With the latest announcement that Instagram now allows you to embed posts into websites and blogs, they are quickly expanding the possibilities of marketing through Instagram. And while this does expand the reach beyond your mobile device, this post isn't about that tool. This is about how to take your Instagram photos straight off your device and put them right in front of your customers, in real life!
I was scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day and I came across a photo that totally gave me that a-ha moment. As a huge proponent for Instagram for businesses I am always looking for new ways that businesses can take advantage of this platform. And one of the companies I follow gave me this great idea.
The company is called Curalate. You can find them on Instagram here and they are an example of a business doing social media marketing the right way on Instagram. They use a good mix of photos that let their followers really understand who they are as a company and what they are about. But they also mix in personal and spontaneous shots of their employees and behind the scenes shots. And they make sure to include the occasional "artistic" shot that adheres to ideal Instagram standards for popular photos. But I still think they need to share a little more... Ok, I digress.
So, here's the photo that made me stop dead in my tracks (or at least my scrolling):
If you're wondering what stopped me, let me explain.
Their caption read "Our Instagram wall art #curalate #startup #startuplife"
Wall art. In real life. Something tangible that people can see, feel, and connect with. All on display in their offices for all of their employees, vendors, customers, and visitors to see. Not only are they letting all these people see into their business but they're advertising their Instagram account to each and every one of these people.
What if you're a jeweler, or an auto repair shop, or a dog groomer, or a photographer, or a dentist, or a book store, or a retail clothing store, or any other type of brick and mortar store. You have people coming through your door every day. If you put these photos up in your lobby or reception area or dressing rooms, imagine the conversations that would ensue. And not only can you share photos but you can encourage people to be in the photos! Get them to pose with the owner or staff, or with their purchase, or with their happy smiles following a service well done. Then share it to Instagram, tag them in it, and then print and post to your wall. How excited do you think they'll be to come in next time and show their friends that they are on your wall of fashionable art?
This method becomes almost a self-fulfilling marketing strategy. You get to post to Instagram, increase your followers and engagement on Instagram, and beyond that, do the same thing with real people in real life!
And if you run a business, you know the cost of buying good conversational artwork for your office. And not just the cost, you have to worry about the colors, the emotions it elicits, will it offend anyone, and so on and so on. But with a custom Instagram wall art display, you don't have to worry about these issues. All you have to worry about is what "pattern" to use if any.
You could even create a contest-type environment with the photos. You could use non-permanent adhesives with the photos on your wall and rearrange them so that the most liked photos on Instagram move to the top (or to a designated area) on the wall. Encouraging your customers to like the photo on Instagram (and their IG friends too) will increase the numbers of likes and the chances of it moving to the VIP section on your real world wall.
So, now I'd like you take a step back. Think about all the other social media platforms out there. Which other site allows this much photo sharing opportunity? What other site let's you take all of your online posts and convert them into tangible real life interactions with your customers?
I'd like to ask you this now, if you're not on Instagram yet, why not?
I'd like to thank Curalate for the great idea and for giving me permission to use their idea for this post.
If you'd like help developing your Instagram strategy (or any other form of a social media strategy) please contact me for more information.