Businesses have made great strides in marketing with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Many companies see that social media marketing is a new way to reach people that can be very effective when done well. Instagram is still primarily used by individuals, and it has been a slower process for companies to discover how to use it effectively to promote their brand and products. Here are some unique ways that digital marketers are now using Instagram for business.

1.) Showcase Company History

If your company has a long history, then putting together some intriguing photos that showcase the years gone by can be an engaging way to use Instagram. You can show photographs of the company founders, early product lines, advertisements from old publications, and more. #ThrowbackThursday, or TBT, is a perfect opportunity for this.

2.) Show Off Your Company Culture

If your company is relatively new, then show off your present corporate culture instead. Use photos of employees working together, award presentations, or the company softball game. It helps make your company seem more human.

3.) Use Both Mobile And Desktop Platforms

When Instagram first came out, it was only available for the iPhone, and later the Android. Now; however, Instagram is also accessible via a normal web browser, which expands its audience to people who don't have apps on their smartphones. This also lets you put links to your Instagram profile on your other web pages, so people can click through and find your Instagram photos.

4.) Use Instagram Videos For Demos And Tutorials

Instagram now has a video capability, that lets you post short videos up to 15 seconds each. This gives you more time to work with than Vine, and it lets all of your existing Instagram audience see your new videos. In 15 seconds, you can give a quick demo of a new product, or a tutorial on how to use a certain feature. Of course, you can link to this video from any of your other web pages, too.

5.) Create Contests To Engage Your Followers

Instagram lends itself to contests where users upload a photo. All you need to do is set up a unique hashtag, create some contest guidelines, offer an attention-getting prize, and get the word out about your contest. Customers can upload an Instagram photo that uses the specified hashtag, so it is easy for them to participate. It is simple for a business to find all of the entries by hashtag, and you can even have people vote for their favorites. You drive people to your contest by promoting it through other channels, and then it generates a lot of engagement and new followers for your business on Instagram.

6.) Feature Customer Photos

Customers can be your company's greatest brand advocates. Happy customers are often delighted to help you spread the word about your products and services. When you showcase photos or videos of or by your customers, it can give your business greater credibility, and the customers will probably be delighted by the recognition and their moment in the spotlight, too. For example, Virgin America often features photos of their customers, and it helps to differentiate them from the other mainstream airlines.