Men taking a picture of a man sitting in flower bed
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It’s no secret that the social photo sharing trend has exploded into a revolution. Social photo sharing sites not only give you the utilitarian ability to share photos, but to do so in style. The photo sharing social networking platform, Instagram, is the leader of the pack in this regard.

All from your mobile device you can take photos and post them on a feed to your friends. You can even sync your Instagram feed with other popular social networks, like Twitter and Facebook.

But if you’ve been around the web for the past few years, this is old news. If you work in marketing or sales, what you’re really after is how to use Instagram as a lead generation tool.

Instagram & Lead Generation

For the uninitiated, lead generation is all about generating interest from potential customers in your product. In today’s marketplace, curious customers are looking to your company to solve that problem. With that in mind, today’s prospective customers are visual. Sure, you can write a bunch of valuable blog and social media posts, but your prospects want to see what you’re talking about.

This is where Instagram comes into play. Not only are you sharing photos with your audience, but you’re sharing a personal, visual element of your brand in real time. It gives your audience a sense that they’re in on the ground floor peering into the culture of your company. It creates community.

Let’s look at five key ways you can and should use Instagram in your lead generation strategy.

Five Lead Generation Tips for Instagram

  1. Share Staff Photos - Sharing staff photos and company events gives followers the inside scoop about your company. It also gives you a chance to introduce your staff to the general public, and show off the people that use their talent to enhance your brand. It puts human faces on a brand that your followers would otherwise be unable to connect with. In a way, this humanizes your brand and makes it more accessible to your followers.
  2. Showcase Your CSR Initiatives - Another way to humanize your brand is to take pictures of your company engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Showcase events where your company is engaging in the social good of the community. Does your company volunteer at a soup kitchen every year? Post photos of your Chief Marketing Office serving food to the homeless. Let the world see your humanity.
  3. Show off Your Products - In addition to sharing photos of staff members and CSR events, you should definitely use Instagram as a platform for showing off your actual products. After all, the whole reason you’re using Instagram in the first place is to get potential customers to become paying customers. You’d be doing yourself a great disservice if you didn’t leverage Instagram as a platform for showcasing products to your followers.
  4. Engage With Other Brands on Instagram - While it isn’t exactly second nature to engage with other brands on Instagram, it is definitely possible. The best way to do this is to like and comment on other company’s photos. This goes a long way to demonstrate that you’re trying to invest in creating an Instagram community. It may even give you some valuable leads in the process.
  5. Personalize Your Hashtags - Finally, don’t underestimate the power of personalized Instagram hashtags. However, if you do go down the hashtag road, it’s important to understand the nature of hashtags. They’re only there to make your brand or profile more visible through search. Do not use arbitrary phrases just because they are humorous or entertaining. Unless they are built around searchable keywords, they will not help your lead generation strategy at all.