Social Media

Instagram and SEO: Is This Phenomenon Worth It for Your Company?

Now that the $1 billion acquisition has calmed down a bit, companies are starting to worry less about whether Facebook made the right choice in purchasing Instagram and more about how to leverage this popular tool. Little information has been offered about optimizing an Instagram photo, so for the time being companies are optimizing photos the same way that you would optimize a YouTube video or picture on a blog post—utilize keywords in surrounding text, titles, and tags. The current question is not about optimizing these photos for search engines, but rather search engine optimizing the use of Instagram for visitors.

Visitor optimization is a topic that is often glossed over time and time again. Everyone has heard “content is King,” and then the discussion quickly shifts to search engines. Nonetheless, the buzz around Instagram is bringing back the importance of photos on a company website. Major brands such as Starbucks, National Geographic, Pepsi, and National Geographic have already jumped on the Instagram bandwagon.

Why Instagram Takes Photos to a New Level

The premise behind Instagram is a simply point and shoot with a mobile phone. Once the user has the photo he/she wants, you can add a filter to help make the photo more interesting. These filters have different names and cause the photo to look different. Usually these filters give the photo a glossy or a vintage look—something that a traditional photo is often missing.

One of the reasons that Instagram is so popular is because it allows your average Joe to edit a photo easily. It helps photos look better (appealing to the non-photogenic types like myself), and these photos can be easily sent across social networking platforms.

Top 5 Ways Your Business Can Leverage Instagram

Any business can utilize Instagram when it comes to adding photos to a blog post, but it will take a bit of work. Instagram is all about people taking pictures on their mobile phones, and sometimes your company simply doesn’t have the time or energy to do take photos. Therefore, Instagram is probably better utilized in one of the following ways:

  1. Contests – This is probably the number one way businesses are utilizing the tool. If your company sells a product, ask customers to take photos of themselves using the product and then upload the photo to win some sort of prize. You can also add an element of interaction by allowing people to vote on their favorite photo.
  2. Event Marketing – Asking people to take photos of an event you’re holding is a great way to leverage the tool. This will get people excited about the event and give people a layer of interaction.
  3. Social Media – Always share photos of your company or your product/service via social media. Instagram allows a company to add a hashtag to the photo which will help you keep tabs on any pictures of your business via Twitter or another social network.
  4. Connection – Your customers are most likely on Instagram, so this is another avenue to form connections. Even if you can’t find value in posting pictures for your particular business, urge your employees to connect with customers via this avenue.
  5. Location – Instagram allows a company to add location to an image. If you can add the location of your small business, you increase the likelihood that someone will see your photos if they are new to the area. This works best for restaurants and entertainment joints.

Using Instagram along with hashtags is a great way to make sure you are getting the most out of the photos on your website. Instagram is currently all the buzz, so there is no better time than to get started now. Although the service does not offer specific brand accounts, you can still sign up for an individual account here.

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