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Express Your Business' Story

“We know that, by geography, not everyone can sit with us at the café to enjoy a cup with us,” say the team of @almanegracafe. “Our intention is to be able to share the aroma of coffee, the feel of a cup, the look of our spaces and the taste of our drinks through our photographs."
The team founded Almanegra in 2014 with the goal of creating a specialty coffee shop in La Narvarte, the neighborhood in Mexico City where the three partners live. After cycling around looking at spaces, the team ultimately rented a shop before they had a name or even a concept. Six months later, the café was born, with a second shop in the La Roma neighborhood in 2016. "The Instagram aesthetic allows us to communicate a more complete and complex vision of what the world of specialty coffee is, from the cup to the barista, the plant to the roaster,” says the team. “There is a level of friendship, fun and enthusiasm that is clear through the imagery."
The shop has had so much success with its Instagram account that it even uses the platform to procure new employees. “It's almost a secret, but our staff selection program includes an important filter: be an Instagram user! One of our most successful posts was when we sought out employees for our new La Roma branch through Instagram!"
Given the integral role that Instagram has played in growing their brand, what advice would the @almanegracafe team give to other businesses thinking about starting an account? “Do it!” they say, emphatically. “For us it has been a great opportunity to join not just a national but international coffee community. We are able to be part of something much bigger than just a brand – to be part of Instagram.”

“I’m telling a story of a girl’s love for nature and the ocean,” says jewelry designer Tiffany Chou (@tiffanychou). “I grew up on Maui, so when I moved to New York and discovered my love for jewelry, I started a business inspired by my island home."
Tiffany Chou’s pieces – rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and hair accessories – are inspired by organic shapes found in nature. On @tiffanychou, she regularly shares her products and designs as well as shares personal information about her life.
"Instagram lets me have immediate access to my followers and access to a larger audience in an easy and non-intrusive way,” says Tiffany. “I love seeing customers post pictures of their purchases; nothing makes me happier than to see that my designs have made someone smile."
Tiffany calls Instagram “an irreplaceable tool for business growth” and says her business wouldn’t be where it is without the platform. What advice would she give to other businesses looking to start an account or advertise on Instagram? “Instagram is such a good way to stay in touch with your customers and potential customers, so it’s important to keep up with all comments, questions and DM’s they may have,” she says. “It's also helpful to interact with their accounts as well. Liking and commenting on customers' pictures shows that you are not all about business.”

Today, we’re excited to announce there are 8 million businesses using business profiles and more than 1 million monthly active advertisers on Instagram.
On Instagram, people are turning their passions into livelihoods. To get better at the art of folding paper, Ross Symons, (@white_onrice) set a goal on January 1, 2014 to fold and post a different origami figure for 365 days straight. After successfully achieving his goal and connecting with various Instagrammers along the way, Ross turned his passion from a side project into a business and now creates artwork and installations for brands around the world. “I was able to quit my day job and pursue a career as a creative entrepreneur because of Instagram and the people using it,” he tells us. Ross now uses information from his business tools to inform his content strategy and generate leads. “Based on the information that I gained from my business insights, I noticed that tutorial style or DIY style videos receive more engagement and impressions than normal animations. Also, knowing that most of the people who follow me are from the U.S. has helped me reconsider when to post so I now post closest to when people in the U.S. are waking up which has led to higher engagement and potential leads.”
See why Instagram has become an essential place for businesses like Ross’ to grow. Link in bio.

“We are on an adventure, one that inspires experimentation and curiosity,” says Jason Chongue, plant cultivator for @theplantsocietyau. “We aim to celebrate and assist the growers, collectors and gardeners in all of their plant adventures.”
Jason and his partner, Nathan Smith, launched Melbourne-based @theplantsocietyau in August 2016. The “plant social network” aims to provide a knowledge bank of skills and techniques for the avid plant enthusiast, as well as offer unique plants through its roaming plant events and plant sales. @theplantsocietyau also curates crafted plant pieces from local ceramicists and artists.
“We launched our Instagram account with an aim to embrace the inner gardener in the younger generation, a generation that might not have had a gardening mentor as a child or adolescent,” says Jason, who says the company’s target audience is new and avid plant enthusiasts ages 18-44. “Our product is highly visual, so it is important to capture the huge array of texture, form and colour throughout the seasons. We make sure to post in the morning and evening to ensure our international followers get their daily dose of plant love.”
Jason credits Instagram with helping make @theplantsocietyau accessible to an audience that revolves around technology. What advice would he offer other companies that want to open an account or advertise on Instagram? “Always be passionate about everything that you post,” he says. “Make sure your photos and videos depict your brand at its best. We always make sure that we one hundred percent love the content we are posting or we don’t post it at all. You need to be passionate about the finer details, otherwise you can’t expect others to feel the same.”

"We try to tell the story of soap as a design object, and share a modernized view of Korean bath culture," says Karen Kim, founder and creative director of the Toronto-based binu binu soaphouse (@binubinu_soapsoap). "We appeal to the fashion/lifestyle/creative crowd, not necessarily the traditional beauty/skincare shops."
Karen started binu binu soaphouse in 2015, while living and working in New York as a Product Director in fashion. Ready to focus her energy into her own project, she launched the line as a collection of five soaps, all inspired by the Korean public bath house. The sculptural bars all riff on a theme of Korean beauty, with formulations named for strong females in Korean society. Opening an Instagram account was one of the first things Karen did after launching her brand."
"We don't have a lot of rules when it comes to what we post, except that each post is relevant to our business in some way," says Karen. "Our inspiration images consist of seemingly disparate elements and photographic styles that are all tied together by our soap palette and unique geometric shape."
Karen feels strongly that Instagram is the best way to engage immediately and directly with her customers, and loves "that it gives me the opportunity as Creative Director of the company to define and visually communicate the brand every day, in a casual but impactful way." What advice would she give to other brands considering opening an account or advertising on Instagram? Her answer is as simple and elegant as her soaps. "Just do it!" she says, emphatically. "It really is a must for any business startup."

