Instagram is a social media platform that allows the use of images to create a unique brand experiences, promote events and connect with prospective and current customers. Whilst it bears many similarities to Twitter, Instagram is completely centred on images and 15-second video clips. Here are some ways to make the most out of what Instagram has to offer:
Make More Of Your Profile
Your profile is the first page that your audience will see when they’re checking out your Instagram feed, so make sure you give them a few good reasons to hit the Follow button. In the description field say something to summarise your brand and the types of photos you’ll be sharing. Make use of the website field to direct visitors to your full portfolio of social media accounts; be it your Twitter feed, blog or anywhere else that’s going to help convince someone that you’re worth a follow.
Follow, Follow, Follow
As with any social media platform, Instagram will not be useful to your brand unless you are interacting with other users. This means that you can’t simply upload images – you need to activiely engage with others users to understand what they are interested in (this also serves to increase you visibility). The more users you follow, the more you will understand your customer. Once you are sharing common interests, the more likely they are to follow you.
Post Meaningful & Relevant Image Content
Don’t just post anything and everything, but rather post images that tell a story and are consistent with what it is that your brand represents. Find out your audience’s interests then post photos you know will keep them engaged.
Share Across Social Networks
Invite others to view what you are sharing by posting your image link to other social media sites. You can easily post your link to Facebook and Twitter through Instagram or use a social media manager like Hootsuite to post your link to more than several social sites at once. This encourages more exposure to your post and the potential to gain more followers.
Make It Rewarding
You need to make following your brand rewarding if you want your followers to stick around. Ask questions and comment on other’s images to encourage interaction and create a sense of community. When people invest time in your brand, you need to reciprocate. Try featuring your customers in your posts as they are your brand’s greatest ambassadors. Plus, there is the opportunity for them to become brand endorsers.
Use It to Build Interest In Your Events
If you have a trade show coming up, you can use Instagram as a great way to create “hype” and gain new customers. You can post images that will help visitors find you, demonstrate which products will be on display, show your attendance at the booth and show what your display looks like with high-resolution, high quality images.
Whenever you add a hashtag to your post, it is immediately indexed and searchable by other users. Once someone clicks on that hashtag, they’ll be brought to a page that aggregates all of the posts with the same hash tagged keyword in real-time. Use of hashtags present two primary benefits to brands; crowdsourcing fan-made content and extending the reach of your brand’s own content.
Be Creative With Your Images
Don’t limit yourself to Instagram’s filters. While they’re great tools for some instances, there’s simply no limit to the great iOS and Android apps available for avid mobile photographers. Whether it’s through use of photo-editing apps like Snapseed and Adobe Photoshop Express or otherwise you can really reinforce the quality of your brand by investing in top-quality photos. Find the app that works for you, and put your mark on your photos – by sticking to a distinctive style or niche, you’ll find it’s easier to get noticed and build a following.
Highlight User-Generated Content
If you want to get people excited about your brand on Instagram, give them the spotlight. People love to be recognised and when you showcase users in your stream, you can be sure they’re telling their friends about it—and about you.
Keep Your Online Personality Intact
Regardless of the social media platform you’re working with, it’s important to have a consistent presence. Your online personality—logo, voice and even emotion—should be the same no matter where your fans find you. You want to be sure people can easily find and recognise you, so I suggest you use your logo as your Instagram profile picture and your company’s full title as your username.
The pictures you share should always reflect your online voice and the emotion your brand elicits.