It’s a fact: pic­tures speak to us in ways that words nev­er will, right?

For instance, here is what the Social Media Man­ag­er for flash sale trav­el site Jet­set­ter had to say about Pin­ter­est:

We were look­ing for a fun way to involve our com­mu­ni­ty to help us curate the world’s best trav­el expe­ri­ences. Pin­ter­est gave us a forum to engage with our most pas­sion­ate advo­cates in a mean­ing­ful, cre­ative, and com­pelling way.”

Images tell sto­ries; they cap­ture our imag­i­na­tion, and entice us to engage in ways that words often don’t.

3 Ways to Use Pin­ter­est and Instra­gram to Build Rela­tion­ships

If you agree with me in the­o­ry, but are stumped as to exact­ly how and where to start with build­ing rela­tion­ships on Insta­gram and Pin­ter­est, I am going to out­line 3 ways you can make it hap­pen. Of course, this is ignor­ing the use of Ingramer or anoth­er sim­i­lar Insta­gram bot, which per­forms auto­mat­ed actions such as lik­ing, fol­low­ing, and post­ing, instead of you hav­ing to do it your­self. But hope­ful­ly you will find this advice use­ful and this way you may be able to get more fol­low­ers than on the danielle bre­goli insta­gram page!

And as always, please don’t for­get to share your ideas with me at the end of this post!

1. Get Real

Image cour­tesy of the Boston Bru­ins Insta­gram page

Images are great for putting a more human face on your busi­ness or brand. While oth­er social media plat­forms shine when it comes to shar­ing and pro­mot­ing writ­ten con­tent, these image-rich sites allow for unprece­dent­ed lev­els of casu­al, rela­tion­al shar­ing.

Be proac­tive about shar­ing fun, spon­ta­neous pic­tures. These could be pic­tures of your­self, your dog, your com­pa­ny, or your employ­ees.

You could even show­case loy­al cus­tomers by hav­ing a ‘cus­tomer of the week’ board on Pin­ter­est, or share real-time cus­tomer images on Insta­gram so fans feel like they are ‘real­ly there’.

2. Invite Pho­to-Shar­ing

There are two ways you can do this:

1. Through cre­at­ing pho­to-shar­ing con­tests, or
2. just by sim­ply ask­ing fans to share their favorite images.

#1: Pho­to-Shar­ing Con­tests

What bet­ter way to invite engage­ment than by incor­po­rat­ing pho­to-shar­ing into a con­test or give­away?

Jet­set­ter, for instance, launched an online scav­enger hunt , ask­ing their fans to pin images from the Jet­set­ter web­site to Pin­ter­est. The result? Not only did the com­pa­ny undoubt­ed­ly receive a huge influx of traf­fic to their site, but their fans cre­at­ed over 800 boards and 16,000 pins.

How’s that for user engage­ment?

#2: Pho­to-Shar­ing, Just Because They Want to!

High-end retail­er Tiffany & Co recent­ly launched a down­load­able Insta­gram fil­ter that allows it’s fol­low­ers to sub­mit their own love pho­tos.

They also launched a cam­paign to pho­to­graph real-life love sto­ries in Paris and New York, inspir­ing fans to share their own ‘pho­to-sto­ries’.

3. Col­lab­o­rate with Oth­er Busi­ness­es in Your Indus­try

Both of these sites can be fan­tas­tic for engag­ing with oth­er busi­ness own­ers or blog­gers in your niche or indus­try.

Using the prin­ci­ple of ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’, shar­ing images from com­pli­men­ta­ry busi­ness­es can not only be a first step to build­ing a mutu­al­ly-ben­e­fi­cial rela­tion­ship, but it can sup­ple­ment your own con­tent beau­ti­ful­ly.

For instance, the team at Etsy had the idea to launch a ‘guest pin­ner ‘ pro­gram. By invit­ing inspi­ra­tional pin­ners to con­tribute to guest boards, they are not only build­ing rela­tion­ships with Etsy store own­ers and experts in the field, but they have a steady stream of unique, inspi­ra­tional con­tent being post­ed to their boards.

When using Pin­ter­est and Insta­gram to build rela­tion­ships – whether that’s with poten­tial cus­tomers, influ­en­tial blog­gers, or oth­er busi­ness own­ers – the key is to remem­ber it’s all about ‘give and take’.

Invite col­lab­o­ra­tion, shar­ing, and above all, inter­ac­tion. Repin, com­ment, and share when appro­pri­ate, and you’re well on your way to forg­ing new rela­tion­ships and solid­i­fy­ing old ones.

What are some cre­ative ways that you’re using Pin­ter­est and Insta­gram for your busi­ness? Would you agree that pic­tures have the poten­tial to cre­ate greater engage­ment and inter­ac­tion? Why or why not?


Sep 10, 2013 / Mus­ings

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