It can sometimes seem monotonous to continually comb through the same Facebook groups and Twitter hashtags to find followers, update or create posts, and track analytics. There are ways you can add some entertainment in your social media – and not just with video. It’s important to be creative and do something that surprises your audience and encourages interaction. There are two great tools that, when used in conjunction with your existing social media presence, can better encourage interaction and allow your true company culture to shine through.

Instagram and Pinterest are two photo sharing apps that have exploded with popularity thanks to smart phones and tablets. Instagram lets you take and edit photos easily and share with Facebook or Twitter followers.  Users can also follow your Instagram account much like they can on Twitter,. They can see your stream of photos and like or comment on them.  Pinterest is an online pinboard that allows users to follow boards, repin things they like and share with others.

These may just seem like services that individuals would use, but they have a huge advantage to businesses that people are really just starting to take advantage of. Like I mentioned, Instagram is great because it links to Facebook and Twitter. It simply livens up your feed, adds personality, and really encourages people to click on your links.  It helps your otherwise unnoticed photos look better and draw more attention. Pinterest is really great for B2B businesses. It allows your product or link to be shared with the entire Pinterest world quickly and easily (and can also be posted on Facebook or Twitter).  Think of the positive effect of having an image of your product pinned. Each time the image is repined your brand name and website are being pinned along with it.

Still not convinced? Here are two great examples of how Instagram and Pinterest are being incorporated into businesses:

General Electric (GE) and Instagram:

GE is so passionate about their products that they recently ran a competition (promoted through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) to hire an Instagrapher. They had people post pictures with the tag #GEInspiredME to compete for the job opening. The photos that GE liked were then posted on their Facebook page where fans could vote on who should be finalists. The winner was then chosen and hired by GE. The contest obtained much hype, and the GE Instagram account, with over 35,711 followers, continues to grow every day. Click to learn more…

ModCloth and Pinterest:

ModCloth, an American online vintage clothing company, recently launched a Pinterest contest to win a $100 gift certificate for their online store.  They are one of the first and few companies to run a Pinterest contest and are already, just two days after launch, getting a lot of hype about it.  The contest requires users to create a ModCloth board and pin photos in various categories for ModCloth’s 2012 spring wedding campaign. Again, they’ve found a way to get creative and get customers to engage and interact with their brand and products. The brand is known to have a large following on their blog and all of their social media accounts. Click to learn more…

So, here’s your challenge: Incorporate at least one of these tools into some part of your social media strategy. Whether it’s a month long campaign, or something much more permanent, do something creative with it. We’ve already got Instagram penned in for our 2012 marketing plan and we’re excited to get started.

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