Using Instagram for Business

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Instagram photo sharing app

Can a photo sharing App help your business?

Over the years, I’ve published lots of tips about using various social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, and even Houzz. Lately I’ve noticed another network that’s growing in popularity, but since I’ve never tried it, I asked Jessica Galbraith to share some information about using Instagram for business.

Janet

Using social media to grow your business is becoming more and more necessary, not to mention smart. Through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, it is easier than ever to share real time updates, project progression, and network with other organizers for ideas and inspiration.

Instagram, a photo sharing social network, is another fantastic resource for professionals. It’s a platform that allows you to share photos of your work as well as connect with others on a more personal level. Instagram is a popular App on most mobile devices so is also easy to use on the go. Not convinced? Here are the reasons why you should consider Instagram for your business.

Show Off Your Work

With 150 million active users and counting, Instagram offers niche businesses like those that offer professional organizing services a way to easily connect with others that share their passions. As you begin to grow your community, the platform offers great opportunities to share your ongoing projects. Whether you post before and after shots or photos of the organizing process itself, Instagram can function as a multimedia portfolio of what you do and what you can offer.

Once you upload pictures to your Instagram account, you can automatically share those photos across your other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook with the automatic sync function. This is a great way to expand on your current networks, as well as gain new followers across the board.

organized closet

Share those daily triumphs.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth_K

Make A Game Plan

Start with a strategy, don’t haphazardly post pictures to an account associated with your business. Decide if there are services you want to sell through your pictures. Are you looking to gain new clients or are you simply aiming to connect with other professional organizers? Always keep your strategy in mind, and try to avoid posting any content that deters from that plan. (Yes, that is one pretty martini, but unless sharing your day-to-day drinking habits is something you want associated with your brand, it is best to keep it to yourself.)

One of those most popular functions of Instagram are the optional filters you can add that enhance your photos. A simple picture of an organized closet taken on your phone, for example, can look like it was professionally captured once you add a filter or frame. You also have the option of using the ‘nofilter’ filter, which shows your followers that the image they are seeing is so awesome it didn’t even need touching up.

When sharing pictures try to keep the 80/20 rule in mind. 20% of the pictures you share can relate directly to your business, while the other 80% should relate to organizing in general. This keeps your content fresh and gives users a reason to follow your account.

organized storage closet

#organized

Photo Credit: ohmeaghan

Use Hashtags

You may already be well acquainted with hashtag use from Twitter, Pinterest, and more recently Facebook. They work the same on Instagram, but are less optional. For those unfamiliar with hashtags, they are a simple way to label your message. For example, a photo of shoes may be hashtagged simply #shoes or using other phrases such as #ShoeEnvy or #SoleCollector. If other users search for those specific hashtags, your image would appear in the results.

For professional organizers this presents an interesting branding opportunity. Many businesses have used their own hashtags to create viral campaigns using the respective images. Using brand specific hashtags will help you get exposure to those with similar interests. (i.e. #ProfessionalOrganizersUnite, #OrganizingIsLife, #GoodbyeClutter as a few examples.)

Much like other social media platforms out there, Instagram provides an outlet to share, learn, and hopefully gain some new clients or connections along the way. If you are serious about growing your business, this image focused network is a great place to expand.

Featured Image by Jason Howie

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Gravatar mystery man

Jessica Galbraith is an American freelance writer living in the UK. She is author of the blog The Fly Away American and likes used cubicles.

Gravatar mystery man

Jessica Galbraith is an American freelance writer living in the UK. She is author of the blog The Fly Away American and likes used cubicles.

3 Comments

  1. Jo Bennett on February 20, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Thanks for this Jessica! I am a fan of Instagram – as a minimalist I appreciate it’s brevity! (I call it the visual Twitter :-)) As a hobby photographer I have enjoyed using Instagram and I am just now turning my attention to it’s business potential for my coaching/organizing. I don’t mind sharing personal photos (even the drinks 😉 as it shows my personality. Like my Facebook profile, potential clients get a feel for who I am. Everything I post is (I believe) tasteful and suits the creative realms I work in. I will, however, start making a plan as you suggest to shift my outreach beyond a passive approach.
    Jo
    Instagram: solomojo

    • Jessica on February 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Hey Jo,
      I am glad the article was helpful. Honestly, I too am quite personal through my business as I am a large part of my brand.

      I think as long as you don’t post anything illegal or that your clients may find distasteful, it can definitely be a great way to be more ‘real’ with your followers.

      Best of luck moving forward!

      Jessica

    • Janet Barclay on February 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      I’m not an Instagram user (at least not yet) but I also feel that showing a bit of my personal side is part of being authentic, and can actually help with the relationship-building process. If a potential client happens to be a dog or cat lover, and they see that I am too, sometimes that’s enough to make them choose me over a service provider with whom they don’t share a common bond. (And if they hate dogs, maybe I don’t want them as a client anyway LOL)

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