Using candid photographs to Promote your Brand

Earlier this year my local town launched a new page to jointly promote local business alongside what is so great about our town. Rather than just write about a single business, or an upcoming special event happening in our town for their launch, they chose to attract and engage local people in the community by posting a candid shot of a chimney pot, with the question – where can you find this chimney pot?

OK, now you may be wondering how the heck a photograph of a chimney pot is going to help launch a new Facebook page, but their approach was actually quite clever. The chimney pot in question was quite an unusual one to start with because it was a decorative work of art, hand-crafted and very old. It will help you to know that our town was built clinging to the sides of some steep valleys, so no matter where you look, you will always see our eclectic range of buildings and rooftops.

For any local resident who could be bothered to look up occasionally, this views of our roof tops are quite an iconic site in our town, so once the photograph was published to Facebook, it took just a matter of hours for the snap to be shared across other pages for the area, as well as appearing in the local newspapers later that week too.

The results of course were spectacular, with hundreds of locals leaving comments on the page about the precise whereabouts of the said chimney pot, and also some interesting extra information from a local historian about it’s history and creation. Days later and people were still posting their own snaps of the famous chimney pot from various different angles, and conversations were still being held about it.

So what does this all mean? Well, first of all, you may surmise that our town is full of geeky chimney-pot enthusiasts that lead quite sad lives – OK, you might be right there. However, it goes to show just how powerful a single photograph can be when used in the right way.

Cows on Minchinhampton Common

Cows on Minchinhampton Common

The page has since gone on to write about individual businesses and local events, but the most popular posts are still those candid shots of unusual features from around our town, especially signs that make no sense, rude gate mouldings of naked ladies, our quirky residents dressed in all manner of strange outfits – just because it’s a Tuesday, shots of llamas being walked on leads to a Tesco Express, rogue wallabies exploring the neighbourhood, ferrets on leads in the high-street, and our local cows laying across our roads, blocking traffic. You know, just normal stuff that goes on every day in our town.

When it comes to social media, Facebook is one thing, but if you can take a good photograph, then Instragram could well provide you with a better base to establish your brand recognition, especially if you are not that good at writing, and prefer to get your message over in a visual way.

A picture paints a thousand words

Back in 2010, Instagram published it’s first ever photograph. Since then, more than 30 billion photographs have been shared. Think about that for a minute. In just 5 years more than 30 billion images have been shared on Instagram. Think what that could do for your brand recognition!

Each day an average of 70 million photographs are shared on Instagram, so with such a large audience hungry for fresh input, it is no surprise that social media marketers are falling over themselves to get their clients active on the site.

Social media is a very cost-effective way to spread the word about your business and attract large followings, but having said that, it is also very easy to remain unnoticed amongst an overwhelming number of new posts going up every second of every day.

You need a way to stand out on social media, so doing something that is not entirely expected can help you catch more eyes. Just as the new Facebook page for our local town did when instead of promoting one of our local shops or businesses, they posted a simple photograph of a chimney pot. No-one was expecting that, and this is why it spread around our town so quickly – because it wasn’t what people were expecting to see for their first ever post on their page.

The candid shot of that chimney-pot was intriguing, and it not only engaged with a wide local audience, it enticed many people from their homes to venture into town in search of the famed chimney-pot, and along the way they may have spent time (and money) in one of our local coffee-shops, or browsed a couple of independent shops that our town is well-known for, and picked up something fresh and tasty from our farmers market.

If you are still unsure about how social media can work for your business, then contact us today for some friendly advice. Even if you are already active on Facebook or , you can find out how you can take advantage of Instagram to reach new potential customers.