As a social media manager for a marketing company, part of my day job is showing small business owners and entrepreneurs that social media is vital to their business’ success.
Although most owners get on board with the idea of Facebook and a website, many are wary of Instagram. And dangerously so.
With more than 400 million active monthly users, having an Instagram presence isn’t optional. According to data compiled by Hootsuite, 68 percent of Instagram users engage with brands regularly, and Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook. That means that the customers following your Instagram are far more likely to take action than those who like you on Facebook.
But the photo-based platform is often daunting for business owners who aren’t photographers and don’t have an eye for “artsy” angles. “What would I even post about?” you might ask.
Here are three ideas:
Do you sell something?
Jewelry, photos, vacuum cleaners, coffee, snack foods, mittens, dog collars, pumpkins, seeds, stuffed animals, handmade goods, heaters, car parts, etc.
All of those items (and the thousands I didn’t mention) are worthy of Instagram.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to populate Instagram, although I always recommend one if you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy or if your pictures are often dark and blurry.
Your goal is to use your smartphone to photograph your product with an uncluttered background in daytime lighting. Instagram has editing options if you need to make minor changes.
Write a short description of your product (and please, avoid ALL CAPS!) and mention where your followers can purchase it.
If someone scrolls through her feed sees those crochet mittens you just made, it might remind her that she just lost one of her favorite pair last week and could use yours as a replacement.
Even if your products aren’t what you’d consider artwork (say, a hardware store filled with tools), it’s worth it to post pictures of what you sell. A row of hammers is more attractive than you think.
Do you perform a service with visible results?
Landscapers, plumbers (no poop pictures, of course), builders, jewelers, crafters, pest control, mechanics, graphic designers, etc.
Taking photos of your work in-action, as well as the finished product, is a great way to engage your audience. Have a project that takes a few weeks to complete? You could either post an update every couple of days, or you could post up to 10 photos at a time capturing a time lapse of your efforts.
This shows your audience what it’s like to work with you, and what kind of results they can expect. If you take the “every couple of days” approach, you might interest your audience enough that they actually seek you out to see the finished product.
If people are paying for a service, they want to know the job will get done: Use Instagram as proof that you finish what you start.
Social media is intended to be social and corporations don’t give off a “let’s chat” vibe.
You’re doing your work a disservice if you hide behind your company logo. People enjoying recognizing the faces that produce the products and services they purchase.
Do you regularly choose an employee of the month? Post a picture of him. Got an award? Stand beside it and snap a photo. Are you enjoying a cup of coffee with a coworker? Get out your phone. Both the little and big moments make great content for Instagram and give your company a personal feel.If you're currently a one-person-show, don't be afraid to snap pictures of mundane things. Click To Tweet
Like the store you just shopped at to purchase supplies or your favorite fast food joint that just made your lunch.
Even though those pictures don’t necessarily relate to your business objective of selling products or services, they tell your customers something about who you are as a person.
What’s most important is that you recognize the potential of Instagram and don’t ignore it. Engaging your audience is easier than you think.
What do you like to post about on Instagram?
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