Most businesses have made the transition to blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, (in fact, 84% of B2B marketers now use social media in some form), but the Instagram frontier still remains less navigated. This leaves the opportunity for your business to stand out and lead the way in your industry! Instagram has potential for businesses as an almost purely visually oriented social media platform. It’s important to make sure that the photography you are posting matches with the current branding of the company. Think about your company’s goals in relation to an Instagram account.
Below are several tips on how your business can use Instagram effectively based on the three most common attributes companies wish to convey via social media:
Humanity: If your business is customer-service oriented or wants to show a side of humanity, don’t be afraid to use tasteful humor, or post pictures of employees (with their permission of course) to show that your company emphasizes its workers and has a beating heart. Show humanity and pride for work and it will show followers you care about them as well. Start a “Behind-the Scenes” series to abate followers curiosity. If your company has Pizza Mondays or celebrates birthdays a certain way, bring along a camera next time and don’t hesitate to capture the moments.
Professionalism: Engaging and professional don’t have to be mutually exclusive. A company that prides itself in its formality and straightforwardness will be most effective with an Instagram feed that reflects that. To achieve sleek and eye-catching visuals, it might be a good idea to invest in a high quality camera for Instagram (this can be anything from a Canon rebel t3i to a smartphone camera). Make sure the lighting is good, I cannot emphasize this enough. Try your hand at photo-editing to increase clarity or colors. Good lighting means that nothing looks washed out, and conversely, nothing is in shadows that shouldn’t be. (In-app editing on Instagram allows you to increase/decrease ‘highlights’ and ‘shadows’.)
Marketing Products: As famous online entrepreneur and author Pat Flynn once stated, “Selling to people through social media is like going to a party, meeting somebody for the first time, and then saying, ‘Hey, do you want to buy this Tupperware?” That is, social media, including Instagram, isn’t about the products, it’s about the people. Anyone can browse products online at the website. What’s special about Instagram is the creativity; instead of selling a product, you can sell a lifestyle featuring your products. Really take advantage of this platform by connecting with your audience. This strategy can be just as productive on Instagram as it is on other visual advertisements on television or in magazines. Another way to market products on Instagram is by announcing giveaways, promotions, or contests that will encourage attention from (potential) followers.
Frequency is another thing to think about. As opposed to Twitter, pictures posted on Instagram usually stay relevant on someone’s feed longer instead of getting lost in the noise. This doesn’t mean every photo must be painstakingly crafted before posting, but make sure before you begin posting that there is a coherent theme to the pictures and a predetermined strategy.
Finally, when you share on Instagram, make sure to also share on your company’s other social media forums to maximize viewers. Make sure to follow OpenSesame’s instagram at @opensesamenow to see more creative and professional photos!