People love to look at beautiful images.  Images are the face of your business.   The simplicity of putting images together, Instagram has proven , in the last few years,  to be an effective platform for marketers to reach an audience in the new ways they want to be marketed to.  No matter what your business is it’s visual.  Your images and your thoughts behind them helps create a community to see your work and interact with you.  Expanding your audience is key to building your business and your reputation.  You have full control over your content and are free to express yourself anyway you see fit.

Instagram marketing by Summa Social breaks it down to four elements;  Design, Invite, Engage, and Convert.   The breakdown she provides is well thought out and direct.  For example the simple yet obvious “Design” your Instagram. We all know how to find and download an app and at this point we are fast to familiarize ourselves with new layouts fairly quickly.   However her point about using your name and then listing the company with is great advice, because we could change careers or perhaps our branding.  It’s our name that everyone will always know us for no matter where life brings us.  Also a little note after the company about yourself to personalize the profile is also good advice, because people want to feel like they know something intimate about you as a person.

My portfolio sessions are perfect for social media platforms.   I provide a variety of looks (meaning wardrobe) to help communicate who you are and what you have to offer. These sessions are great to post your products,  products with models, self portrait of you both casual and business.   I also cover a lot of “Dating & Personal Portraits” for those looking for love, perhaps a new job or to attract new clients.  

It’s important to follow people you want to follow and that can benefit your efforts.  Hashtags are important to allow others to find you in their searches.  Every company is visually and video based.  Understanding the value of hashtags is critical.  You can hashtag and give a location at the same time, this way people find you in their searches.  Hashtags and adding a location is also a great way to promote an event.  Hashtags are great to influence others with like minded search results.

For engagement Summa Social points out running a contest.  Contest gets you more Instagram followers and increased current followers to engage with your brand.   You must use a specific #hashtag for the contest by tagging their pictures of anything that represents the theme you’re presenting.  Ask followers to vote for their favorites and pick a winner. A random person could win something, say a portrait session. I for one never tried a contest, but perhaps it’s something to consider down the road. I’m still trying to wrap my head around #hashtags.

Blogging is another platform.  As Graeme Mitchell points out in Kodak video K-Zone,  blogging helped his business.  He directed by his friend who was a Web Director to put out an image once a week and not to stress what it is.  As a result Graeme found most of his new clients came from finding his blog rather than looking through his actual portfolio.  Blogging is a great way to enhance your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  Also linking all your platforms together also helps your SEO.   This website of mine is a great example of SEO.  Let’s face it I can’t just take pretty photos to stay in business.  We all have to wear many hats in today’s digital world.

The thing about all this technology is that it allows us to expand on our horizons and interact with one another (obvious I know)   The negative is keeping up with it all.  Right now Instagram seems to be in the lead because of how visual we.  Instagram allows us to scan through thousands of images and find what inspires us without having to read much.   Twitter is also great because its micro blogging and have a shortened link to a blog post on your site. Knowing how to present yourself and engage with the community takes time to finesse, but with trial and error you will figure it out overtime.  Just remember to be consistent, research, and engage and if you need some assistance in image making give me a call.  As a commercial photographer / videographer its my job to problem solve and create visuals that communicate your message.

Thank you for reading.  Happy #hashtagging
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