There are so many social media platforms out there today, how do you know which one is best for your business? Instagram has over 100 million users and is still growing, along with the number of businesses using it to engage their consumers and leverage their brands. It is a photo-sharing platform that is available on iPhone and Android systems.  Many large companies like Starbucks, Chobani and MTV have used Instagram very successfully as part of their marketing strategy.

Instagram is a great marketing tool that has the ability to increase a business’ exposure, build brand recognition/loyalty and create demand for your products and/or services. By showcasing an array of photos, businesses will be able to further personalize their brand and connect with consumers on a deeper level. Businesses are increasingly turning to Instagram to engage consumers and boost their brands.

Still not sure if Instagram is right for your business? Check out these three ways on how you can use it effectively.

Brand Personality

What better way to promote your brand then having a stream of images of your products and/or services to showcase to your audience (just be careful what type of photos you use). Your followers will not want to see generic stock photos, boring store images or text-heavy images. So, put your creative hat on and personalize your photos.

Tip: By taking photos of employees and/or customers can humanize your brand. By adding a caption briefly explaining the photo can allow users to relate to the product and people. Instagram images

For example, if you own a coffee shop, take photos of your employees having fun during a normal shift, products (drinks, food items, innovative products etc). Chances are, you’ll get peoples’ mouths watering for more! Another fun idea would be to take pictures of your customers (with their permission of course) and THEIR rendition of drink/food masterpieces (suggesting that anyone can personalize their drink orders).

As human beings, we are naturally very curious, so posting photo breakdowns of how exactly a fan favourite drink is made would really be a fun creative twist to interact with your audience.

Reach and Engage

Are you on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter? Good. Hook up your Instagram account to your other social networks and use appropriate hashtags (#coffeeshop) where applicable to make it easier for people to find and share your images with others.

We all know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so use it to your advantage. For your images that carry meaning, ask questions in your photo caption, and respond to comments (don’t make these questions/comments too text-heavy). This way your brand will be portrayed as interactive and engaging towards users.


Freebies anyone? There’s nothing more enticing to a person then a possibility of winning something from their favourite store. They are fun, generate buzz, attract new customers and increases interactivity with your brand.

What type of promotions can you do? Try photo contests, coupons, or discounts to try out a new product. Instagram contest

For a contest, you can ask your followers to send in photos of themselves using your product in a fun/creative manner (depending on the nature of your business). Winners (either weekly, monthly etc) could have their photos posted on your online store and be sent giftcards etc.

Coupons and/or discounts are a quick and easy way to attract followers, increase brand loyalty and sales. You could also use your other social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc) to lure in people to your Instagram page to obtain this coupon/discount.

Do you use Instagram for your business? If so, has it been effective in attracting traffic?