Remember the popular kids in high school? You thought they were so cool because they always appeared to be having the most fun. They were probably having about as much fun as you were, but what you saw on the surface told a different story. They were cool. They were living it up.
Image is often central to how we create an opinion about a brand, person, event, or idea. That’s why businesses invest in updating their website and logo design: to maintain a strong visual impression to inform their prospective customer’s judgment of their services or products.
And that’s why it usually doesn’t take long to build a following on image-based social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. It takes less time to consume an image than an article or blog post – an opinion can be formed much faster.
So to fast-track popularity on Instagram or Pinterest, you have to take ‘image’ pretty seriously, and have lots of fun while you’re at it. Just like the popular kids did. It’s not as contradictory as it sounds, we promise!
Previously, we shared our tips for getting started on Instagram, an online photo sharing and social media service that lets you take pictures with your smart phone and post them on a variety of social platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
Today, we’re going to give you 5 cool ideas to consider as you craft an Instagram content strategy that fits your unique business goals. Hey, sometimes we need a little bit of direction to get started, right?
And if you want more inspiration, check out the Instagram for Business blog, where you’ll find brand case studies, API examples, tips and news.
But for now, dig into our cool 5 ways to promote you business on Instagram:
1. Say ‘cheese’, customers!
Turn your camera on the folks that feed your business. As Social Media Examiner contributor Rachel Sprung says, “customers are your brand’s biggest advocates and are a great way to tell your company’s story from the perspective of someone outside the company.”
With their permission, showcase unique client projects, present testimonials with images of your product or service in action, or post shots of happy customers walking through your business door. Remember to keep it fun!
You can get lots of creative customer photo inspiration during company-hosted events and parties. Skip to #4 to learn more.
2. #Hashtag that #Instagram #contest
Photo contests are easy to execute on Instagram, and can help build hype around your business quickly. Here’s how to do it:
- Introduce the contest to your followers with a post that explains the rules and prizes. Include a unique and specific hashtag for contestants to tag their ‘submission’ with.
- Browse through your submissions by searching your specific hashtag on the ‘Discover’ page. Comment on, ‘like’, and engage with as many submissions as possible!
- Regram the finalists on your profile (a regram is like a retweet – a reposting of someone’s content).
- Have followers choose a winner by ‘Liking’ the post they want to win.
- Showcase the winner on your profile with a post and fun prizes!
3. Reveal your secrets
If we weren’t such curious beings, shows like Discovery Channel’s How It’s Made wouldn’t be on air. Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your products or services, and satisfy their hunger to know.
This is a great way to tell your company’s story without pushing bland product pictures on your followers. Find inspiration in the details of your work, such as the craftsmanship, equipment, and processes involved.
4. Document cool events
Post pictures from business events and parties that you attend and/or host. This can be as simple as an employee birthday lunch or as high-production as a multi-day conference. The point is to present your company as active, engaged in the community, and having fun!
Social media savvy events might even have a hashtag for you to include in your posts, which will include you in the conversation with other attendees, and draw attention to your brand.
5. Avoid your products and services
Challenge yourself to tell your company’s story or describe the brand without exclusively posting images of what you sell. Consider the people, places, and resources that bring your business together and make it what it is.
With your iPhone or Android at your side, you’ll be ready to capture spontaneous moments around the office or on the jobsite to share with followers on Instagram.
Who knows? You might be cooler than you think.
Tell us about the coolest Instagram accounts you’ve seen out there. Share the goods in the comment section below!
Sprung, Rachel. “5 Ways Marketers Can Use Instagram.” 23 January 2013. Socialmediaexaminer.com