Marketing: How to Make Your Boring Biz Pop on Instagram

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this week and besides talking stock and non-existant Facebook phones, he dropped a little not-so-humble braggadocio on the audience: Instagram has 100 million users, adding 20 million just since July. Holy growth!

Obviously with Instagram's massive audience, you and your company would want to get in on some of that sweet photography action, amirite? Well, maybe. With every social network, you're going to need a plan of attack.

Marketing For Small Business on Instagram


How will you sustain your presence?
What will you take photos of?
How will you engage your audience in a way you can't otherwise?
What are the benefits of being on Instagram for your business?

I don't mean to be a buzzkill, but you'll want to dig deep and answer those questions before you start snapping and sharing images of your food in the break room. This could be even harder if you have a so-called "boring" business on your hands. Guess what - even the most vanilla businesses can look hot and sexy on Instagram in the right light. Or with the right filter, as it were. To offer up some inspiration, I've listed a few examples of how relatively plain, non-sexy, dorky, or regulated industries are using the social network to their advantage and totally rocking their business in photo form after the break.



  • General Electric — GE isn't glamorous, it's practical. But the company gives customers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day and in the process, turns mundane objects into something a million times more interesting. How? Framing. Learn how to frame your images with the rule of thirds, and then breeze through a site like Digital Photography School for more photography tips. Instagram is visual, so even if the only thing you have to photograph is car parts at your auto repair shop, learning how to make them look interesting is key.
  • Nasa Goddard — It's Instagram in space! NASA gives followers a birds- (and space shuttle) eye view of earth through their photos, but with one important addition - extremely detailed descriptions of each image. Consider doing the same for any newsworthy items or products of your own. Include prices, availability, quotes, even benefits and use information since reporters can use that image, and your supplemental caption, for on-the-fly stories without needing to call you for a quote.
  • NBCNews — NBC News' use of hashtags allows users to submit their own photos to the digital storybook and continue the conversation on Twitter for real-time feedback. Highlight your hashtag on images with a little app called Over ($1). Over lets you upload a pic, choose from a plethora of beautiful fonts, size, align, and color your font right on your mobile phone. No fancy Photoshop required.

Are you already on Instagram? I'd love to hear how your small business utilizing the social network and any tips you have for beginners in the comments below.

Source: GE