100 million users and is growing quarter over quarter making it a place where brands can connect with their target audience: But how? How can you use photos to connect with your consumers? Well, just follow the four tips below!

1. Conduct a 10-Minute Morning Photoshoot

When you arrive to the office every morning, make your coffee, respond to urgent emails and then set-off to do a 10-minute photoshoot. Some things you could take pictures of:
  • Items on your desk
  • Your product in different environments
  • People on your team
  • Screenshots of your latest blog posts
  • Your customers before/after using your product.
Take these pictures using your regular camera app or another app that isn’t Instagram. You don’t want to post these photos all right away, you simply want to gather a bunch of photos that you can post throughout the day. Snap lots of photos during your 10-minute photo shoot. You may not use every photo you take, but it’s good to have a gallery to choose from. Here’s a behind-the-scenes photo from a Birchbox video shoot: And here’s a photo of some branded cookies on a desk at Exact Target: On Instagram, your customers want the opportunity to feel connected with the people behind the brand as much as the brand itself. Don’t post product pictures off of your website – those are too business-y for Instagram. Instead, let the company culture and the personality of your employees shine through.

2. Track (and Use) Relevant Hashtags

When posting to Instagram, just like any other social network, you want your pictures to be seen by many people. This means you should research relevant hashtags and use them in your posts when appropriate. Within the Instagram app you can research hashtags using the Explore tab: You can also use the website, Statigram, to research popular hashtags.

3. Choose the Best Filters to Improve Photos

Most users getting ready to post a photo to Instagram simply cycle through all of the filters to see which one makes their picture look the best. When posting on behalf of your brand, it may be helpful to know what each filter does to help you decide which one to use. The Next Web has put together a helpful guide explaining each filter – you can read the full guide here. And here’s a sampling of what you will find in the guide on filters:
  • Amaro – Adds more light to your image, but focuses it mostly towards the center.
  • Rise – Gives images a nice glow and provides softer lighting on the subject.
  • Hudson – Gives your image an icy look. The slight tint and altered lighting give these images a colder feel.
Knowing what each filter does can help you select the best one; however, in my opinion, you should just go by what looks right. 
Try a couple different filters out on each of your photos that are ready for posting and roll with the one that looks best. 

4. Add a Call-to-Action

While many of the photos you share on Instagram will be ones that highlight the culture of your company and personalities of your employees, some of them should have a call-to-action (CTA). In some cases, the CTA may be to directly purchase a product. For example, whenever Diamond Candles introduces a new scent they post about it on Instagram like this:

You can see the CTA (“Shop our newest #candle scent”) in the caption area and the URL for where the new scent can be purchased is right on the photo. In other cases you might run a contest and include a CTA about how to enter:

And in a third scenario you might simply ask your Instagram followers to complete some simple task like following you on a second social network:

The great news here is that you can use an app like Diptic to add text to your images and then you can use these images again on other social networks if that makes sense.

Getting Started Today

Kickstarting your Instagram account is something that you can do today.

Just begin with your 10-minute photo shoot and start posting some fun pictures to Instagram using the appropriate hashtags.

Need help getting started? Tweet to use @TOFUMarketing and we’ll be happy to answer your questions!


TJ has worked in the digital marketing space since 2006. He has worked at a number of agencies and and helped hundreds of clients grow their business through SEO, PPC, Social Media and Content Marketing. He currently lives in Lehi , UT and enjoys spending time with his family.