Last week, Carmarthenshire Tourism Association ran a Smarthphone Photography & Editing course at the National Botanic Garden, run by Adam Amor of Buffoon Media. In freezing but quite beautiful weather conditions, we took photos in the garden, then experimented with editing them, under Adam's guidance.
Attending the workshop was Dorian Bowen, owner of The Welsh House cottage business - and Instagram phenomenon. As you can see above, his beautifully styled images have almost 40,000 followers and become powerful marketing tools.
He's not the only Carmarthenshire business to fare well on this platform. Here's Fforest's @coldatnight account, created by Sian Tucker:
Now you may think these businesses have existing strong visual appeal built in to where they're located - and you'd have a point - but retailers fare well on Instagram too. Here are two more West Wales businesses making good use of the platform:
You can build a business rapidly on Instagram as this amazing Welsh success story, Barry based Spectrum Make-Up Brushes shows.
Run by the Pycroft sisters, Sophie and Hannah, this company's employs 9 people and is valued at £12 million. Instagram is at the core of their growth and they say:
'“We started as an 'Insta-brand' as Instagram was our shop window. We had to think of ways to distinguish ourselves from competitors and look fresh.' Their future plans include creating an 'instagrammable' vegan coffee shop.
So if you're not already Instagramming should you give it a go? Here are some pointers to help you decide:
* You're going to need to art direct your images and videos. Or get a friend/relative/pay someone to do it. Lots of online tools make this easy, even for you if you claim to be ' totally uncreative'. You'll need to evolve a look for your account... notice how pink Spectrum is, for example.
* It's not a place for in-depth discussion and generally speaking, people are nice to one another here.
* Instagram is not all about glamour and celebrity. Its top account in popularity is National Geographic.
*If you get into an Instagram habit, then it may not need the bombarding that twitter and Facebook pages seem to require.
* Sarah Macdonald runs Instagram 1-2-1 training. Carmarthen based you can reach her on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07753741173
And if you lack inspiration, or think everyone's taking this all a bit too seriously then check out: https://www.instagram.com/Satiregram/
Here are a couple of further articles:
And finally, some Instagram stats: