Instagram, the free, fun, and oh so hip photo-sharing app is a big deal these days. When Facebook buys you for $1 billion dollars, it’s safe to say that you are here to stay. Instagram is just plain fun and it can also be a powerful tool for your creative business. Imagine giving customers a sneak peek at your creative vision with one quick click of your camera phone. Instagram can help you tell the story of your brand, through pictures. If you haven’t tried Instagram and are wondering what all the buzz is about, let me introduce you.
With Instagram, you can take photos right on your phone and turn them into creative pieces of art with the use of a variety of filters. Make your photos look sun kissed, dark and mysterious or give them that lovely vintage look and then share them instantly on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. You can make your gallery public or private and similar to Twitter and Facebook; follow friends, businesses, and public figures. Instagram is indeed a social media tool and users interact around their photography, liking and commenting on each other’s photos. Plus, you can add location and let followers know where each photo was taken.
What I like best about Instagram is that it can be as much of an art form as you want it to be. Through the use of other phone camera apps, like Camera +, and Big Lens, you can take photos, edit them through multiple apps and filters, and post them on Instagram after the final edit. Instagrammers who use the app as an art form often share their creative process, like what other apps they used and what filters helped to give their photo that special look. The artistic process can be really involved, or you can get instant gratification and take photos with Instagram put them through a filter and post them immediately.
Instagram is a great way to give your friends, followers and customers a peek inside your creative world, letting them see what inspires you first hand and watch your creative process unfold. I started using Instagram to help support my business about 6 months ago. I found it to be a great way to get my feet wet when it came to using social media as a way to interact with my customers. I rarely post new products, or business related announcements on Instagram. I save those for Facebook and Twitter. Instead I use Instagram as a way for my customers to learn a little bit about me. What makes me tick, my surroundings, friends, and the things I enjoy when I’m not in the studio.
Whether it is photos of Dolores Park, dinner at a yummy San Francisco restaurant or some shots of interesting finds on my morning walk, posting pictures gives me a chance to interact with my customers in a common creative space. After all, they are also on Instagram, posting photos of their own. It’s a creative outlet for both of us, and a chance to collaborate, in a small way with the people who support and enjoy my designs. Not only is it a great way for my current customers to get to know me, it is also another avenue to expand the base of my business. Some of my followers who found me through my photos on Instagram have become loyal Zelma Rose customers.
Photography isn’t for everyone, and maybe Instagram isn’t your thing, but if you are unsure how to get started, there are lots of great groups on Instagram that communicate through # (hash tags) just like on Twitter. I like the Fat Mum Slim photo a day project. Each month Fat Mum Slim blogger Chantelle assigns a list of things to photograph each day for an entire month. I found it really helpful when starting out to have assignments, plus you can search on Instagram for other people participating in the same project. It’s a great way to find and gain followers and a fun new way to promote your brand.
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Stitch is on Instagram too! Follow us @StitchLabs.
This is the first guest post of a few to come from Lisa Anderson Shaffer of Zelma Rose. Lisa's been a loyal customer and passionate advocate of Stitch for awhile now, and we're honored to have her on board as a guest blogger now, too!
We've also been fortunate to have had her write a few feature stories about her experience using Stitch to manage her business.
Check em out:
- Craft Business Tools: Stitch Labs Helps Crafters Hold Their Business Together
- Craft Business Tools: Taking Stitch Labs Inventory Management System for a Test Drive