Sell Your Wares With Filtered Photos and Six-Second Videos

Small business owners strategize with Instagram and Vine.

By on August 21, 2013

Many small retailers and entrepreneurs turn to Facebook and Twitter to market their products because in an increasingly social marketplace, a picture or a video can be worth a thousand words – or thousands of dollars.

A recent social media study cited by Fast Company showed 44 percent of respondents were more likely to engage with brands on social if a picture accompanies the post. Equipped with a smartphone like the Nokia Lumia 928, small business owners can snap high-quality photos and videos and incorporate Instagram and Vine into their business strategies.

Milysan Troche, founder of consignment boutique MyHauteCloset, built a strong customer base when she started sharing images of new, unique items of clothing or accessories with followers on Instagram. "When I first started using Instagram, I shared images of my personal style and developed relationships with women across the globe who shared similar interests. As time progressed... I began consigning and selling items solely through Instagram," Troche told Business News Daily.

So if a small business owner decides to make his or her wares available for purchase on Instagram, how do they make the actual transactions happen? Chirpify is one solution. Created initially for Twitter, this service has expanded to connect buyers on Facebook and Instagram with the products they desire. Purchasers use hashtags such as #want or #buy in response to an image of the product, and Chirpify facilitates payments via the social media platform.

While photos sell products, a small business owner may find that a video tells a more complete story. Vine is a way to demonstrate at 4G LTE speeds how a product works rather than just show a static image. Beyond product demos, Vine can highlight short virtual tours. For real estate agents, a six-second video tour of an apartment gives potential tenants a snapshot of the space and its best features, while saving the time and expense associated with a traditional video tour.