There is a good chance that you or someone you know is addicted to Instagramming everything they do. Love it or hate it, selfies, #foodporn and legs at the beach took over a large part of our lives.
Now, a new study is claiming that people who are taking photos are more engaged in the activity they’re doing. Plus, the research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, states that taking photos increases and enhances enjoyment of these experiences. At the same time, photographing negative experiences further worsens those incidents.
The study included over 2,000 people that were asked to take part in nine different situations and to either take photos or not during these tasks. The participants also took a later assessment of how much they liked performing those tasks. In a majority of cases, people who engaged in photographing reported higher levels of enjoyment. Yet, the same results were not yielded if taking photos interfered with an experience itself and made it uncomfortable.
So, how can you as a business owner leverage these new findings in your favor?
First, you have to understand what people like to photograph and share on Instagram or any other social network. People love to share pleasant experiences. These can span from a simply beautiful design (exterior, interior, clothes, or food) to experiences of concerts, having fun with friends, and traveling.
People also share images when they were able to solve a problem. Whether it’s an outstanding customer support or a great product, people share praise for things that rocked their world and made their life easier.
Finally, people share photos that showcase their identity or personality, as with affinity or aspirational groups. For example, a pair of new expensive kicks, a selfie at a gym, or an image of gluten-free, cruelty-free, fair trade detox product all make a statement about values of their users and consumers.
In order to create Instagram-worthy experience (yes, you read it right), you have to strike one or two of the above points. First of all, ensure that your brand experience lives up to expectations and surpasses them. It can be some minor finishing touch. It could be a scrumptious sweet bite at the end of the meal, a lovely bow on a packaging, or a little something that enhances the experience. If you’re in the service industry, a hand-written note can send your fans over the edge of raving. If you know a personal preference of your clients, say a food item, beverage or a flower sort they like, you can occasionally send it to them as a gesture of your appreciation -- and trust me, they will appreciate it back.
It also helps to be direct about connecting and sharing images on their favorite social media platforms. If you want them to share something, ask for it. Make sure that your in-store displays and any other collateral have social links. Include it on the product packaging itself. So many companies are doing that now.
Finally, if your audience needs a little push, create a contest for the best photo of your products. This will work perfectly for any type of a product. If your products require some period of usage to achieve visible changes (like dieting products), you can create challenges for your customers for the best “before and after.” Same goes for services, just be creative with it!
There are a lot of things you can do to make sure your customers love you and want to talk about you online. Because we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, make it easy for them to talk about you in visual ways.