Marketing is about telling stories and few things tell a story faster than a picture. In fact, images are growing faster than any other form of shared content online due in large part to the tremendous growth of camera equipped smart phones.
Facebook is the world’s largest photo sharing site, but others sites such as Pinterest and, the popular iPhone app, Instagram have also attracted large followings based primarily on the ease of photo sharing.
Instagram is a photo-sharing site that’s a bit of a Flickr meets Twitter. iPhone users download the Instagram app and then share images after applying a range of effects and filters.
Other Instagram users can “like” and comment on images and follow users to view their images in their own feed. Users can also easily post the images they upload to Instagram on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr if they choose.
As with many social networks, personal use has spawned most of the growth. With heavy adoption however, businesses are now starting to take note of ways to use the Instagram tools and network to promote their business.
Naturally image heavy businesses such as hair salons, graphic designers, and remodelers have obvious uses for the photo sharing site, but any business can find ways to use the network and the growing set of tools supporting it to supplement their marketing efforts.
Below is a list of some Instagram applications that can help turn Instagram into a marketing tool for your business.
iDarkroom – This isn’t really an Instagram related tool, but it’s a great tool to use to enhance your images before you upload them to Instagram
Webstagram – This tool helps you search, sort, tag, follow and comment on photos shared by other users. One of the ways to make Instagram pay off is to build a following and part of that is done by finding and following relevant users and adding your comments to their images.
Instagram is a simple tool and lacks many of these basic tools so Webstragram makes using Instagram much easier.
Postagram – This might be my favorite application. Postagram allows you to turn any Instagram image into a postcard with the push of a button. Then Postgram sends your postcard for less than dollar. Think about how you could send product images to customers or showcase a project you’re working.
What if you took client images at an event and turned them into personal postcards? This little tool could produce tons of good will and buzz in the right hands.
Printstagram – This tool takes your Instagram images and allows you to turn them into posters, mini prints, and mini books.
Again, I’m thinking of some pretty cool ways to create project and client story books and present them as visual reminders of the relationship.
StickyGram – This app takes your custom Instrgram shots and turns them into magnets. It’s like having your own little promotional products creator right in your phone, but potentially much cooler.
Think about the artistic and relevant community shots, event shots, and product shots you could turn into a library of giveaways.
Canvas Pop – If you want to take up a notch Canvas Pop will take your Instagram images and print them on canvas frames.
Think about the artsy ways you could showcase your work, your staff or your customers with this tool.