Digital Influence Weekly – Business Instagrammar


Not all mobile apps are created equal. A Tooth Fairy app, which helps parents determine the value of a kid’s tooth, actually exists. Shouldn’t parents be able to determine what’s appropriate and what they can afford when leaving money under a kid’s pillow? Personally I’d rather have an app that helps me locate the nearest tissue box.

And now the Digital Influence Weekly…

Digital Influencer

You have probably heard your kids talking about Instagram and may not have paid much attention until you noticed the New York Times or Wall Street Journaldiscussing its acquisition and $1 billion valuation by Facebook. The deal has been reported this week to have closed. 

As a quick refresher for those who don’t have an account, Instagram is a social network built around photos uploaded by your iPhone or Android device. The benefit of using Instagram is that it has filters that help give your photo a beautiful look. There are other apps that improve your photos, but with over 80 million users and more than 4 billion uploaded photos (and the $1 billion valuation) this one reigns supreme. 

Photo strategies for social media to influence purchasing decisions and branding is not new. Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, blogs, Tumblr and Pinterest for example also rely heavily on images to drive conversation and real time reporting. All the business strategies which apply to those networks can apply to Instagram as well:

• Hold a photo contest to encourage uploads of positive images regarding your business.
• Search for your brand on Instagram to see how people visually identify with your brand.
• Create an account for your business to creatively illustrate your product or target demographic.

For more on how businesses are using Instagram you can find more information on their site.

How does a non consumer business use Instagram?

First, if you don’t think your industry is on Instagram, think again. If you don’t want to download the app on your mobile device, you can still search by tags or topics on desktop programs such as or Search for “oilandgas” and you’ll see some breathtaking photos of oil rigs from around the world in a whole new light. These photos aren’t being taken by professional photographers, but they’re so amazing, you may want to hang them up on your office walls. 

WAIT! They’re not being taking by professional photographers (not all of them anyways). That means you also need to address Instagram with your employees and in your social media policy to keep them from posting photos which may reveal sensitive information or unprofessional behavior. 

Once that issue is addressed, start using it proactively in conjunction with your Facebook or Twitter accounts or on its own. Use to promote any of the following:

• Speaking engagements which demonstrate thought leadership.
• Booth promotion at conferences.
• Press conferences, ribbon cuttings, ground breakings and other major announcements.
• Products and services even if it’s non-consumer focused. If you think it’s exciting enough to sell, share that excitement with an amazing photo.
• Get the attention of journalists who frequently use social media personally and professionally.

With Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, expect their functionality and appeal to continue to grow. Find out more at