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quadra blog using instagram for business and advertising in the uk
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Quite often I find myself scrolling at speed through the picture-perfect feed of a blogger, celebrity or brand and before I know it I’m 78 weeks deep into their profile and I have repetitive strain from double tapping the screen.

You’ve guessed it, like it’s 400 million other users; I’m hooked on Instagram.

When it launched in 2010 I’m not sure that anyone knew how prominent a platform the app would become. As Instagram celebrates its 5th birthday I’m taking a trip down memory lane, re-visiting my first post from 2012 and taking a look back at Instagram’s journey to the big leagues. 

In 2012 I had few followers, even fewer likes and on occasion thought that using ‘Kevin’ as a filter was a good idea. Since then I’ve learnt a few tricks and use Instagram as a public place to share images, curating my feed in a way that I wouldn’t bother to do on Facebook or Twitter.

Personal accounts are treated like business pages and users set out to create a strong personal brand hoping to catch the eye of Instagram’s aesthetic-obsessed audience. This is what makes Instagram such a great platform for businesses.

In the app’s 400 million strong community businesses play an integral part and create Instagram-specific campaigns to drive awareness, sentiment and sales.

At Quadra we recommend the use of Instagram to our clients who have the potential to create compelling images and ads with their products or service.

We offer training on Instagram and cannot emphasise enough to our clients that Instagram is unlike any other platform, it has requirements of its own and can’t simply be an extension of a Facebook or Twitter strategy. To get started on Instagram, follow our simple tips below or contact us to see how we can assist with your social media strategy.

Research how to use Instagram for business

Instagram recently started their own business blog offering tips, brand spotlights, API examples and company news. This is a great resource and should keep you up to date with the app.

It’s a great idea to get inspired by other brands that are similar to your business. Many businesses think that their brand doesn’t translate to Instagram but we always encourage them to think outside the box.

Financial and legal services can use Scotiabank or American Express as examples, those in the tourism industry can take inspiration from Lonely Planet, Airbnb, New Zealand or Australia’s official accounts and there are plenty of retail accounts to choose from, my favourites are Herschel, Urban Outfitters and Benefit Cosmetics.

Advertise on Instagram

Instagram ads are now available worldwide through Facebook’s self-serve platform Power Editor and Instagram’s Ads API. You can find out more about Instagram ads from their resources section.

Whether you’re driving awareness and engagement, app installs or website clicks start with a clear goal and get creative with your ads on Instagram. Keeping your branding consistent is important, be aware of your colour palette, composition and style.

Businesses across the UK have already started advertising successfully with Instagram, John Lewis increased purchase intent amongst young females and Channel 4 reached more than 750,000 18-34 year-olds with their campaign.

Analyse your approach

This year Hootsuite integrated with Instagram (finally!) Which means you can schedule your posts via the Hootsuite web or app dashboard and monitor Instagram effectively. Monitoring your brand, competitors and keywords means you can get a fuller picture of your activities.

Another analytical tool I would recommend would be Iconosquare for reporting on statistics and key metrics such as your engagement and follower growth. Using Iconosquare you can view your feed, engage with photos or videos and follow or unfollow other users.

You can find out more about using Instagram for business in our blog 'Visual Storytelling: the brands that do it best' and visit my Instagram account here!

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