These boots are made for sharing: Why Instagram is good for your marketing

Bronwyn Clee's boots - they launched her into Instagram

Bronwyn Clee's boots - they launched her into Instagram

What a way to celebrate a birthday!

On a day when I should be older and wiser, I am about to share a tale that some will find embarrassing, others will find uninteresting, while others will find curious.

It all revolves around a passion for boots.

There is something about boots that transforms ordinary legs into super heroes and yesterday I learned that one of my comments about someone’s boots led them to leap into a new social media channel in a single bound.

But this article is about more than just boots; it is about sharing rich snippets of your life or business quickly and easily through the week for the investment of a few seconds here and a few seconds there.

This is how fast-sharing media applications like Instagram and Tout can open doors for you and enliven your social media marketing.

These boots are made for walking

Darwin-based change agent, Bronwyn Clee, met with me in the peak of the Wet season this year, and she was wearing the boots pictured above.

As I often do when I am meeting with someone in boots, I passed comment on how striking they were – the photo does not do justice to the colour and shape.

We were meeting to discuss marketing and social media marketing, so I mentioned how little things that grab your attention often make for interesting photos and unexpected connections in social media channels, especially when snapped using a photo sharing service called Instagram.

As Bronwyn does, I have known her for a while now, she blogged about the moment: Warning: Gratitude and Instagram are addictive. You can read her take on things there.

And while a photo of boots might not be your cup of tea, there is more going on than meets the eye.

Instagram – say ‘shares’

Instagram is a free app for the iPhone and Android phones that allows you to:

  • take photos
  • treat them with special filters (black and white, sepia, 70s Kodachrome feel, bright, moody, etc)
  • share them instantly on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare
  • add comments with keywords and hashtags (placing the # symbol in front of words in Twitter and Instagram turns them into powerful indexing words that can help you get found by people interested in that term through search and networking)

What this means is that while you might be blogging weekly (if you are following my advice through The RITE Series you will be, and should be yielding some rewards by now), Instagram allows you to drizzle a few photos through your social networks over the rest of the week and in so doing:

  • remind some of your fans and followers that you are alive
  • teach Google more about topics you should be known for
  • stumble into conversations and connections with new people interested in your work
  • reveal more depth about you or your business among customers to aid their recall of you and give them new reasons to talk about you with their friends and colleagues

I have lost count of how many people have drawn themselves into any of my various social media networks through this simple act of sharing some images or video in an inspired 30 seconds here and there.

What about Tout?

Tout is another free app but this time it allows you to take 15 second videos with your smart phone and share them to your social networks.

It is not necessarily the best app in the world for this task, but it is easy to set up and start sharing.

Here is something I just whipped up to make my point.


Some ideas for using these spontaneous sharing tools

If you are in retail, share Instagram pics of your window display or products from all sorts of angles  – you can get up close with your phone – to surprise and pique our curiosity.

If you are a service provider, share some snaps from the road or on the job – Jon from Dunwrights Electrical, I’d love to see you sharing some quick snaps of things you confront up in roofs and out in industrial building sites.

If you are in tourism, share some snaps of what people will get to experience if they allow you to show them the Territory.

If you are a craftsperson, artist, builder, car salesperson, teacher – anyone – show us some glimpses of life behind the scenes. These insights can help us appreciate your dedication and experience.

Let us see your tools of trade or things you do when you are not in front of us.

And that brings us back to the boots.

In Bronwyn’s case, it was perfectly fine sharing those boots because they do convey aspects of her vibrant personality. You do not have to share yours.

The best way to view these tools is as an extension of your solid, word-based marketing efforts. Just continue those themes and capture moments in a richer, complementary way.

Happy snapping.

So sometime this week or weekend, have a play with one of these tools, I suggest starting with Instagram, and see if it will

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