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Instagram Direct And What It Means For Your Business.

Keeping up with the world of social media can be a daunting and dizzying task. With a steady supply of new platforms continuously entering the marketplace–and a myriad of new features being introduced to your favorite standbys–it may just feel like your head is going to explode. Literally.

Also read: Useful iPhone apps for your Business

The trick to avoiding a bursting brain stem is to concentrate, solely, on the social media platforms and the features that will benefit your business. And one such newcomer is Instagram Direct.

Burst your brain

 What is it?

Instragram Direct has revitalized the original Instagram platform by enabling users to target a specific audience. Simply select up to fifteen people from those that you follow, create a photo, video, or personalized message, and “presto”–you are able to reach your awaiting public.

And, the really cool part is that you will be able to see who has seen your message instantly, if they “liked” it, and receive instant replies. It really is that easy.

How Instagram Direct can help my business?

While Instagram Direct does sound like a cool platform to use with your friends, it also has some great applications for your social media marketing plan. Here are some great ways to reap the benefits of Instagram Direct for your business.

• Make them feel special. Everyone feels special when they walk into a restaurant and the waitress knows their “usual” by heart. We love it when the bank teller knows our name. And, your loyal clientele will appreciate you granting them a similar reward for their business via Instagram Direct. Whether you offer them a sneak preview at a soon-to-be-launched product, let them see exclusive content like some backstage photos of a celebrity event, or provide them with their own discount code, making your customers feel valued and important will keep them coming back for more.

• Give them a chance to win. Contests are fun. And you want your brand to be associated with fun. A great way to maximize the potential of Instagram Direct is to invite your followers to partake in a competition of sorts. Whether it involves submitting photos of themselves using your products, selecting the first ten people who comment on a photo that you post, or some other creative variation, running a contest will create buzz and positive press about your brand.

• Appeal to early adopters. Some of the more established social venues have lost their lustre with the hip, young tech-savvy crowd. By jumping on the latest trend–in this case, Instagram Direct–you will garner the respect of a very important demographic.

• Keep in contact. Instagram Direct is an ideal way to keep in touch with your clientele–and for them to keep in touch with you. This means that customers will be able to reach you to privately discuss any questions or problems that they experienced with your product. They will not be limited to Twitter’s 140-character length. Nor will they be forced to air their grievances publicly on your blog or your Facebook page. You can also hold a Chat Session, inviting followers to participate in a Question and Answer period, or share a video showing how a product works or how it is assembled.

If you only have time to add one new tool to your social media marketing toolbox, you may wish to consider checking out Instagram Direct. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what you can accomplish with a picture and words.

What is your take on Instagram Direct? What implications do you feel it has for businesses?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger. She is a social media junkie who has written dozens of articles on social media marketing, and online reputation management. You can follow her OCD ramblings at The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss.

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