I think it was around the time the sixth skewer of meat appeared on the pasador’s arm that the conversation turned to Instagram.
My husband and I had been invited to Fazenda on George Street in Edinburgh to sample the Brazilian delights. While he was enjoying the Argentinian Malbec, Sober Sister over here was quizzing my other dining companions.
To my left was Eatinburgh’s Pippa, and beside her was Edinburghfeasts’ Emma.
They were snapping away and discussing filters and the post-dinner edit. “Food porn pics are always popular…usually pizzas and chocolate things go down well!” Pippa joked, asking the pasadero to stay still.
“New openings are popular too. On eatinburgh the picture of The Garden at The Principal Charlotte Square from the beginning of the year is the most liked picture by far!”
I asked our hostess Amy, relationships and events manager, if Fazenda was on Instagram and of course it is (@fazenda.group) so I tagged it in my story.
Instagram for business is among the newer social media options in what, for some companies, seems like a never-ending labyrinth.
In my experience, the majority of corporate entities are only just beginning to appreciate that they must take more photographs. I still find myself explaining why (low res) website photos are not appropriate for (high res) publications. I totally appreciate why companies that don’t generally work with flowers, food or makeup would disregard Instagram. But I think that attitude is a mistake.
Take Craig, for example. His Instagram @corbycraigresidence started as a way to document his new-build taking shape. 57,000 followers later, he’s become an ‘influencer’. Interiors companies send him gifts and if he likes them, he documents them on his page, either in the static picture uploads or the 24hr only “story”, together with a specific discount code. Companies can then track the effectiveness of his endorsement.
Other fabulous Scottish insta-stars are @jamiegenevieve – a makeup artist with 1million followers,” and Ayrshire-born model Chris Millington with 467,000 followers. More achievable examples include and Mud Urban Flowers with 13,500 followers or Three Sisters Bake with 13,800. These are the kinds of accounts that can heavily influence consumers’ buying habits.
I asked Mud how much time they spend working on their Instagram pages.
“A lot,” Chloe told me. “We have three business accounts and each account posts on average three times a day. From the moment we wake to last thing at night we’re active on social media. Instagram helps us to spread the word, showcase our product and have a relationship with our customers.”
So even if you’re an accountant, lawyer or someone working in a less visually-appealing field, you can probably relate to those objectives. Chloe’s tip is that people seem to love ‘behind the scenes’ shots. Anything authentic and unpolished tends to be received better than something too filtered and perfect.
I’m a fairly recent convert to Instagram for business and it was only because I was looking into my analytics and realised how much traffic was being sent my way from that platform. I’ve even got my Instagram name on my business cards now (@kimmca).
Lee MacGregor, director of Mitchell MacGregor Public Relations, looks after Fazenda among others and thinks Instagram is an essential tool.
“The best kind of marketing tells a story. And we all know pictures can paint a thousand words. So when you combine the two you have a really powerful way of communicating. Instagram is great for this purpose, especially if you have something really visual to sell because your customers will often do most of the work for you as they want to share the experience,” she said.
“Like all social media platforms, it has its downsides and we’re all getting a bit fed up of the super-staged shots that bear no resemblance to users’ real lives, but that doesn’t detract from its ability to pander to one of our most primitive desires – to share stories.”
So if you’re not on Instagram yet, perhaps you should consider it. If you are – let me know where I can find you by commenting below!
Other stories by Kim McAllister
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