Sarah Kauter, director of VerriBerri PR and marketing, discusses Instagram and why it is becoming the best tool for business marketing

While word of mouth is still considered an important way to network, it's fair to say that social media has taken the reins when it comes to business growth and direct messaging. Platforms like Facebook and Myspace dominated social networking early on, with millions of users. But are we seeing a shift?

Instagram, the image-lead sharing platform, allows users to connect with people all around the world, sharing visual content and creating engaging posts. It also allows businesses of all sizes the opportunity to grow, increase their brand awareness and market themselves professionally. We are seeing a big jump in its users and more specifically a shift in how it is used.

Unlimited attraction

A big factor for business success is attracting an audience; locally, globally and everything in-between. If your brand isn't creating business or seeking it, it'll fail. Instagram allows you to showcase your products to anyone in the world and also offers the chance to hit a market you perhaps didn't know about.

You're able to find individuals who are posting in your local areas and if there are other businesses, you can take the step to making a relationship with them and potentially create future work. On the flip side, you can locate individuals who regularly post within the area to offer any discounts or invite them to see your brand.

Direct messaging         

It's no secret that the majority of people use social media to network and therefore are likely to be on their phones for large parts of the day. This is where direct messaging has become extremely helpful for Instagram. As a business, you're able to source future partnerships with the click of a button, introducing what you do and how you think you can help one another.

It's also a great way to connect with others who share a common interest within your industry. For example, collaborating with a hairstyling equipment manufacturer for your barbers. This is a great way to create exposure for both parties, whilst forming a relationship.

Product tagging

In recent months, Instagram has begun targeting its features more towards business accounts - helping your brand massively. For example, you now have the ability to tag your products with links, cost information and specific names of the item. This in turn gives viewers a much quicker way to load up the website and make a purchase, without wasting any time hunting it down.

For a fashion brand in particular, this is a huge step forward in marketing your products. It helps with speed, efficiency and gives your feed a dynamic look.

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