Instagram announced yesterday that they are rolling out profile pages on the web within the next week or so. When launched, you will be able to view your profile by typing instagram.com/YourUserName in your browser’s address bar.
From a design standpoint, profile pages will feature a selection of your recently taken photos arranged in a collage above your profile photo and bio that is highly reminiscent of Facebook’s cover photos.
Functionally, web profiles will boast many of the features we are already familiar with from the mobile application; you will be able to follow other users, comment, like and edit photos on the web. One notable discrepancy is that you will not be able to upload photos from the web. For now, this will remain a mobile-only feature.
As a mobile-only social media platform, Instagram has achieved incredible success boasting over 100 million users, and the launch of web profiles will undoubtedly cause a surge in interest, registered users, and engagement.
So, what does this mean for marketers?
It is going to be easier to manage your Instagram profiles.
Managing your brand’s Instagram profile from a mobile device can be tedious. Being able to keep on top of your profile on the web is going to be every community manager’s dream, particularly when additional features are inevitably rolled-out that aren’t offered on other web-based Instagram viewers like WebStagram.
It is going to attract new users, who might be your consumers.
If you don’t use Instagram, or if you haven’t invested time to learn about it, and how it can benefit your brand, now is probably the time to get on board. Undoubtedly, we are going to see a huge surge of users getting interested in the platform, and engagement from current users will skyrocket due to increased accessibility.
It is going to increase conversion rates.
For all of the talk about the percentage of mobile users making purchases on their devices, laptops and desktops are still the go-to devices for e-commerce. If you can shift consumers further along the sales funnel after interacting with your web-based Instagram profile, it will be just that little bit easier and more comfortable for them to make a purchase.
It is going to be a great way to showcase your brand.
Being able to view your brand’s incredible Instagram photographs on much larger screens is going to be a fantastic visual experience. This will afford you the opportunity to better showcase your brand, prove your brand’s promise, and engage your consumers with beautiful photos.
Do you think this is a good move for Instagram?
What other opportunities do you predict this will afford marketers?
What additional features would you like to see Instagram introduce for the web?
Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
I tweeted a week or two ago about the various types of content that are most likely to generate engagement. Among the types of content – surprise, surprise – were photos. In fact, comScore has reported that as high as 17% of engagement on Facebook is with photos. While this is not likely a shocking revelation, a challenge many brands have is the ability to generate photo content on a regular and ongoing basis.
Following are 7 thought-starters for how to generate more photo content to share with your social communities:
This may seem obvious, but take photographs of your store and share them with your social communities. Remember, not everyone who you engage with online will have necessarily been to your physical location, so this may give them extra incentive to actually make their way to your store. Also, for those who have been to your store, they may have personal stories to share about a favourite display, seat, section, nook or cranny that they might want to share as a tip to others.
Take photos of your best selling products. Take photos of new products. Take photos of your favourite products. Take photos of your most useful products. Take photos of future products. Everything you carry should be seen as possible content. To drive purchase of complimentary products that you carry, think about photographing several things together – the ultimate spring-cleaning kit, or complete summer beachwear looks.
3. YOUR WORK
Treat your social properties as a digital portfolio of the amazing work that you have done. Be sure to tag these shots so that prospective clients can easily find the most relevant photographs to projects similar to those they might be considering working with you on.
Take pictures of yourself. Not only does this give personality to your business and social properties, but it also allows for you to build credibility as an expert in your area of expertise. Additionally, if your audience finds you to be relatable, they may be more inclined to value your endorsements, recommendations and opinions.
If your business is primarily operated out of an office, take pictures of your employees at work, having fun, at work functions and with clients. These shots can give prospective employees and clients a sense of your corporate culture and help them determine if your business is one they’d like to work for, or do work with.
If you have particularly loyal or happy customers, ask to feature them on your social media properties with a brief review of their experience with your business. Not only will this provide you with a valuable review and content, but the likelihood of that person tagging themselves and sharing that experience with their social graph will also increase, resulting in additional exposure and potentially a larger audience to engage with online.
7. COMPLIMENTARY PRODUCTS/SERVICES
If you sell vases, post photos of amazing local florists and floral arrangements. Featuring complimentary products/services with your endorsement can not only provide you with relevant content for your community, but may also help to boost your sales. If you want to take this a step further, explore building relationships, be they real or virtual, with the business owners of these complimentary products/services. Who knows, maybe they’ll showcase what you have to offer to their social communities?
How have you used photos to engage your social communities?
Have the photos you’ve shared led to any real-world results?
Let me know in the comments for this post, and as always, if you’d like to chat about this or anything at all, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, reach me via Facebook at facebook.com/RGBSocial, or on Twitter @RGBSocial.
Photo credit: Veer