Get out your pink paint. Or your coral, or yellow, or teal. By the time you finish reading this column, you’re going to be painting one wall of your small business a color that will “pop” on Instagram. Why? Because Instagram is today’s powerhouse social media site for consumer businesses. If you can give customers an inviting way to post to Instagram, you’ll be getting them doing your advertising for free.
A few years ago, if you wanted to reach retail consumers, the social media site of choice was Facebook. While it may still be good for reaching certain demographics, many consumers—especially Millennial female consumers—love Instagram. If the stuff they’re looking at is eye-popping—either pretty or visually interesting—they’re going to be more likely to engage with you on Instagram and eventually buy from you. (Instagram is owned and operated by Facebook.)
Some businesses are actually being formed JUST for Instagram. The “Museum of Ice Cream” is not actually a museum, but an extended Instagram backdrop. This installation, with a permanent location in San Francisco and a travelling exhibit that appeared in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, has lines around the block, with folks waiting to pay $38 to get in to take their pics in ice-cream-themed settings.
There’s also a Color Factory, Museum of Pizza, and Rose Mansion—all basically giant Instagram photo booths, with settings (and lighting) that makes Instagram photos irresistible. In fact, the picture I currently use on my Instagram account was taken at the Museum of Ice Cream. Check it out: https://www.instagram.com/rhondaabrams/
Make it easy for customers to take great pictures to post, such as PaintBox Nails in New York City. They installed an Instagram camera space in their Soho nail art salon. PaintBox did a couple of other things right that helped them get a whopping 172 thousand Instagram followers. They included their company name in the background where customers take their pics, and they created a hashtag they use consistently to help people find and follow them.
Remember, hashtags are important! Use them to help your posts go viral.
Copyright Rhonda Abrams, 2019
This article originally ran in USA Today on January 17, 2019