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How to Celebrate Your Small Business with Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest

ImageHeld the week of June 16-22, 2013, National Small Business Week is finally upon us and for many start-ups across the country this is their time to shine when it comes to showing off their business. However, for businesses that are brand new or have yet to fully establish a presence on social media sites just yet, the question now is figuring out how to make their business come alive online without creating dozens of profiles for social platforms they may never update again once the week is over.

What site can a business sign up with that sparks the ability to share what they do and how they do it with a bigger audience than the average Facebook account provides? Actions speak louder than words and these actions are best reflected within visuals that can be watched on an endless loop or shared with countless others, as Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest have taught us. Below you’ll find my brief history lesson behind the three apps of choice and what benefits they can bring in celebrating your business all week long. Best of all, they’re all highly addictive and fun to use, so much to the point that once the week is out you’ll want to keep the content for the app you pick going strong for a long time to come!

1) Instagram

What it is: Snap a photo, apply a filter, share it on your Instagram profile and elsewhere with Twitter, Facebook, and a variety of other social media sites. Additionally, you can add hashtags and your location to ensure a wider audience checks out your work.

Best for capturing… All of those behind the scenes moments in the office and beyond. Going on an impromptu field trip for the afternoon? Holding an informal meeting with the staff to discuss a new partnership? Having specialty cake pops delivered in to celebrate a birthday? These are the moments that companies didn’t used to focus on showing off. Now they’re the gestures that, no matter how grand in size they may be, give your start-up its soul and a face to go with the brand.

2) Vine

What it is: A Twitter app featuring the ability to create and share six second long (or less) looping video clips. You can film as is or use stop motion animation to bring the video even further to life.

Good for looping… Moments in creation and action. These moments can be anything from a (very speedy) six seconds of showing a lumpy pile of clay throughout its various stages into being shaped, glazed, and fired into a decorated bowl or turning a casual moment in the workplace with the office puppy into a very dramatic one through careful editing. The rule of thumb here for brands is to make sure your message matches with the medium. A start-up can make plenty of short Vine videos that have little to nothing to do with their company or they can spend a little bit of extra time editing and working on a video that ties in what they do and how they do it. Aim for the latter here, always.

3) Pinterest

What it is: Like a bulletin board, but bigger and much more organized for content and photos that show off what you like, sell, and participate in.

Content you should show off… Aesthetically pleasing images – if it looks great, pin it! These can be your own pictures or content that is repinned from other sources. A team effort during Small Business Week is always encouraged so work to get your entire staff posting with a board of their own on the company Pinterest account. Remember that by tagging (@) and hashtagging (#) your pins, you can bring in a wider range of viewers and to always link back up to your website if the content is your own so more people know how to find you!

Join The Conversation

  • Jun 19 Posted 4 years ago Adnane El Gueddari

    Hi Deborah, 

    It's a great article, thank you! I know how Instagram works but I have one question for you please.

    Do you think that a new social platform like Vine could bring something new to companies?

    What is the advantage of Instagram and Vine that Facebook or Twitter don't have?

    Thank you again.

  • Deborah Sweeney's picture
    Jun 18 Posted 4 years ago Deborah Sweeney

    Thanks for the post compliment and for sending along Nick's infographic, Cara!

  • Cara Tarbaj's picture
    Jun 18 Posted 4 years ago Cara Tarbaj

    Hi Deborah,

    Great tips. I agree that Instagram is perfect for behind-the-scene photos of your staff working on an exciting  new project, or perhaps just having a company BBQ. People love seeing the human side of a business and love getting to know the people behind the company.

    Did you know that 98% of brands Instagram photos are shared on Facebook? Check out my colleague Nick's infographic on what engagement is generated by the top 3 brands on Instagram to get an idea of how powerful of a platform Instagram can be for your brand. 

    Especially with the somewhat fresh "Photos of You" feature being launched. Your business can be tagged in photos, and yor business can tag other Instagram users as well (as long as you possess an Instgram account) In. It’s a great new way for consumers to interact with brands and retailers, and vice versa.


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