Instagram for business

Invite your customers to tell your story

There is little more powerful than someone else telling people what you do, or that you’re good at it. That’s why testimonials are so important. But there are many other ways that you can get your customers to help tell your story, both to their friends, and to yours. Today I’ll run through three ways that you can get your audience talking about you, creating powerful content, and taking some of the pressure of creating content off of you!

1) Create opportunity and reason to check in

Whether people are using Foursquare, Facebook, or Instagram, you want them to check in to your location and let their friends know they’re there, and you want to make it as easy as possible for them.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you’re set up on all of the different apps so that when they try to check in, you appear. If I’m out and want to share my location with a picture, and the location pops up for me to tag, I do it. If the location doesn’t show up, I don’t. This is easy to do on Facebook (by putting in your address and making sure your page is listed as a place), and adding your location to Foursquare makes it available both there and on Instagram as well. On top of making it easy for people to check in, be sure to encourage them to do so - either by asking them to check in, or…

2) Have contests

Contests are a great way to get people to share content for you. Put up signs in your location or promote them online to get people to share photos, stories or quotes that have to do with your business. Create a hashtag that then ties all the entries together and that leads people back to your site or business.

Here are examples of the types of contests you can run:

Ask people to Tweet or Facebook their favourite thing that you sell. Let them know to tag you or use a specific hashtag, like this company did:

The contest will encourage people to post photos like this:

or this one:

Ask a social media question for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card with a hashtag that corresponds to your business (i.e., #AskWellmanWilson)

3) Ask for their story

People like sharing their story and are often willing to do it as long as you ask. There are many ways to do this:

  • Ask them to write a sentence or two describing what they like about your company or your product.
  • Ask for a guest post that details their experience with you or your product.
  • Send them a questionnaire they can fill out and then post their answers as an interview.

Being the voice of your business and telling the story of your brand is made easier when you invite your clients and customers to join in. Our next blog post will give you some of the benefits that encouraging your customers to tell your story can bring.

What are some other creative ways you’ve seen businesses invite their customers and clients to tell their story?

Should you be on Instagram?

Should Wellman Wilson Consulting be on Instagram? I ask myself this question a lot.  I’m still not sure what the answer is but today I’m talking about Instagram and why every business should at least consider it as a tool.

Where is your audience spending their time? 

So far, my very informal polling of the under 25 crowd has led me to believe that they will choose Instagram over Facebook every time.  They may not be giving up Facebook, but they LIKE being on Instagram more.   If your audience is younger and that’s where they’re spending their time, that means you should be considering spending more time on Instagram as well.

The over 25 crowd is there too though, especially foodies.  Food in particular does really well on Instagram. 

Is your business visual?

In the world of online content, pretty pictures almost always win the day for fast and easy engagement.  If you have the opportunity to share visuals of what you do, you should be considering Instagram as a tool for your business.  Or can you share fun images that will make people smile while still thinking of your brand?

Words make beautiful images too

If you don’t sell food, or clothing, or a product, does Instagram make sense for you?  There are lots of ways to share messages without having a product to show.

Let people get to you know

As with all the social networks, the human side of your business is really important to share too and Instagram is a really natural way to do that.  Letting people know what you’re doing day to day helps them relate to you and feel like they know you better.  

You can share what you’re doing, who you’re meeting with, events you’re going to or things you’re excited about (like media coverage!)

So.  Should Wellman Wilson be on Instagram?

I’ve decided to commit to posting a tip a day of some kind (I think I’ll do a mix of images and video) on Instagram over the next 30 days.  I’m going to conduct the experiment as myself (giving you the opportunity to get to know me a bit better at the same time if you’re interested) and would love some feedback from you guys.  Is that somewhere you’d like to see more social media tips?  Are you already spending time on Instagram?  

My theory is that Instagram isn’t the #1 spot we should be (which is why we focus so much on our blog, the newsletter and Facebook) but that it’s definitely a space that could also work for us.  Talking to your audience and experiments are the best way to really figure out if a new tool is worth your time.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think and if you use Instagram!