For businesses, it may seem weird to be posting images on social media platforms; but surprisingly, it works. Instagram is now considered as the fastest growing social media platform with more than half a billion users. From these enormous numbers of users, many are potential customers, employers and business partners. If your business has not yet opened an account on Instagram, you are missing many opportunities.

When a business posts visual content it is very likely to be shared 40 times in social media. This ensures that the brand gets a fair share of online exposure. However, there are several factors to be considered when using Instagram for marketing purposes.

• Advertising is different from Instagramming – this means that you have to gain the interest of the target audience through presentation of pleasing content with the advertising message kept in the background. The primary objective is to generate a loyal following; purchases will follow organically.

• Build a connection by being authentic – post a mix of professional images and some candid shots. You can use images of the brand but give the audience a glimpse of personal life.

• Images tell a story – pictures should not feel like they are being staged; paint a real picture of what happens in daily life. Interconnect posts through stories that your followers can engage with.

• Align your product with other brands – you can broaden the follower base if you bring two brands in a single photo; hashtagging will ensure an increase in new followers particularly if it is shareable.

• Quality is more important than quantity – the business may not be able to post stunning shots similar to those of National Geographic but you can make your Instagram account the best it could be by posting quality images only. People respond well to quality images that stir a sense of pride.

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