In under a decade, Facebook and Twitter have been woven into our everyday lives. If you watch Monday Night Football, you’ll see ESPN promoting the hashtag #MNF. Businesses of all sizes leverage the power of social media to engage their customers and so should you.

It’s amazing what a single picture can capture. If there’s a newborn baby in your family would you rather hear a sentence describing the baby or see a picture capturing every nuance of the bundle of joy? I’d take the picture any day.

Now what happens when you combine social media and photo sharing? You get Instagram and Pinterest.

Instagram 101 Instagram is a photo sharing application owned by Facebook. Users with iPhone or Android devices snap photos and have the option to apply 17 effects. Users then post to their Instagram accounts and other social media properties.

I snapped a picture of my partner in crime: Boomer

Boomer Instagram

Now here is the same picture through three different filters:

Instagram effects

Like Twitter, Instagram utilizes hashtags to categorize photos. For my picture of Boomer, I added the hashtag #dogs. After doing a search for #dogs, lo and behold, there was my picture of Boomer!

So what’s the big deal?

Instagram has surpassed Twitter in daily active mobile users. A comScore study showed that Instagram had 7,302,000 daily active mobile users while Twitter had 6,868,000 daily mobile users. Not only are there more active users on Instagram but users spend twice as much time per month using Instagram than on Twitter over their mobile devices.

What takeaways can we bring from this? People are visual. Twitter ‘s angle is the microblogging platform where users are restricted to 140 characters or less. Instagram makes photo sharing easily accessible to every Android and iPhone owner.

Combining Instagram with existing Facebook and Twitter accounts is a great way to interact with potential customers and keeps your brand ahead in the ‘top of mind’ war.

Next week I'll explain why and how your business should capture the power of Pinterest.