“Always do what you are afraid to do.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, famous American poet
“The fear of Instagram is more emotionally taxing than Instagram itself.” ~ Brooke Miles, not a poet
Are you considering adding Instagram to your company’s social media mix…but you fear the consequences of making one false move? If your mind works like mine (i.e., in overdrive), you may be thinking:
1. “If I start using Instagram for my company, it’ll eat up so much brainpower that I’ll drop the ball on my other duties, and then my boss/clients/coworkers will get mad, and then I’ll be out of a job, and then I’ll go bankrupt, and then I’ll live in a cardboard box, and then I’ll die brokenhearted.”
2. “If I start using Instagram for my company, my boss/clients/coworkers will mock me because we’re a mortgage lender/bookkeeping firm/other professional services business that shouldn’t be on Instagram, and then I’ll be deemed clinically insane, and then I’ll be out of a job, and then all the other horrible things stated above will happen to me, including dying brokenhearted.”
3. “If I start using Instagram for my company, I’ll inadvertently commit a huge social gaffe for the world to see, and then people will compare my mistake to Steve Harvey’s blunder at the Miss Universe pageant when he announced the wrong winner, and then I won’t be able to show my face at my upcoming 20th/25th/30th high school reunion even though I really wanted to go because my complexion has cleared up since my awkward teen years…and I’ll still die brokenhearted.”
If you have trepidations about Instagram, stop it now! You’re wasting your precious mental energy. Here’s why:
1. With more than 500 million users, Instagram is the fastest-growing social media platform in the world, eclipsed only by Facebook and YouTube. It can’t be that treacherous if so many people embrace it. Even “old people” (i.e., people my age) are now getting on Instagram. In my opinion, Instagram is waaaaaaay easier to use than any other major social media platform. You can accomplish 95% of your tasks with five user-friendly icons at the bottom of your screen. If you can get up in the morning and brush your teeth, you can use Instagram.
2. No matter what your business, you can use Instagram in a meaningful way. Even if you’re a professional services company, think of the possibilities! Behind-the-scenes pics of your officemates having fun—or pretty photos of local scenes—will go a long way toward humanizing your brand and building community spirit.
3. If you make a tiny error on Instagram, few people will notice, and fewer people will remember. Don’t believe me? I bet you had completely forgotten about the Steve Harvey incident till I mentioned it here. And that debacle had received worldwide publicity.
What about the time investment? It’s less than you think. In our next article, I’ll share tools and techniques to help you seamlessly integrate Instagram into your social media mix. Before you know it, you’ll be the Ralph Waldo Emerson of Instagram!