The word business can these days be used to describe two completely different beasts. On the one hand, you have the lumbering dinosaur of a business that is still stuck in the 90's. That organization uses a bland logo that is vaguely meaningless, it has a stark white website, and it dare not show any personality for fear of looking somewhat less professional.
At the other end of the spectrum is the modern business that is using social media to its fullest to promote itself. This company knows that being a little quirky and showing personality will help it to stand out from the crowd, and it knows
The latter organization is of course the one that is more likely to thrive in the digital age. And if the dinosaurs can learn one thing from them, it should be to use a little more photography in their marketing.
An image will create an emotional impact in a visitor, and can deliver a huge amount of information in a second. If you land on a homepage and see a large image that clearly communicates what that company does, then you will much more quickly know if there’s any point hanging around.
Moreover, images like this elicit an emotional response – which can often translate into a sale. Whether it’s anxiety, dissatisfaction, inspiration, desire, or jealousy… all these things can make us click “buy” even when we don’t really need a product. As Alan Glynn says in Under the Night: it’s not about finding out what people want, but making people want things!
Images – and especial social media Stories – are ideal for letting an audience get to know you, which in turn is perfect for building trust and increasing engagement.
Better yet is how quick and easy posting a Story to Instagram is. Most mobile devices will allow you to simply share an image straight from your camera or photo gallery and as it's all visual there's no need to think of anything witty to say. You literally just point and click then hit upload to make your point and start getting views. There's no expectation either for you to upload something every day, so you won't risk making an account that immediately looks and feels like a ghost town. While many businesses recommend two posts daily, others say this can actually be overkill and that two a week is enough!
Compared to something like a blog post – or even a Twitter tweet then, Instagram really doesn't require much of an investment of time and will let you rapidly create a following for yourself. And seeing as you can easily share your Instagram images to Facebook and Twitter this can even make it easier for you to keep on top of those accounts.
This is a big reason that many celebrities have taken to Instagram and Twitter over more complex social sites like Facebook – it lets them stay in touch with millions of fans while maintaining their hectic schedules. If you want to learn more about branding, you car read my article which goes into more detail about using social media stories for personal branding