Leveraging Instagram for your Business

Why even use Instagram for your business?

You already have a company Facebook, Twitter, and maybe even a Pinterest. And despite your social media omnipresence you’re probably still not even getting the results you want.

The last thing you need is another social media platform to zap your energy, disperse your focus and cause you more disappointment.

Or maybe not?


Let’s look a little closer

Maybe your business was never suited for Facebook and Twitter to begin with, or the more likely reason it never took off is that it wasn’t used properly.

Twitter and Facebook are ‘relationship’ social media platforms, they are communication tools best used to interact with your user base, in a one-on-one fashion. This is why you will never get anywhere on your FB and your TW by just posting your daily photo and a caption, or a link to an article. Facebook is best used for ads, and Twitter is best used for directly communicating to specific users about content they are posting.

Youtube and Pinterest are ‘content’ social media platforms, they are where users go to get good free content, in the form of photos and video. They are going there to find something, not to communicate, they are there to find useful or entertaining content.


Where does Instagram fall?

Where does that leave Instagram? Instagram is content-based, as users go to it to find entertaining photos (content). But, Instagram also allows you to reach out and interact with other users, in the same way that Twitter does. Another element it borrows from Twitter is the use of hashtags, however with Instagram they are more versatile and you’re able to reach more people with them. We describe that further down in this article.

Before you dismiss Instagram as being too minor for your attention, I’d like to direct you to an ‘active monthly users’ survey from last year:

  • Facebook: 1.59 billion (December, 2015)
  • Instagram: 400 million (September, 2015)
  • Twitter: 320 million (March, 2016)
  • Google+: 300 million (October, 2013)
  • LinkedIn: 100 million (October, 2015)
  • Pinterest: 100 million (September 2015)

As the number 2 social media platform it definitely warrants some investigation.

Now that we have gone over very briefly what Instagram is, what it is not, and its relevance, let’s talk about how you can use it for your business.


Can my business even leverage a photo-based content social media platform like Instagram?

The answer is: Yes, IF you are creative! And the corollary is a resounding NO! if you are not creative.

Unfortunately, a carpet cleaner who only posts pictures of the carpets he has cleaned will not really get far on Instagram, Pinterest, or any other content-based social media platform (and he will certainly not get anywhere posting that on FB or TW). Nor will a landscaper who only posts pictures of the landscapes he has done, get any success. This is all far, far, far too banal for social media. Save these photos for your website’s project photo gallery. They have no place on social media.

The photos posted on Instagram or Pinterest must be either:

  • Inspirational (these are text-based images with excellent quotes, which uplift, or invigorate people)
  • Aesthetic and beautiful (attractive people, vistas, performances, making art out of unusual medium)
  • Weird, silly or surprising (a cat playing a piano, amazing feats)
  • Really cool (a customized AR 15)
  • Funny (any kind of meme or humorous video is at home on Instagram)

How can I make this type of content?

Stay tune for Part Two!!!