Since 2012, and its takeover by Facebook, Instagram has become the place online for sharing your personal images. Surpassing sites like Flickr and Tumblr, Instagram has seen massive growth in numbers thanks in a large way to how celebrities have come to use it as their photo sharing app of choice.

What this means for business owners is that there is a huge captive audience who provide a lot of information which can be used to supplement any marketing efforts.

Instagram now allow companies to make a business account, opening up the option to see analytics, and to schedule posts in advance, making the coordination of your marketing that little bit more straightforward.

Instagram is the ideal marketing vehicle for businesses that have particularly visual sides to them. Clothing, jewellery, beauty, holidays and motoring are just some of the industries that would fit very nicely into the way Instagram portrays brands within their app. But there is nothing stopping a creative mind from bringing to life a less photogenic industry and making it Insta-ready.

In between the pouty faces and the cat memes, Instagram does seem to offer a lot of images that are geared towards a more aspirational lifestyle, and with up to 80% of Instagram users following businesses, it is a huge opportunity for all types of businesses to get their stories in front of local customers.

And images are still the way most people like to engage with Instagram posts. Over 35% more engagement gained from images than from other types of posts, so keep that in mind when planning what you want to share on your account.

Instagram is another free social media channel that can be used by any business to create some noise around their products and services. And it is a great way to network with businesses in your area, or within your larger industry pool.