I love social media; I was an early adopter of Twitter and I have stuck with Facebook despite all of their changes. I like the way these platforms allow me to connect with people I don’t see or hear from in my everyday life, but even more than that, I like the way they allow me to grow my personal brand and reach my readers.
My favorite social media platform, though, is Instagram, a photo program that can be hooked to Twitter or Facebook. Instagram allows users to take a photo, edit it using built in filters, and post with a short caption — all from a smart phone. If you believe that a picture is worth a thousand words, then Instagram is perfect for you — and your brand.
I snap all sorts of photos with my cell phone, pictures of my kids and my lunch and — most frequently — what I’m wearing. In June I did a “Thirty Days of Getting Dressed” challenge with my readers; each day, I posted a picture of my outfit and tagged it #getdressed; readers could do the same. I was able to track the photos using the hash tag and see who was wearing what. It was a nice way to connect with the community of women who read my blog, and to see their faces (or at least their clothes).
Instagram offers brands a unique way to connect with clients and customers (or, in my case, readers). Because it is a photo-based app, it allows followers to have a glimpse into my life — and in my case, my brand is closely associated with my life. Other more traditional brands, like Kate Spade, use Instagram in the same way, except rather than seeing the person behind the cell phone camera, followers see a carefully crafted vignette of life as a Kate Spade consumer. And while words can be persuasive, pictures are often more so — particularly when we’re talking about fashion and lifestyle brands.
Instagram offers followers an intimate look at a blogger or brand, one that feels inherently personal. My followers see my closet and my kids and my life; it’s an easy way to share what’s new and fun at my house without having to write copy. No matter what size your brand, this kind of immediate, up-close connection with consumers is valuable; you want customers to feel like they are part of your community, and Instagram is a simple way to do that.
Image via Susan Wagner.