Turn Instagram Into A Traffic Engine with “Photos of You”

Even if you haven’t started your own Instagram account, you are no doubt familiar with the picture sharing website. While many businesses’ social media efforts focus on Facebook and Twitter, as a platform that focuses on visual sharing, Instagram can be incredibly useful for increasing online interaction, especially since Instagram “Photos of You” has been rolled out.

Instagram Can Increase Local Business 

Much like Facebook, Instagram now allows users to tag photos of themselves and other users, and because Instagram photos can be geotagged with Foursquare this makes Instagram particularly useful for businesses. I have been to local businesses that actively involve Instagram in their social media marketing strategy. Encore Thrift Shop, a new thrift store on Center Street in Provo, offers a 10% discount for customers that take a photo inside the store and mention them on Instagram. The reason they do this is because people use Instagram to find inspiration for places to go in the local community. Encore Thrift Shop receives business because of Instagram photos, mentions, and geotags, so they incentivize people to continue sharing and snapping pictures with a discount offer.

Like many other social media sites, Instagram has the power to spread the word about your business, especially because it can be combined with other social media platforms. Now that Instagram “Photos of You” exists, it makes it much easier for people to tag photos taken at local locations. This allows other users to not only see the business name but also the exact address at which the picture was taken.

How to Use Instagram for Your Business

  • Provide customers some incentive to Instagram
  • Highlight visually appealing store features
  • Create an Instagram account so your business can be tagged

While you may feel that your business doesn’t lend itself to this type of visual interaction, you would be surprised at what Instagram users are interested in. In a world where people are more frequently documenting the quotidian, a trip to the hardware store becomes a way for business social media opportunity.

If you want to get people to use Instagram to interact with your business, there are a few things you need to do to provide adequate incentive. The first would be to follow the promotional model and provide some sort of remuneration for Instagram photo snapping and tagging; even a small discount can make a big difference to the average customer and is a small price to pay for increased business exposure.

If you are wondering how to help Instagram users interact with your store because your physical premises do not provide visual stimulation, then you may also consider highlighting a unique store feature that people can photograph. Encore Thrift Shop has a coat that they keep in the store for people to try on and photograph themselves in, again providing customers a reason to share photographs of things inside the store and then post them on social media networks.

Understandably, Instagram lends itself to certain businesses more than others because of industry; however, since people are more readily documenting aspects of their daily lives, it definitely has potential to expand local business reach. If you think that Instagram has the potential to work for you, then create account, even if it’s just so that users can tag you in pictures. Remember, social media exposure is crucial to getting customers through your doors, so don’t underestimate the power of one small photo.


Constine, Josh. “Instagram Now Lets Anyone Tag You [Or Brands} in Photos, Adds Them to ‘Photos of You’ Profile Section.” http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/02/instagram-photo-tagging/. TechCrunch. (23 May, 2013).

Gayomali, Chris. “Instagram Grows Up: What Adding Photo Tags Means For Business.” The Week. http://theweek.com/article/index/243666/instagram-grows-up-what-adding-photo-tags-means-for-business. (23 May, 2013).

“Introducing Photos of You.” Instagram Blog. http://blog.instagram.com/post/49445004952/photosofyou. (23 May, 2013).

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