Well I woke up this morning with my blog all written over the long weekend and ready to be published on a working day morning when everyone is back at work. And overnight things change meaning I am now revisiting and rewriting some of my blog.

For a several weeks now I have been wanting to write about Instagram. This cool little iPhone app has been popping up all over Facebook and Twitter allowing its users to create cool effects on their photos. It is becoming more popular and the usage isn’t just limited to publishing photos on to Facebook.

Instagram was until very recently only available on the iPhone and then at the beginning of April the app was launched for Android and compatible tablets spreading the usage of this already popular product. The statistics just realised for March show that Instagram is ranked as the #12 social media in Australia. And this popular little product was certainly making waves across the social media world with news this morning that Instragram was to be purchased by Facebook for $1billion US in stocks and shares. Obviously Facebook saw this product as a major rival and has made an aggressive move to acquire it and the intellectual talent that will accompany the purchase. Instagram was considered a start-up business but already has 30 million users.

So how do you use Instragram?

Take a photo, choose your filter and send it to your favourite social media site. You can also choose from any existing image that is already on your phone. There are features within the app that allow you to add effects including borders or filters. This can enhance your photo and give it a new focus or angle.

As well as the ability to upload your own photos the app has a ‘social’ side to it where you can find friends, follow their photos, make comments and share across other social media including Facebook. You can also see what is popular and view photos from any other user on the app. The opportunities to share and connect are almost limitless.

What are the business opportunities?

The challenge with new social media is to work out how your business can benefit from them. With Instagram there are several ways your brand and business can benefit from being a part of this social media. Remember the focus, like Pinterest is on images rather than words so you need to think about your business in terms of pictures not words! If you have a product this can be quite straightforward. If you have a service then this can require a little more thought. The first opportunity is your location. If your business is visited by customers then it is really important that you set up your account with your location included. This allows other Instagram users to tag in at your location.

Like all social media, Instagram is about finding out how your clients want to interact with your business. Spread the word to your database that you are on Instagram and ask them to tag your business in their photos. Consider running a competition for the best photo and see what results you get. It can often be really illuminating to see how your clients see your business.