Social media has completely transformed the ways in which social enterprises market themselves.

With just a few clicks, and a couple of pics, you can reach out to millions of potential customers with engaging and inspiring content.

If your social enterprise has yet to start harnessing the awesome power of social media, we think the photo sharing platform Instagram is a great place to start.

By simply uploading an image, and tagging relevant keywords, people or places, your enterprise could be seen by millions of viewers worldwide, but to make the most of your Instagram campaign, you need to think outside the box and learn to use the platform to your advantage.

Not sure where to begin? Here’s 6 great ways to get involved and start promoting your social enterprise on Instagram.

1. Be creative with your product shots

The most obvious way to tell the ‘Insta-world’ about the products or services you provide is by showing them pictures of exactly what it is you do, make or sell. A picture speaks a thousand words and by uploading great looking images you can tell a story and draw people in.

You could post professional product shots if you already have them, or get creative by using quick-fire images, taken from your mobile phone. If you make and sell bags for example, a picture of one in an unusual setting or being used by someone is more eye-catching than just a picture of the bag itself.

2. Create a compelling story

Your image is only half the picture; Instagram allows you to add additional content such as text and ‘stickers’ superimposed onto the photo itself with their ‘stories’ feature.

A good example could be a series of images of your product or service, with its backstory thrown in. For instance, if you handcraft organic goodies made with ingredients from local providers, tell your viewers about their origin.

Just like a news story with text and pictures, the Instagram stories feature enables you to captivate your audience by combining imagery with additional, fun content and text.

3. Go behind the scenes

Social enterprises often make their own goods or work hard to help local communities with their services.
Images of your team working to create the perfect product, or being seen out in the community makes for inspiring Instagram posts that will both educate and captivate your audience.

4. Design your own brand personality

Your social enterprise is effectively your “brand” and everything you post should have an instantly recognisable look and feel about it.

From the type of imagesyou use to the font choice for captions, all of these elements come together to create a unique brand personality for your enterprise, and Instagram is a great way to present that brand to a massive audience.

5. Make use of hashtags and mentions

Instagram users search the service to find information and images that are of direct interest to them.

By adding hashtags that are relevant to your enterprise like #organic #handmade or #community, for example, you will have a far greater chance of reaching out to the people most interested in those topics.

If you’re working in conjunction with local providers or businesses, or simply want to reply directly to a comment on your post, you can ‘mention’ other Instagram users by entering the @ sign before their username.

6. Have fun with it!

Your Instagram account is there to tell the world about the personality behind your social enterprise, so while you’ll need to keep it relevant and relatively professional, you should still try and have plenty of fun with your posts.

We hope this post helps you experiment with Instagram as a social marketing tool – it’s one of the most powerful you have at your disposal, after all.