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The web is made up of images and text. The images communicate emotions and images that are much more persuasive and direct than a text comment. According to various statistics–it is the visual content that we see online that has the biggest effect on us. Even Foursquare, with their latest updates, has become more and more “visual”. The same goes for Twitter, where images are receiving more retweets than those that do not contain images.

This brief introduction gives you a clear idea and understanding of how Instagram is the real king of the social media images.

It is now a social media platform that has to be included in any integrated strategies for social media marketing. The important thing however, is to be able to first develop a following on the other two most important social networks–Facebook and Twitter. This is where you gather your forces so to speak.

You must cultivate a good reputation and a strong following on these sites first, before you run off and start marketing with Instagram. The Instagram site has distinct benefits if you ensure that people actually see it. It is a little like running a poster campaign on a bus. You can create a great campaign, but you have to get the people on the bus first before it has any affect.

The benefit that this social media platform has comes in line with its many tools. You may put a button on something to take a photo using up to seventeen predefined filters to choose from, with which you may customize and edit a photo. Put comments on, in or around the image to stimulate and enrich your user’s interaction with it. Put a function onto the image, which is similar to that of Twitter, where people can sign up and follow your image publications. This and much more may be found with Instagram. There is also a free app for photo sharing with your smartphones.

If you are thinking that this is just a social media built around a photo imager, then think again. This is a platform that you can use to appeal to a massive amount of people. Very few people know it, but in less than a year and a half, Instagram has managed to win more than 80 million users worldwide.

Mark Zuckerberg announced the acquisition of Instagram and its thirteen contributors for an estimated $800 million this year in April. So even if you don’t believe this article–in that Instagram has some potential–then believe the social media millionaire, (especially since he is putting his money where his mouth is).

The social media platform offers great benefits to companies whose aim it is to involve its users in various photographic activities and group (instameet and instawalk). A company may be able to attract new customers and raise the level and quality of shared photos. They may also be able to meet in person and exchange ideas, tips and maybe even sell them something.

A company will benefit more from Instagram if they are active and involved in its community. The basic rule is that you have to be active from the word go, so that your hard work and dedication will be rewarded with sales and customer loyalty.

The instragramer virtuoso is someone who posts a photo a day, with the correct tags to make it searchable. The search tool offered by Instagram allows you to search photos by keyword entered. The main benefits come for companies who post one every day, and then maybe twice per week will also post pictures that are more “marketing” orientated rather than pleasure orientated.

For example, you may do a daily diary of the squirrel raider who enters your yard, steals supplies and makes his escape. This is fun and may attract a small group of followers who want to find out these crafty squirrels exploits. Twice per week you could enter a one or two marketing images.

So if for example, you sell park equipment you could show the squirrel on a swing or having a ride on a springy kiddy toy. If you sold doghouses, you could show the squirrel peeking into a dog kennel with a price tag above the doghouse.

If you create your own style of photos so that they are easy to recognize then you can build a separate brand image with Instagram. You can create a brand image that is based around images, which is not present in any of your other marketing strategies. As a byproduct, it may also end up giving you some very good ideas and information on how to improve your other marketing techniques, both online and offline.

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