Instagram is used by millions of people who post pictures of themselves, others, the skylines of the cities they live in, the changes in seasons, and anything else that can be captured on camera. In terms of marketing can this social media site be used to advertise products? Absolutely. However, not even the major stores such as Best Buy or JCPenny are taking advantage of the opportunity to market their TV’s, laptops, or clothes. The companies are missing out on a whole new way of advertising that doesn’t cost a cent, but worst of all, there is a marketing element to Instagram that these stores are failing to capitalize on.
When customers go to the stores, especially at clothing outlets, what is the order of their actions? They search for the item they want that in some cases they stumble upon it in the store, try on the clothes, and then decide whether to buy the article of clothing or not. American Eagle already has this idea in mind and posts pictures of what they have in stock on Instagram, and the same should be done by all clothing stores across the entire industry. Social media is where the customers are, and some of these big conglomerates aren’t marketing the cheapest and easiest way.
In most cases, it’s the customer posting pictures of what they bought, making them do the marketing, but it’s not a complete guarantee that they’re going to say where they bought the item. Best Buy on the other hand specializes in technology, and the products can sell themselves, but posting a picture of the price of the TV or laptop for instance, especially if there is a discount, can easily bring in customers to the store.
Even on a local level, why aren’t small businesses getting in on the action? Hashtags, if used properly can get many viewers and if they’re interested, they might read more into your business. If you’re a business owner from Boston and have a product to sell, hashtag the picture with appropriate tags, but also mention the area in which you’re based. Viewers will look at the profile and publisher of the photo, see the website that is part of your profile, and you’ve successfully advertised your product without spending a dime. Instagram is more than a social media site for photographers, it can be a way of marketing for both big and small businesses.
Storify is another social media site, but not as well known. Unlike Twitter or Facebook that only allows you to post a link at a time, Storify is more like a blog, giving you the power to drag tweets, Facebook statuses, Youtube videos, pictures from Instagram, and links from other sites all into one short or long article. This is another site that is a gold mine, but not being used to its full potential yet. Forbes magazine posts conversations from Twitter onto Storify, but if you have Twitter, there is no point in reading the same responses that you can find elsewhere.
Whether a big or small business, Storify can be exploited, and can be an efficient way to market and advertise to your customers. Instead of the consumer going to Facebook and then to Twitter to find information about your business or products, Storify conveniently puts everything you want to share with your followers all in one post. It’s incredible that businesses and magazines haven’t taken advantage yet, but this is when hopping on board can be beneficial, especially for the local startups and businesses.
Social media can be a business’ best friend when it comes to marketing and advertising. While most people use these sites to keep in contact with each other, there is a whole different aspect of social media that hasn’t been unearthed yet. The opportunity to cheaply market is there, and millions of potential customers are already in place to be marketed to. Take the next step; approach the consumer, inform them, help guide them to your business, and it can all be done on these sites.