BizBuzz: How Businesses Use Instagram

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By Judith Lee

Note: This is the second of three blogs about marketing on Instagram and Snapchat.

Instagram made such waves in the social media marketing world that Facebook acquired the app quickly. Three businesses that use Instagram well are Lush cosmetics, Ben and Jerry’s and Starbucks.

Lush Cosmetics shares behind-the-scenes images of their team making their products by hand. This is something all customers love to see.

Lush posts videos on their channel and uses custom branded hashtags, such as “#lushoween,” which have helped increase engagement.

Ben and Jerry’s keeps followers engaged by including relevant hashtagsregramming usercreated content and using Instagram ads.

After running just a few ads, Ben and Jerry’s saw their follower numbers increase massively (and quickly). Ads aren’t just for businesses and brands getting started, they can work for everyone.

Starbucks shares gorgeous images (using hashtags) that promote products without pressure. Starbucks remains timely, promoting their products seasonally. They have even done a great job nurturing relationships with followers by making an effort to share user content with the Starbucks hashtag attached.

Instagram Tips:

Customers love it when you give a behind-the-scenes look at your business, and Instagram is a great place for it.

Use Instagram ads. Ben and Jerry’s showed just how powerful ads on Instagram can be. They combine the power of Facebook with the reach of a whole new platform, and will become a major force in social media marketing.

Don’t forget the hashtag. Hashtags are just as important on Instagram as they are on Twitter. They can help you find a relevant audience and enable you to track how your campaigns are doing by how much your hashtag gets used. They even generate conversations about you and your brand.

If you want to win your users’ affection, share the content your fans create about and for your brand. (Search for them through relevant hashtags). This will not only win the favor of those whose posts you share, more users may start creating content, too.

Share videos, which garner high engagement and view rates across all social media platforms. While not all of your posts should be videos, add some here and there (whether it’s an organic post or an ad) to your Instagram marketing. It can make a big difference for your brand.

Next week: Snapchat marketing

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4.6.2015 Judith LeeJudith Lee is a marketing and communications professional who focuses on social media and email marketing based in Atglen. She is a SCORE Volunteer and the Chair-Elect of the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 610-368-2058 or via email at judithlee@epix.net.

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