look a little more arty and a rolling feed displays photos and videos posted by people the user is following. Besides being the pioneer for the selfie – Instagram is widely recognised for increasing interest in avocados (particularly on toast) the rise of Boo and Grumpy Cat and also supporting the rise of the internet Meme.

Instagram in numbers

As of July 2015 – Instagram reported that they have 14 million monthly active users from the UK so in relation to Facebook’s 300 million, its definitely not a challenger for the top spot but certainly a challenger for twitter.

39% of UK users are 16-24 and 64% of users are female. 29% of users log in multiple times a day.

3 Small Businesses who are Rocking Instagram

Size doesn’t matter when it comes to consumer engagement. Lets see how 3 small businesses have gained a following and using Instagram effectively to gain followers and exposure.

Timberyard Coffee

It’s amazing how a well lit, beautifully taken photo of jam on toast makes me want jam on toast…. right now! What’s more is that the majority of the beautiful images on their instagram page are taken by their customers and simply regrammed. Timberyard are a perfect example of a company who have tapped into their local demographic – encouraging creative people to use their space as a place to network. Their posts are mainly images of what the coffee shop looks like, the food served and mini stories about their local suppliers.

Insperity

I struggled to find a good UK example of a B2B business utilising Instagram in a productive way but came across this recruitment agency in the States. Instagram is a very small part of their pretty heavy social media presence but highlights how you should be engaging across as many platforms as possible to gain maximum exposure.

Posts include motivational quotes and pictures of their work behind the scenes. They aim to build a brand of helpful, happy people and want to inspire people to find work.

Although I can’t imagine they would get a huge amount of direct leads from this activity, it is very important to help build their brand and target the sort of candidates they place – Insperity recognised that B2B businesses not adopting a digital strategy will unfortunately be left behind once a clever competitor works out the best way to utilise it so decided why not be that pioneer and get creative.

When using social media for a B2B business – its important to remember that behind every “B” there is a “C”. Being social is about the person. Figure out your customer demographics and what makes them jump out of bed in the morning then everything else will fall into place.

Blush Floral Design

Anytime somebody facebooks, “Can anyone recommend a florist in Surrey” – you are guaranteed that somebody will mention Blush Floral. “They did my friends wedding/my wedding/my cousins wedding”. The owner has built a fantastic reputation throughout the county and her instagram page highlights that beautifully.

The lucky part is that because she provides flowers for weddings, there is always some lovely photography at hand to be displayed on Blush Floral’s instagram page. Accompanied with photos of her son, Blush Floral has managed to create a very loving brand image which has served popular among the brides to be of Surrey.

So there you have it. Instagram – not the most engaging of platforms in terms of reactive customer engagement but a wonderful way for your small business to showcase work, build a brand image for life behind the scenes or simply just provide some content to fuel your customer’s boredom related to their demographic interests and desires.

Instagram is not used enough by small businesses of the UK especially B2B so why not take some time out today and have a go and preparing a strategy. Like all social media – its FREE! So why not make the most of it.

Seen any other amazing UK small business Instagram feeds? Would love to see them.

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