This may be an unpopular opinion, but to me the selfie (in itself) is the lowest form of social media interaction. So when I found out that a recent Georgia Tech study evidenced that Instagram posts with faces (not just selfies mind you) prominently featured in them received 38% more “likes” I was a little surprised. Just a little.
You see, I already knew this to be true, just not to the reported extent. I love Instagram. I spend at least 30 minutes a day on it, and have even posted on the subject on how Instagram hashtags can help your business very recently. On numerous occasions I’ll post subject-matter photos (scenery, attractions, etc…) of my travels that I am certain rival National Geographic’s best landscape work only to have the “likes” trickle in like a slow leaky faucet that keeps you up at night. Once in awhile however I put aside my modesty and throw a photo of the exact same scenery, using the exact same hashtags, but with yours truly standing in front of it. All of a sudden that faucet of “likes” goes from a drip to a steady flow. While I would like to think that it’s my parents’ genetics that resulted in this boost in social media engagement the credit cannot go to them. Instead this is the nature of users on social media – they connect better to posts that have that personal touch, regardless the mug staring at them.
Many businesses fail to see how this 38% increase in engagement relates to them as a company but I can safely say that it impacts you (business owner) even more than the general public. Brands desperately need to convey personality on social media far more than an individual ever could. Thus in today’s blog post I tell you how you can use the concept of the Instagram selfie to not only grow your social network presence but to attract business.
How to Use Faces on Your Brand’s Instagram Profile to Attract Customers
1. Post Pics of Your Staff to Enhance Public Facing Corporate Personality
Start showcasing your corporate persona to the online public via Instagram. Consumer trust goes up when they associate a business with the faces behind it. Did your CEO compete in a local charity golf tournament or marathon? Did the office celebrate a staff member’s birthday party? Did a promising new hire join the team? These are all perfect opportunities to snap a few pics and post them on your Instagram. Gone are the days where brands keep the corporate curtain closed. Show the public your faces and they will show you their money.
2. Post Images of Customers Using Your Product/Service
This tactic of course depends upon the nature of your business. If the use of your product or service makes for fairly interesting subject matter then you should definitely begin taking photos of willing customers enjoying your product/service. For example one of my favorite beachfront eateries in Waikiki makes a habit of sending their hostesses out onto the floor with a camera asking tables of casual diners if they would like to have their photo taken. The hostess informs them that the photo will be made available online on the eatery’s Facebook and Instagram the very next day. In this circumstance where customers are engaged and in good spirits they are more than willing to pose for the camera. Followers of their (the eatery) social profiles enjoy seeing “real people” (with whom they can identify with) and boost the social signals for the brand by “liking” the images. Any business operating in the industry likes of leisure, entertainment, and travel can greatly benefit by showing off the smiling faces of their customers “in the act”.
3. Post Pictures of Satisfied Customers as Testimonials
Us suspicious folk don’t necessarily trust a textual customer testimonial on a website BUT when we see that a customer/client has allowed a photo of themselves to be used as a post- purchase pictorial affidavit on a social network our tendency to trust the message skyrockets. For example, if you are a real estate professional and you just sold a home to a couple that is clearly happy with the entire experience welcome them to pose along side of you for your Instagram profile. These satisfied customers are often more than happy to do so as they too want to proudly show off their recent purchase. A picture is worth a thousand words and a pictured testimonial follows the same suit.
In conclusion, be sure to feature your brand’s Instagram profile on your website so that visitors can see how you have chosen to personally connect with the public in this effective and open social format. Follow the above steps and you’ll be on the way to turning the concept of the selfie into a true consumer engagement strategy.