Should your business be on Instagram or Flickr (or both?)

As a content and social media firm, we are often asked which channels a company needs to be part of.  Today I’d like to make the case for adding Instagram and Flickr to your social media mix.

Let’s state a couple premises we operate from at the outset:

1.  No matter how much Google AdWords has trained us, not everything is trackable.  The classic example is the Instagramcustomer who has heard about you from two different friends, seen you on Facebook, and calls after getting a direct mail piece.  Do you credit that sale to a direct mail or would the customer have eventually contacted you based on the personal referrals and/or fb visibility.  In social media, as in life, 50% (or more) of success is just consistently showing up.  Adding one or two more channels to your social media mix is only a marginal increase in time spent.

2.  Visual mediums are not restricted to visual products.  Instagram and Flickr curate photos, it is true, but you can also insert infographics and pictures of your stuff, special occasions, and interesting happenings (Just because you make an “uninteresting widget” doesn’t mean you can’t have an interesting account).

With those two premises in mind:

a.  Do you want to reach a younger, tech-savvy, social audience?  Instagram is great for that.  Both Instagram and flickr have tools to allow people to “discover” using hashtags.  While facebook and Google+ are now getting into this game also, it is at the heart of Instagram and is a great way to engage your audience.  One example?  Throwback Thursday, also known as #tbt.  It’s a way to have a “retro” shot.  Here’s a creative way I did this on my personal account a few weeks

b.  Do you want to challenge yourself and your team to be more creative in your outreach?  Nothing like a visual format to force that.  You’ll be amazed at the insights gained and thought processes formed by creating and maintaining good Instagram/Flickr accounts.

c.  Do you want to discover new resources and inspiration for yourself, even as you seek to share yourself?  Something great about this medium is you have so many opportunities to be inspired yourself.  Check out Red Bull or Ben and Jerry’s for cool ideas as to how to make your Instagram sing.

d.  Do you like to break up the routine of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+?  These channels, which only the best of your competitors are on, will give you a real chance to not just differentiate yourself, but also break up the routine of those other channels as you cross-post and cross-promote.

Yes, it’s “one more thing” in social media – but it’s something that can be thought through, added, and maintained.  If you want help, reach out and contact us!