Here's how to harness Instagram's power for creating your brand and promoting your business. (Logo: Instagram)

With 300+ million users logging in each month and over 80 million photos uploaded every single day, Instagram is a social force to be reckoned with.

Instagram is a photo-sharing social platform where each user has a profile and can upload photos (plain or stylized) for followers to view, enjoy, like, and comment. It may seem like a simple photo sharing site, but many businesses and advisors are using Instagram to their benefit.

One of the main keys to Instagram’s marketing potential for businesses is the fact that it is, first and foremost, a mobile application. If you’ve kept up with any of the social media trends around the Web, you know mobile is important.

Some 91 percent of American adults own a cellphone, and 50 percent of these owners download apps like Instagram. All Instagram actions occur on users’ mobile devices as they go about their day.

So, how does all of this apply to companies in the financial services industry? By giving your followers a “behind the scenes” look at your work environment, promoting your office and events in pictures, and showing the personality and people of your company through images, you give a human element to your brand and become easier to connect with.

Not sure where to start? The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Here are a few ways you can use Instagram in your social media efforts, without having to build a full-blown Instagram presence: 

Test the waters with a personal account

Download Instagram for your own personal use. Pay attention to how comfortable you are using it and who and what you stumble across in your actions. By following other financial services companies, you can see how competitors are using this platform and if it may be applicable to your business as well. 

Take advantage of Instagram’s photo-enhancing tools

If you are already posting photos on your social feeds, you can add filters from the Instagram app to enhance your photos, adding an aura of cool and making them more engaging. People love looking at filtered photos, especially since they add an artistic touch to life and offer a different experience than the other networks. 

Get the most out of a hashtag

Whether you’re hosting an event or attending one, there’s likely a hashtag associated with it. Don’t just add the event hashtag when you use Twitter; Instagram loves hashtags too!

Take a picture of the turn-out for your client appreciation event, or the panel you’re sitting in on at a conference. Filter it, hashtag it, share it and you’ll be get a lot of mileage out of your Instagram account!

Think of Instagram as an extension of the work and best practices you’re already doing on social media, and it might just become your next favorite social hangout. While this is rather uncharted territory for financial services, companies like People Helping PeopleFinancial Times and LearnVest use their Instagram accounts to share photos from company and industry events, helpful financial tips and upcoming events.

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This post was originally published on Moore Communications Group’s blog, which you can find here.