Why More Businesses Should Be Using Instagram

by Jonathan Barrick

An Instagram picture is worth way more than a thousand words. Why not let them speak for your business?

Instagram is a ridiculously easy to use photo sharing service. If you’re not familiar with the app, it essentially allows you to snap a photo using your iPhone camera (or choose one from your existing photo library), crop it, tilt-shift it (fancy word for ‘blur’), and ‘stylize’ it using a variety of pre-set photo filters. You can then publish your creation directly to your choice of sites including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and a few other social networks.

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Before and After shots of a baseball diamond, taken with Instagram

Instagram has grown to over 7 million users in the short time it’s been in existence, and it continues to grow due to it’s simplicity, and how easy it is for anyone with an iPhone to become instantly artistic with any photo.

You might be wondering just what this might have to do with business. Well, images are a crucial piece of your business’ story. No matter the product, no matter the service, without pictures all you’re left with is a giant block of text that no one wants to read.

It’s been proven that photos and video are some of the most shared kinds of content on social networks, and it’s easy to understand why. We gravitate towards images naturally. it’s much easier and faster for us to process the message in a picture, and it’s also much easier to evoke emotion through images.

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Picture frames, taken at a local art supply store, and Copper tubes, taken at Home Depot

One of the main reasons I’m suggesting using Instagram for your business photo sharing instead of, say, Flickr, is that Instagram allows you to give otherwise bland photos a bit of personality. It allows you to transform the ‘feel’ of a picture in order to convey the desired emotions. But, enough of the touchy-feely stuff. I’m sure you’d like to hear some examples of how businesses can use this service in the real-world.

Here are those examples:

  1. Salons – Allows you to share stylized photos of hairstyles, manicure/pedicure nail art, makeup, and even shots of the salon itself. This will allow you to showcase your skills, as well as the decor and environment in your salon to reinforce your brand.
  2. Automotive Collision Repair Shop – Great for showcasing custom paint jobs, or illustrating ‘Before’ and ‘After’ shots of mangled cars. Also would allow your customers a behind-the-scenes look at body repair, painting, and detailing. Convey the level of skill that is required to turn a wrecked car back in to a thing of beauty.
  3. Coffee House – This one is easy. Pics of people laughing, chatting, working in your shop. Showcase your funky ‘latte foam art’ or displays of mugs and beans. Show your customers the kind of friendly environment they can expect when they walk in to your shop.

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    Pics taken at a local coffee shop with Instagram

  4. Golf Course – If you don’t see the inherent beauty in a golf course, I don’t know what to tell you. You can post great shots of the landscaping, sunrises and sunsets over the greens, actions shots of golfers on the tee, and highlight tournaments and other events. Any kind of recreational business is a prime candidate for creative photo sharing.

This list could go on, and on, and on, but I think you get the point. It doesn’t matter what business you have, there is always SOMETHING artistic in it somewhere. Allowing other people to see what is already there can give them a completely different perspective on what it is you do. Something that is seemingly mundane and commonplace can instantly be given a totally different ‘feel’ through creative imaging. It never hurts to infuse your business with a little more personality, and Instagram makes it easy for anyone to do so.

*This entry was originally posted on Crowdshifter.com