A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook recently asked about using Instagram for her chamber of commerce:
Who has an Instagram account for their Chamber? How do you use it to benefit your organization? I’m trying to figure out how to have a Chamber Instagram page and a personal one as well. Can you have two Instagram accounts under the same e-mail?
Instagram, like many social networks, requires a different email for each account so you have the inconvenience of having to sign in and out when managing your personal and chamber accounts.
Instagram is Great for Chambers
There are a lot of ways to use Instagram for your chamber. Here are a couple of tips:
Tell your story. Instagram allows you to tell your chamber story in a very engaging and meaningful way. Yes, you can capture all of the fun of an event but you can also allow members to see the behind the scenes work. A silly staff picture or a shot of your chamber ED burning the midnight oil (the shot taken unbeknownst to him or her) exposes the personality behind your chamber.
Make the ordinary, extraordinary. Allow your members to see another side of your chamber operations. Capture some lighthearted moments or take pictures of random things in your office (especially those with an interesting story). For example, take a look at the picture in this post. At first it looks like a picture of very serious signage for a veteran’s group but look closer and you see a little army man. Love a group with a subtle sense of humor.
Build connections. Connecting your Instagram account to your other chamber social media profiles and using those profiles to link to your account will help your social media followers know that you use Instagram.
Post consistently. Like most social media profiles, you want to post consistently. By consistently, I don’t mean the same day of the week. I mean often enough that people will enjoy seeing the shots and you’ll be in their streams frequently. If you have lots of pictures from an event, try spacing the posting out for maximum audience reach. Offer an amazing shot as a “sneak peak” and then post the remainder a few hours later.
Engage with your followers. If someone posts a comment, answer. Like others’ pictures. Be human. Just as in other social networks, this is not all about you. It’s about meaningful interaction.
Make the most of the captions. Identify the event and add something interesting about it. Think of each image as a story, or at least a start of one. It’s okay to be cryptic in the captions. This can entice people to attend other events as they’ll want to be part of the inside joke. For instance, a picture of a chamber staffer with a big grin could carry a caption of, “Little did we know, John was about to play a hilarious practical joke on us.” This sort of alluding to what happened will get people talking — even those who didn’t attend the event.
Instagram users: what tips do you have for other chambers?
Guest post by Christina Green
Image credit by Parker Knight via Flickr