How to use Instagram to market your business

When people think about Instagram all of those slightly cringeworthy effects spring to mind.  But actually only about 50% of published images use the filters. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t loads of great photos being shared. The fact that Instagram is the home of “what I had for breakfast” photography is, in my mind, overshadowed but what is a pure form of social sharing.

Many marketers haven’t worked out how to exploit Instagram and that’s probably not such a bad thing, but there is a good reason why Facebook paid just shy of a billion dollars for a company with only a handful of employees.

The importance of Instagram is what the future holds for, until this year, a mobile only platform. We’re told the future is mobile, social and visual. That is essentially what Instagram is.

How can Instagram help market your business?

Personally I think it’s all part of building your brand, not in an all singing all dancing glossy way, but in a human and simple way.

I wouldn’t hire a professional photographer with an app-enabled camera to document your company’s every move, but I would encourage you as a business owner to share some behind the scenes images as a form of visual diary.

I’m not talking about photos from the board room!  The key to everything is that it needs to be interesting.  I am referring to documenting part of something that might become part of a bigger story.

Do you use Instagram in your business? If so tell us what sort of images you share in the comments.

Here’s and example of how you might use Instagram

You might be attending an event and you might even be able to get hold of official photographs and video that you can later put together into a blog post or newsletter. That’s great, if the content is good and relevant to your target audience then you could inevitably end up with a powerful piece of content marketing.

The problem is that the event is happening now, people are tweeting about it (and using hash tags) and your great content might come a bit late. If you’re posting images instantly then your are at the forefront of the buzz being created as images are always shared more than text only information.

Think about your Instagram image as a tease for more to come.

Here’s another example

Lets say you make scooters for kids. If you have kids of your own who are the right age to use the scooters then even better.

It would make sense that your child actually used your product as not only is it good for shameless promotion but it means that your target market (kids) actually think your product is worthwhile.

So perhaps you even like spending time with your children and let them scoot about whilst enjoying the pleasure of each other’s company.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could share an image of your child enjoying whatever activity you chose for the day shamelessly scooting around on your product?

Would it make your product look like people actually use it? Would it make people think “I’ll have to buy one of those scooters, they look more fun than dragging children around by their designer dungarees?”


What about organising a ‘scoot up’ and everybody shares their Instagram scooting pictures?

One last example

You sell an exciting product like insurance. You are trying to think of ways to get more business so you have joined a networking group. Each week you meet new people and hear their 60 second elevator speech, take their business cards, smile and eat your breakfast.

Exciting stuff but maybe your pitch wasn’t as memorable as the magician who did the card trick at the end.

You could learn magic but honestly who has the time.

So why don’t you take someone’s picture with your camera, post it to Instgram along with their Twitter handle and a quick line about what they do.

A bit like this:

Here’s Michael from @memorygate he’s an awesome #photographer I met today at #nameofnetworkinggroup





I bet he’ll remember you in the morning.
About Michael Shilling

3 thoughts on “How to use Instagram to market your business

  1. Some great ideas here – I tend to share my more day to day things on instagram so it is a bit more personal than the business blog.

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