Explore the Possibilities of Instagram for Social Marketing

Explore the Possibilities of Instagram for Social MarketingWhile a good part of Internet users are die-hard Facebook and Twitter fans, there’s a good percentage that are already fed up of both thanks to the social networking advertisements and online marketing teams who keep throwing advertisements on their social networking profiles. Online marketing especially on Facebook and Twitter has helped many businesses to succeed in their online ventures and got them customers offline too.

More and more people are getting fed up of advertisements. They are in the news papers, television, radio, emails and social networking websites too. While they help the entrepreneurs gain a good customer base, many of the normal users hate being chased by advertisements. Many are turning to less used media like Instagram where online advertisements are yet to explore the possibilities.

Many start-ups are gaining on genuine customers through Instagram surprisingly. Instagram is actually a photo filtering tool where people post and share photos with their close ones. Small boutiques and craftsmen are gaining in on the possibilities of attracting more traffic to their products with Instagram now. There are more serious users here than in Facebook and Pinterest that have millions of users now.

How to effectively use Instagram for online Marketing?

As in any other social networking site, Instagram also need you to create a profile for your business or personal profile to start with. Once the profile is created let the whole world know about it and gain maximum followers. That forms your basic database. Like in Facebook, you can add photos to your Instagram profile and make it public so that everyone can view it. If intended for a particular person or group share it privately with them so that no one else will be able to see the same. Instagram lets you share it on your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr profiles too. Instagram has a mobile app which lets you share photos on your mobile. They also give you a suggestion list to make sure you don’t miss your usual friends while sending a photo.

What not to do in Instagram?

  • Do not spam
  • Instagram does not allow any offensive material on their site. You may get permanently blocked.
  • Share only relevant data to get genuine
  • No transactions in Instagram. Keep the transaction part away from it.

So basically you can share your product photos among your friends in Instagram and ask them to mail you for making an order. Rest of the transaction can be done outside of Instagram. The basic rule anyhow is to be transparent and to-the-point to get the customers to trust you. If any problem arises make sure you rectify it immediately otherwise it may result in negative publicity and kill your business.

What makes Instagram even more likable is that it is absolutely free to use. It comes with a useful image editor to edit your photos and the mobile version is absolutely fantastic. Since Instagram is available for android and iOS, more and more users seem to prefer Instagram over Facebook now. If you are a business owner looking to expand your online traffic, Instagram will be the best option available now.

Carrie Miller works in the marketing team of Zealousys.Com He works closely with online and offline marketing teams to get maximum marketing coverage for their clients. He finds that the possibilities of online marketing has increased multi-fold and is there to rule the market for a while.

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Social Media and Website Design – Pacing up in the market these days

Social Media and Website Design – Pacing up in the market these daysEver since the Internet has changed the business and information landscape, website designers look for inspiration in all kinds of places. Skeuomorphism was an attempt by designers to replicate and present physical objects in the digital sphere.  Designers started paying attention to white space so that they could bring elements of refinement and cleanliness –of late, in website development flat design trends are aiming to become the benchmark for refined displays.

Why is this important?

As of the current moment, it is becoming apparent that social media networks are having a big say in how web designers work on eCommerce sites. Sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr put a heavy emphasis on images and how users experience the Internet and different content. This approach is the best one for eCommerce brands especially when they are trying to provide the best experience for shoppers.  Leading sites like Fancy, Polyvore and Wanelo are the new breed of sites in this age of social networking.  Assessing each site gives web developers an idea of how easily social media have altered perceptions and how the influence the creation of eCommerce sites.

How Fancy used crowd sourcing and Social eCommerce?

Previously known as The Fancy, the website Fancy.com is strongly influenced by Pintrest.  High quality images are used to design and develop a great eCommerce site.  Users have to created their profiles and add a Fancy bookmark to their tool bar and they get product suggestions.  Regardless of which site or brand they are interested in, users can “Fancy” a product or page and ensure that the product is introduced into the mainstream. Shoppers have the choice to like or vote products up and letting it become a viral trend. User feeds are also updated regularly based on their interaction so that one can get personalized recommendations. Products on Fancy are usually discovery fueled making it easier for users to scroll through without leaving the homepage. 

Just like Amazon 1-Click and its same day delivery feature make it seamless for shoppers to buy, Fancy’s browsing experience is paving the way for eCommerce sites to do it differently.

Wanelo: Social Shopping through Discovery

As far as website development goes, Wanelo is quite similar to Fancy in that it relies heavily on a Pintrest kind of image based grid layout. Visitors are treated to a well designed site with a great product feed.  The biggest difference is in how shoppers can like/save and share different images.  Store profiles are also prominently displayed with each user.  Wanelo also introduced content stories for stores and users who can create a background on products suggested. This is in line with how social media sites like Tumblr function – great visuals with absorbing content.

Polyvore: Digital collages

This site is not as used as the first two – Polyvore has an interesting approach to eCommerce and web development.  Rather than discovering products through feeds, users can browse through a collage of pictures or a product set.  Stores and users create the equivalent of a cutout collage, like magazines are wont to do. Similar products are put together as a set – for example under the Sherlock Holmes theme, one can find a trench coat, magnifying glass, a pipe and so on.  Tags are then added to images which take customers to the purchase page.  Polyvore is trying to encourage shoppers to build a wish list using magazine pictures of items like shoes, dresses and handbags.  

The Polyvore site gets credit for taking a totally unique approach.  Though it uses a grid layout to do collages, the idea to tag several products in one image is a unique one.

Amazon: Keen follower of Pinterest

Even Amazon, which is known as a website development leader is taking its cues from social media sites which are successful.  The Amazon Collections site has taken cues from Pinterest and allows users to build a list of their favorite products and create a curated board on Amazon.

How eBay is keeping up with the times?

The world’s best known auction site eBay is also watching and taking cues from Pinterest.  Once visitors log on to the site, they can scroll down and see all the trending items and product groups (similar to the sets on Polyvore).  Information on these product groups are curated and presented by eBay users – the site uses a similar feature as Wanelo to present product information.

The lesson that is evident is the fact that social sites are forcing eCommerce to change and take website development in a new direction.  The ultimate goal is to make the browsing and shopping experience as intuitive and seamless as possible. 

Carrie Miller, who works as website designer at Zealous System – A renowned web design and development company has to say that businesses are always looking at ways to embrace innovation and make it interesting for users.  With an increased number of users and the expectations being created by users, social media sites and unusual design aspects are creating ways to make brands more appealing.