How Brands Can Take Advantage of Instagram
Instagram, a photo sharing app that was recently acquired by Facebook for $1 billion and topped Twitter in mobile engagement, has quickly grown to become one of the most popular social networking platforms with over 100 million registered users.
What sets Instagram apart from other popular platforms is its simplistic user interface and the fact that it is purely for sharing photos with others. The free app is accessible on Apple and Android mobile phones and tablets and shows a real-life documentation of friends and celebrities you are interested in the most. In order for brands to be successful on Instagram, they need to figure out how to create content that is visually stimulating to catch a user’s attention. Most importantly, brands on Instagram need to remember that this platform isn’t a billboard to sell products – it’s a conversation with images.
Tips for brands using Instagram:
- Engage with users: You can search for topics through hashtags to see if people are already taking photos of your product and talking about your brand on Instagram. Participate with these users by liking or commenting on their photos. That way, when users see your brand has taken the time to connect with them, they tend to follow back.
- Share good content that’s already out there: If you see a great photo that is related to your brand, contact the user for permission to re-use the image. Posting the image and crediting the user on other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook is a good way to engage fans and encourage others to tag photos with your brand name. Also, by searching for topics through hashtags, you can find out how people are talking about your products and use that information to your advantage.
- Show off your lifestyle brand: Instagram is a great venue to help bolster the lifestyle you want associated with your brand and should not be a place to push product photos. It’s an opportunity to show off your brand’s personality by featuring photos of people using your products in their natural environment, or showcasing behind-the-scenes photos of the company culture that you want associated with your brand.
- Don’t bleed the feed: Good Instagram etiquette for everyone means not posting a constant stream of photos all at once. You don’t want users to get annoyed by taking over their feed, so it’s important to post photos somewhat sparingly and sporadically.
- Use filters: Instagram filters are what make this pictorial platform fun and interesting. The more visually engaging your content is the more likely users will engage with your photo and want to continue to follow your feed.
Obviously, not every business is going to benefit from using Instagram. (SEE ALSO: Is the next buzzworthy social media platform right for my client?) For instance, some tech companies may not have much use for taking creative photos of their hardware, however companies that are trying to tell a story and associate a lifestyle with their products should consider taking advantage of the platform immediately, especially since Instagram is a fun, free and easy-to-use way to build positive press within an emerging platform.