It's a fact: pictures speak to us in ways that words never will, right?
In some cases, text will do a better job of accomplishing our goals: for instance, if I wanted to do a detailed tutorial on ‘how to write a blog post', text would obviously work far better.
But in terms of building relationships? I would argue that images go a long way to connecting with people on a heart-level, rather than simply on an intellectual level.
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.
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?