Instagram for Business: How Businesses of All Shapes and Sizes Use Instagram


I love Instagram – love love love. There is something addictive and inspiring about looking at beautiful photos. It always surprises me that more small businesses don’t take advantage of Instagram – it’s such a great way to introduce your brand to new people and engage with your current fans.

For businesses, the question always is: What on earth am I supposed to share on Instagram? Here are the tips I have gleaned from using Instagram for business, courtesy of the businesses that I follow:

Llama in Montana Share surprising or delightful photos

National Geographic and The Sartorialist both do this. Just today, The Sartorialist shared a black and white photo of himself and a friend wearing an elephant and tiger mask. Silly, surprising and fun.

National Geographic shared a photo yesterday of a llama in Montana, complete with a little story about how llamas open up the more time you spend with them. Interesting, huh?

Share details big and small

From the Right Bank’s Ally is on vacation in California right now, and she’s been sharing detail shots from her trip, like strands of lights against the sky at dusk, a plate of oysters, and a palm-tree lined pool. All gorgeous.

Another interior designer I follow is Alexandra Design Finds, who has been sharing “design finds” from her recent trip to Arizona, like a fabulous room at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art that gives new meaning to “color.”

Share landscapes

I will never get tired of looking at beautiful landscapes, and National Geographic Travel and The Sartorialist feed this endless hunger. Landscapes transport you and create strong feelings of “I need to go there!” You can’t get more engaging than that!

Share part of your world

Everyone I have mentioned so far shares their world with the viewer – even the photographers at National Geographic. They add thoughtful text describing the scene and how it affected or what it meant to them – a great way to introduce your brand to you.

Share videos!

Don’t forget that Instagram now allows you to share short videos. I still don’t see this very often, so your video will stand out. One recent fave was National Geographic’s time lapse video of rain moving through the high alps in France at dusk.

Do you use Instagram for your small business? What kind of photos generate the most engagement?