They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and Instagram has done a wonderful job of proving that old adage. This simple app does little more than make it easy for users to share and comment on photos, yet it’s taken the world by storm.
Even novice photographers have built a following, giving them a creative outlet that they otherwise might never have had. This is great news for businesses that want to take advantage of Instagram’s popularity but don’t have a professional photographer on staff.
Building a following on Instagram is less about photographic talent than creativity. Here are some creative ways to use Instagram so that users will take notice.
* Go behind the scenes. If you want to make a personal connection with your Instagram followers, offering behind-the-scenes photos is a great way to do so. If you sell products, you can share photos of them in various stages of production. Service providers can share photos of their offices, their desks, or themselves working on a project. Even random photos of you and your staff can be interesting if you spruce them up with a filter and add an interesting or funny caption.
* Show happy customers. Get customers’ permission to take their photos and post them on Instagram. Try to get a photo of them using your product if possible, and include a short testimonial in the caption.
* Pile on the cuteness. Photos of kittens, puppies, babies and other cute beings are always a hit. Find a way to work the cuteness factor into your photos, and your followers will love you for it.
* Give a sneak preview. Use Instagram to introduce a new product or promotion. You could take a super-close-up of your new product and let followers guess what it is, or write a coupon code in the sand and post the image.
* Show results. Post before and after photos of what your products and services can do. If you’re promoting something that produces results over time, you could even post a photo every day or week to show progress.
* Have a contest. Post images as clues to a puzzle, and offer a prize for the first person who figures it out. Or ask users to post photos of themselves using your product and have followers vote for their favorite. Any kind of contest will generate interest and help you gain more followers.
These are just a few of the creative ways you can use Instagram to promote your business. Once you’ve gotten started and seen what other users are doing, you’ll find many more.