The use of the free mobile photo-sharing applications has skyrocketed in the past year, and thanks to its acquisition by Facebook and the launch of its new Web profiles feature, Instagram now has greater potential for businesses. Here are five creative ways to use it for your business:

1. Show the Goods: Feature the eyewear and eyecare products you offer. Perhaps highlight a lesser-known product, or zoom-in on a product, and engage your audience by asking them to guess what it is. Service-oriented businesses can post photos of the equipment and supplies that play a role in the services you provide. Post images of refraction equipment or maybe a “before and after” with a new flattering frame? Comparisons make for great content!

2. Show How You Made It: Your audience is interested in what you do and how things are made. Let them in on the origins of their eyewear with snapshots taken at various points in the manufacturing process. Take multiple photos as a multi-part post that follows the process from ordering through delivery.

3. Give Exclusive Access: Whether you are doing a photo shoot for a catalog or ad, filming a commercial, attending a trade show, or just preparing for a busy day, these are moments that your followers will not get to experience in their regular interactions with you. Give them a “backstage pass” and exclusive access to things on Instagram first, like new product launches and exciting announcements.

4. Highlight a Day in the Life: Your followers have likely wondered what it would be like to work at your business. Post photos that provide a glimpse of work areas, patient interaction, team meetings, employees at play—the opportunities here are endless. If you’re hiring, be sure to point people to your online job postings in the caption.

5. Love Your Peeps: Introduce your fans to the people who make your company what it is by spotlighting employees, patients, and friends. Your followers will get a chance to see the people behind the brand. Consider making this an ongoing campaign that introduces your favorite people to your followers.

All of these situations and campaigns will make for particularly shareable content, so be sure to publish the posts to Facebook and Twitter as well. Always include a link to your Instagram profile to encourage new followers and more sharing. Have fun with it!

Jessica Clark is a social media consultant for small business and an eight-year optical industry marketing veteran.

e-mail me at


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