“Our goal is to help create a home or environment that helps define each individual and their unique taste,” says Hannah Leonard, owner of @loomandkiln. “We want to be a one-stop for all handmade home décor pieces that are both contemporary and bohemian."
The Salt Lake City, Utah-based Loom + Kiln began in late 2015 as a shop for OOAK (one-of-a-kind) vintage and handmade pieces, including vintage Persian and Moroccan rugs and pillows and original handmade ceramics, wall weavings and artwork. Hannah launched her Instagram account – which features modern, clean spaces combined with colorful bohemian textiles and art – concurrently with the launch of her web site.
"Through Instagram, I’m able to inspire and reach my customers on a daily basis, to remind them that we’re always getting new and exciting products, without being obnoxious or invasive,” she says. “Plus the exposure you get when someone reposts your photo or tags our product in their homes is just priceless!" Hannah says that most of customers have found her through Instagram. What words of wisdom can she offer to fellow businesses considering opening an account or advertising on the platform?
"Be relentless in your research!” she says. “Pinpoint what times of day get the most traffic, what types of photos people are most interested in, what your competitors are doing on Instagram that seems to be working for them. It’s so important to frequently step back and re-evaluate your process, so you can constantly improve it."
Photo by @loomandkiln

"With Boomerang, I love that you have a few seconds to do quick bursts that gives the viewer an idea of what you're promoting," says Ali Maffucci, Founder of Inspiralized (@inspiralized). "A video is so simple to make, but it shows so much more than a photo can show."
Learn how Inspiralized creates Boomerangs. And get tips and inspiration for your business. Full blog link in bio.

“Our goal is to communicate our culture to the world, give insight into the process of footwear creation and educate our audience on how to style and wear our products,” says Leroy F.D. Niemel (@leroyfranklin), Digital Marketing Manager for Filling Pieces.
The Amsterdam-based footwear label, Filling Pieces (@fillingpieces) was founded in 2009 by Guillaume Philibert, a one-time architecture student who recognized the need for premium yet affordable sneakers that bridged the gap between streetwear and high-end fashion. Today the collection of simple, streamlined silhouettes is handmade in Portugal using only the finest Italian materials.
"Instagram is our biggest platform,” explains Leroy who says the @fillingpieces account was launched in 2012. “Our generation is all about visual content, and we tell our story through clean, minimalistic imagery that's influenced by architecture, traveling and culture."
Leroy says that the company has had many interesting experiences through its account, “from getting in touch with A-list celebrities and athletes to people reaching to inform and warn us about brands that copy our silhouettes.” So what advice would they give other companies looking to use Instagram to reach new audiences? “Always stay true to your brand identity and visual aesthetic,” he says, with a brevity that is consistent with the minimalist brand. “Your content must be always be a direct translation of who you are and what you stand for."
Photo by @fillingpieces

"I really enjoy the Hyperlapse feature because I love the way the video stabilizes and how clean the shots are," says Nicholas Jimenez, Creative Director of Vintage Electric Bikes (@vintageelectric). "You can shrink 15 minutes of shooting down to one minute."
Learn how Vintage Electric creates videos using Hyperlapse. And get tips and inspiration for your business.
Full blog link in bio.

Surprise! 🎉 Swipe left on the post above to see more.
Starting today, you can share up to 10 photos and videos in one post on Instagram. With this update, you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember.
When uploading to your feed, you’ll see a new icon to select multiple photos and videos. It’s easy to control exactly how your post will look. You can tap and hold to change the order, apply a filter to everything at once or edit one by one. These posts have a single caption and are square-only for now.
On a profile grid, you’ll notice the first photo or video of a post has a little icon, which means there’s more to see. And in feed, you’ll see blue dots at the bottom of these posts to let you know you can swipe to see more. You can like and comment on them just like a regular post.
Even more, you can now share from two to 10 photos or videos in carousel ads.
To learn more, read the business blog. Link in bio.

“Many kids are young foodies, but they lack kitchen experience and still make unhealthy lunch choices,” says Seth Barnes, chief marketing officer of @raddishkids. “We launched Raddish with the hope of empowering young people to jump into the kitchen and get cooking."
Founded by middle school teacher Samantha Barnes, Raddish is a kids cooking club that sends cooking recipes, lessons and activities to thousands of families each month, and also hosts award-winning cooking camps in the Los Angeles area.
"From the beginning, mobile media was a key channel for interacting with our community—and of course, sharing pictures of kids cooking amazing food is a natural fit,” says Seth. “Instagram was a natural place to build upon that narrative—not only could we show that month’s kit, but one of our Rad Kids cooking it!” Seth says that the platform has been instrumental in building the Raddish brand and helping to advocate for exposing children to food, project-based learning, and real world math, science, and geography.
What advice would he give to other food businesses that want to make an impact with an Instagram account? “It's cliche to say ‘be yourself,’ but it really behooves businesses to let the audience tag along on the journey of how your business comes together,” he says. “It's also so key to be a genuine part of your community—there's a lot to learn about how your product is solving the needs of your audience by observing and listening."
Photo by @raddishkids

"For any small business, running your Instagram is really easy. Filters, Layout, Hyperlapse, there are so many different creative tools that can help you tell your story," says Andrew Chau, co-founder of Boba Guys (@bobaguys).
Learn how Boba Guys creates content using Layout. And get tips and inspiration for your business.
Full blog link in bio.

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