What Is Instagram, What Is It For And What Are The Advantages Of This Social Network?

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Still don’t know what Instagram is and what it’s for? Don’t worry, just like you, there are thousands of people who are still unaware of the advantages of including this social image platform in their digital marketing strategy.

It is mainly for this reason that today I want to define for you in as much detail as possible what Instagram is and what its beginnings were until it became, today, one of the most important social platforms in the world.

Plus, I’ll show you why you should use it right now in your digital strategy, if you’re not already:

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a social network and a mobile application at the same time, which allows its users to upload images and videos with multiple photographic effects such as filters, frames, retro colors, etc., to later share those images on the same platform or on other networks. social.

This application or network is currently one of the fastest growing in the world.

A Bit Of History: What Were The Origins Of Instagram?

The story of Instagram is really impressive, since four years after its launch it was already considered the most important photography social network in the world.

The development of Instagram was in San Francisco by the hand of its founder, Kevin Systrom, a university classmate of Mark Zuckerberg.

Kevin created a photo tool tailored to the iPhone 4 camera. The product was launched in the Apple Store on October 6, 2010, dubbed Instagram.

In 2011, the already famous “hashtags” were added to help users find images of the same theme.

The first photograph uploaded to Instagram was by the hand of its founder, with the aim of doing the first test of the App.

In 2012, the version open to the public for Android came out, which achieved more than a million downloads in less than 24 hours.

That same year, the company was bought by Facebook for $1 billion.

In 2013, it gave in to user demands and introduced the ability to tag people and brands in any of the published photos. That same year, she integrated Instagram Direct, which is the way to send direct and private messages with photos or videos.

In 2015 Instagram was number one in the ranking “The 100 best iPhone apps” created by Mashable, who highlighted that it was “one of the most influential social networks in the world”.

What is Instagram for?

This social network with more than 2,000 million active users  is used to share images and videos, applying filters and thus turning a photo taken with a mobile phone into a professional image.

The procedure is very simple.

The user takes a photo or records a video from his mobile, applies a filter or photographic retouching (light, saturation, etc.) and shares it with his community, being able to choose whether to do it temporarily or fixed on his wall.

Currently, Instagram offers you several sections that you can squeeze: feed, reels, videos, guides, and tags or mentions.

You also have different formats: image only, video, reels, stories, carousel…

This way, you can play around in your grid with different formats and ways of presenting your content.

What Are The Advantages Of Using This Platform In Your Digital Strategy?

Once we know what Instagram is and a bit about its origins, let’s see why I highly recommend using this App in a professional way:

1) Advantages of Instagram to boost your personal brand

If you are an independent professional and what you are interested in is promoting your brand, this social network is the best option

But why? 40 % of people respond better to visual information than to text.

Photographs and videos are the type of content that gets the best response on social networks, so this data is more than enough for you to integrate it into your Brand strategy.

If you also add that this platform has more than 1000 million users, as I mentioned before, you will begin to understand why you are interested in creating an Instagram account as soon as possible, if you do not already have one.

› Increased engagement

This is a platform where it is relatively easy to get visibility.

It is currently the social network with the highest engagement in most sectors, as I have already made clear to you.

This means that the level of user interaction with the content is one of the highest compared to other networks.

Important! And do not forget the hashtags: you must choose the ones that are most successful and that are related to what you do.

› Increased traffic to your Blog

To get users who visit your profile to reach your website or blog, I recommend you take different actions:

  • Add your website URL in your profile bio
  • Add a watermark to your images with the name or URL of your website
  • Add images of your articles or services

› You will further humanize your Brand

Your personal brand is you, a person… yet I see hundreds of “personal brand” profiles that don’t show a single image of themselves and act like they’re just a business.

We all have a story to tell, we all have professional passions and hobbies that motivate us.

When you work on your personal brand, you need to tell your story.

Human beings are curious by nature. Your followers want to know who you are and what you do.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to show EVERYTHING you do, but what I do recommend is that you show your most human side, expressing how much you like doing your job.

Show your daily personal and professional actions that have to do with your work or services.

Record videos explaining what you do and what you offer.

From time to time show small details that generate empathy with your followers, it is possible that by showing your hobbies you will get new followers.

You have a dog? Present it! Have you made a great cake? Show it!

2) Advantages for your company or business

  • It is an important platform for the digital transformation of your business.
  • Increased visibility of your company.
  • Create engagement with your users.
  • Humanize your business.
  • Generate brand traffic to your website.
  • Promote your products visually outside your website.

How Does Instagram Work? Professional Use Guide

After explaining the advantages, let me guide you through a few simple steps so that your business account is 100% optimized.

