Instagram is a rare form of social media – your story, in pictures. Where Facebook and Twitter have made their name on status sharing, checking into a location or sharing links, Instagram strips everything away to just pictures: a picture is worth a thousand words, links, and restaurant check-ins. So, what can you buy with your Instagram followers?
Though fundamentally different – in that it broadcasts just pictures that the user has an option to add an artistic filter to – Instagram still functions like most popular networks. There are people or groups who you “follow” or who “follow” you – you can see and interact with their posts and they can do the same with theirs. Like their picture of their morning brunch? Click the heart icon. Want to say how awesome it looks? Click to comment. It’s social media stripped down and simplified and users love the experience.
Instagram started as just an iPhone app, but then grew available to the Google Play store for Android phones. Recently, Instagram announced that they will be moving over the web – for most, this seems like a backwards way of doing things, but it hasn’t stopped or slowed down Instagram at all. One of the first Instagram web profiles is for Nike – the athletic gear company, which has over 550,000 followers. Because they are primarily a shoe and clothing company, Instagram is a perfect way to feature and market their gear. They have over 400 pictures posted, all featuring their clothing: some with people wearing it, runners out in their new footwear and even some standalone shoots of new shoes or new running gear.
This is why Instagram is such a powerful tool for niche users. There are tons of individuals who use Instagram for the fun of it, sharing the details of their day through photography. But there are others who use it as a way to further their “brand”. If someone is an expert on craft beer, they might use Instagram as a place to feature their favorites, finding they soon have a following of over 500 people they can share tips, stories, and even score free beer from. If an author has an Instagram account, they can show readers pictures of book tables at signings, boxes of their books arriving in the mail, pictures of the books they’re reading in their free time, or the first time they saw their own book at the bookstore. Even the person without a niche can find success using Instagram because if you’re not reaching a certain demographic you can always opt to buy Instagram followers. Not only will this open up your social circles, but people love to follow those who appear to be leaders. A large following will grant you this advantage and before you know it, your following list may triple.
Instagram is not only a fun tool with a lot of further potential – it’s a unique but distinct way for people, and businesses alike, to get and stay connected in a much more imaginative way.