If you think social media has exploded to the point that it can’t get any bigger, you’re in for a painful awakening. Sure, Facebook is the first step to finding your way into the social media channels, and Twitter isn’t far behind. Professionally, LinkedIn is just as close to imperative as you’re going to get. But if this is where your social media checklist stops, you’re missing out on some very valuable viewers on Instagram. Instagram is the social media product that’s made with the visual senses in mind. While other social media outlets are perfect for expressing thoughts or sharing stories, Instagram’s main focus is on photos.
So what can your business put up on Instagram? With around 80 million Instagram users, there’s surely something about your business that will attract the eyes of plenty of people. Here are a few ways that companies are utilizing Instagram to boast about their businesses:
- Show Your Products: It doesn’t matter what you sell, if you’re selling a product, you have something to show. Have new inventory? Perfect! Take a picture and post it. Need to remind customers how great your inventory is and how there’s a little something for everybody? Fantastic! Take a shot of the whole product line or start a series of pictures where you spotlight one each day for as long as you need to in order to keep interest up. From the local Stratford, CT brewery’s beer bottles to food plates in restaurants in Bridgeport, if your business is selling any type of tangible product, you can showcase it on Instagram.
- Show Your Process: There has been a lot of success with companies, shows, and other service providers displaying a processes from beginning to end or something in between. Salons can show the before, during, and after of a dramatic makeover or display the stunning progress of a wedding updo from the crazy morning all the way to the isle. If you make wine, you can perfectly show the process of the grapes from the vineyard to the barrels to the glass. Companies that specialize in auto reconditioning can certainly cash in on the beauty of Instagram, since the cars that are brought to them in need of repair often clearly display their need for a little love, and the after shots can show the beauty of the work that goes into the process.
- Show Your Usefulness. Products of utility are perfectly displayed with Instagram’s abilities. Remember, social media is meant for relationship-building and social interaction by nature, so what better way than to invite your users into your company’s life? Showing the beauty on the shelf is fantastic, but if your users can show how they’re using your stuff in real life, it can be even better! Products and services alike have a useful life in the real world (otherwise, they wouldn’t exist at all, right?) If you don’t have enough followers yet, recruit your staff and friends to show the great ways that your products and services can be used. Nobody has to know that you know them!
- Show Your Secrets. If something is hidden behind a black curtain, it’s automatically more appealing. After all, the childhood phrase, “I know something you don’t know” didn’t gain notoriety amongst kids everywhere for no reason. The phrase became popular because everybody wants to know something that others aren’t akin to. Instagram can give those special people permission to see your secrets before the rest of the world knows about them. That’s not to say that you’re actually giving away trade secrets; it’s quite the contrary. Carefully chosen photos can let you tell your few choice followers about something that’s in the mix and up-and-coming before “everyone else knows”, and more than likely, your select few will happily spread your secret around. In other words, you’ll be letting Instagram do your advertising for you.
- Show Everything Else. From bad hair days to Bring Your Kid to Work Day, there’s something that everyone will enjoy. The more you make your business likeable, the more your brand will resonate with the people that you’re trying to get to pay attention to you. Puppies, babies, and holiday parties (as long as you censor them) can make you more relatable and bring in new eyes. Keep that camera phone handy, and snap candid shots and big smiles, and if they’re photos that make you and your staff and colleagues smile, your Instagram audience will likely crack a smirk, too!
Does your company use Instagram? We’d love to hear how it’s helped your business! Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or talk about it at our Facebook page!
If you enjoyed this blog, you may also enjoy reading, “Avoiding Sloppy Social Media”