Also, if you want to expand your knowledge of this network and use it professionally, I leave you this guide to use Instagram like a pro 😉

Instagram offers you many possibilities, but it also has its rules. Do not abuse certain techniques to grow faster or you may be shadowbanned.

Optimize your profile

You will help your users to find you more easily if you add a link to your website and add a phone number.

In addition, you must geolocate your business. This will boost your Local SEO within the platform.

It is also very useful that you explain clearly and concisely what your company does and what it offers.

Use the appropriate hashtags

Your business will be easier to find if you use the most popular hashtags for your business.

You have many tools that allow you to find the right Instagram hashtags for your sector. These labels, in addition to giving you more reach, help you monitor your competition.

Make a list of hashtags large enough to be able to choose the right ones in each post.

Do not choose those that have millions of searches because you will hardly appear in the feed. Try to use medium-sized tags of 500,000 searches for below, and occasionally, more popular hashtags.

Combine hashtags that help you build your brand universe:

  • Let them define your business: #digital marketing
  • That involves your target audience: #masterdemarketing
  • Context (seasonal, local, etc.): #Christmas, #sale, #madrid
  • Own or brand: #socialatoz

When you make a publication, you only have to copy the hashtags that most interest you according to the type of image and the objective you have in mind when publishing it. I advise you to use between 10-15 hashtags in total for each post.

Take good photos

Earlier, when we defined what Instagram is, I think we made the essence of this social network clear: the quality of the images is essential and they are, therefore, a new showcase for your company.

Do not post any photo, it is a social photo network, it seems obvious that the images must have quality and be original.

Show the human side of your company

If it is very important to show your most human side in posts to boost your personal brand, it is even more so when you try to generate engagement with your business account.

It is very good that you post images of your products or services, but users also want to see the most human part of your company.

Show your team, make videos showing important events of your company, take photos of your facilities, etc.

Sell Sensations

Storytelling is very important, it will help you a lot in your strategy to be creative.

Look at the ads for Ikea, Audi, Coca Cola, they don’t sell you their product, they sell you the feeling you’ll have when using it. Users are tired of being “sold products”.

Use Instagram Stories

We cannot leave stories behind, 24-hour content that you can take advantage of to generate traffic to your profile, your website or blog (it already allows you to insert links), to interact with your community, etc.

When a user posts an image or video to Stories, their photo surrounded by Instagram colors appears at the top of the history of everyone who follows their account. This allows you to get more visibility.

In addition, you can take surveys or ask questions to encourage interaction from your followers.

In this sense, also take advantage of the featured stories to categorize and save your best stories.

Take advantage of the potential of the Reels

Reels are a very popular format that directly competes with TikTok short videos.

These are short, dynamic content in a vertical format in which users can play with filters, audio and different effects.

Direct beam

Instagram Live is another format of the social network that allows you to broadcast live videos with a maximum duration of 4 hours and up to 4 live participants, host included.

Therefore, you can perform live shows with guests or be the protagonist of the story.

The beauty of this format is that viewers can interact live with you and ask you questions, so it’s a great way to build interaction, community, and engagement.

Create valuable content

You can create small tips that help solve doubts about your target, as if it were a mini post.

You can also make a mini video tutorial describing the functionality of your products.

Do not do the same as others, your company must differentiate itself above the others.

Interact

As in all social networks, you must interact with the people you are interested in following you.

Filter by hashtags and follow the accounts that you find interesting, so that they notice you, give a “like” to their posts or make a comment.

It is very possible that they will follow you back.

Do contests

Contests or giveaways are a great tool to retain your followers, gain visibility and new followers.

They are very easy to make and they work really well.

Use geolocation

Geolocation has reached Instagram and it is a very interesting point, especially for those who have a local business.

In the search engine you will see the location icon at the top right.

There you can select the area and you will see accounts that share that geolocation. In addition, it puts you a kind of search engine by categories: restaurants, places of interest…

So if you have a physical business, this functionality is perfect for working on your local positioning.

Extra Bonus: Analyze!

It is important that you analyze how the content you publish works.

What interaction have you had? What scope? How have the hashtags worked?

In addition, Instagram statistics provide you with very valuable information about your community: gender, age, location… As well as knowing the best times to post on Instagram.

You will find all this information in the Instagram Insights.

Conclusion

Now that you know what Instagram is, what it’s for and how you can include it in your digital strategy, I hope you follow the steps I’ve given you, whether you want to work on your personal brand or promote your company.

I am sure that these tips will help you to start using this powerful social network, if you are not already doing so.