GUEST POST BY BRIT CHANDLER
As a small business owner, and social media consultant, I know how frustrating it is to constantly come up with fresh and interesting content for Instagram (along with all of your other social platforms). Some of you may live in a perfectly styled home with furnishings and decor that matches your business, so taking photos that are on-brand is easy. And what about the captions? To many, writing eloquently on the fly is an effortless task. The rest of us may find ourselves in a dimly lit apartment that is less than desirable for gram-worthy photos, and we can’t think of anything to write other than “look at this picture I took". So how do we fill our feeds with attractive and cohesive images and engagement-worthy captions? Here are my 5 tips for what to post on Instagram.
1. About You
Please introduce yourself to your audience. If I could pick one piece of advice that has stuck with me through my years in the creative industry, it's that people buy from people. Show your followers the authentic you. This could include headshots or images of you working on your craft, a snap of your workspace, or shots of your favorite things (your go-to morning beverage, a shot of your journal, etc). If you are a locally-based business, support and promote other small businesses by visiting them and sharing photos, with a caption about why you love their business. This not only gives you content for your social feeds, but it also opens up the door for networking with local businesses that may share your target market.
2. Sneak Peeks
This concept piggy backs on my last tip, but also gives you the opportunity to get people excited about things that are happening in your business, like an upcoming product launch. Sneak a shot of a new painting you are working on, or a new fabric that you just bought for your winter line. Have yo u been building a lifestyle photography portfolio to offer in-home sessions soon? Share what is “coming soon”, so when it arrives, your audience is already informed about it, and more likely to make a purchase.
3. Products & Services
If you sell products, I highly suggest taking styled photos of them. Showcase your products used in the context they are intended for. Do you make baby accessories? Style a flat lay image with other cute baby goods, or find a baby to model your products and take some lifestyle shots. If you offer a service like wedding planning, share images taken at your latest event. This is a great opportunity to hype your business and what you have to offer.
4. Tips & Helpful Resources
No matter who your target audience is, you have an expertise that can help them in some way. Are you a graphic designer? Give tips for curating a recognizable brand. Do you own a wedding venue? Share 3 tips for a more streamlined wedding day. You have an extensive knowledge base, and by sharing that, you are helping your audience build trust in you and your business.
5. Customer Generated Content
This is something that I often see businesses, big and small, not taking advantage of. Do you have a product that customers can’t help but share a photo of? Do you have a hashtag that is constantly being used for great Instagram posts? Reach out to those who have purchased a product or engaged with your business, and ask them if you can share their post. Be sure to tag and thank them in the caption. Another way to gene rate customer content is by sharing testimonials (or even kind comments from an email). I always recommend asking for permission to share prior to posting, but typically happy clients love to support you and your business!