Photo Sharing for Business

Recently we’ve written about Instagram and Pinterest – providing you with an understanding of how these popular websites/tools work. Today we’ll look at how you can use Instagram and Pinterest for you business. And consider whether you should use these social media channels for your business.

Instagram and Your Business

What Instagram allows you to do is easily and instantly post your photos to multiple photo sites and social media channels including: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous, and Foursquare. You can also configure your Instagram account to email people your latest photos.

When it comes to your business, you can use Instagram to share photos of your brand/products/services. Given the social nature of this photo site, those following you will comment on your photos and repost them – enabling the photos to go viral.

But how should you use Instagram? Well your marketing department, can easily manipulate photos with filters to suit a specific mood or theme that they want the photo to convey. You can also use Instragram to track the photos that others are posting about your brand/product/service/company – simply use the Search function to find out what others are posting about your company. The geo-tag feature is super useful to help others locate your company.

Is Instagram right for your company? Well there are lots of companies using Instagram – but to be successful on it, you need to have a savvy marketing plan and a real reason to be posting photos of your brand/products/services. Take a look at these 10 companies who are early adopters of Instagram and how they are using it.

Pinterest and Your Business

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard site that revolves around people posting links to items/ideas/products that they discover online and find interesting or useful. While you can’t sell product directly through Pinterest, users can click on the photo and will be taken directly to your company website.

Just like other social media channels, links and photos can quickly go viral when they are repinned by potentially thousands of people.

To use Pinterest for your business effectively you need to consider if you have a brand/product/service that fits into the pinning mechanism. Do you have an actual product or service that others can post to a board?

If you do then to use Pinterest for your business, it is key to create boards that relate to your company – savvy consumers will see past a Pinterest account that is created only to post photos of products and brand images. Instead think of your market space and how your brand or product relates to this market space. For example, if you own a lifestyle company, you can could create boards related to your niche such as: Cool Gear, Places To Travel, Stores (these are stores that sell your product), and Pics (these are pictures of people using your product).

To help boost your profile on Pinterest follow others who use your products or brand. Repin photos of your goods and repine photos related to your niche. It also helps to follow media companies related to your company and niche market. It is interesting to know that some companies have reported a 75% click-through rate to their website from photos pinned on Pinterest.

You can also get creative and create boards that provide How To or Tips and Advice on using your product or services. For example, if you sell yoga mats, you might create a board called Loving Your Mat – this includes pins about caring for, cleaning, and storing yoga mats.

Is Pinterest right for your company? It really depends on what you company sells. Do some research and see if others in your market space are using Pinterest and how they are using it. Here is a collection of companies and brands using its social channel.

Tips on Using Photo Sites

If you do decide to use on or both of Instagram and Pinterest, here are some overall tips to keep in mind:

What To Do? 
Like anything you do online – you must be committed to it. So if you don’t have the time to manage an Instagram or Pinterest account then don’t do it. Talk to your marketing department and find out what they think of these social channels. Take your time and do your research to find out what others in your market space are doing. Just because it is out there – doesn’t mean you need to use it!
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada