An Instagram is worth a thousand pictures
Instagram offers a window into not only the surface of the brand but all the inner workings within it. It’s an avenue for a business to share their company culture, a way to involve consumers in promotional campaigns, and way to create unique and simple campaigns.
Its strength is in its level of engagement compared to other services, with rates that are almost 50 times that off Twitter for top most engaging brand profiles. With this potential level of interaction it is becoming increasingly important to promote your company through Instagram, which is why we are writing this blog to help you get your campaign to the starting line.
Why Should You Use It?
- Two-Way Marketing: As we discussed in an earlier blog, Two-Way Marketing is becoming the most powerful choice for campaigns in this modern age. Instagram is one of the new mediums for this platform, and it is one of the most powerful ones, because to the consumers, it doesn’t feel like marketing. It breaks the barriers of a company communicating to a consumer, and makes it the personality of your brand communicating with a person, as close to person-to-person as it gets. Users are more inclined to interact and be a part of your brand.
- Promote not only your brand but Personality: Your company has a personality, whether you want it too or not. The stronger it is, the more people can relate to it and understand it. How you present your posts on Instagram help show the personality of your company, it helps introduce people into what your company likes, and you can bet that if someone likes the same things your brand does, then they will follow you to see what you have to offer.
- More Engagement Per Use: At this point I feel I’m hammering a nail thats already in place, but this is truly what makes Instagram so powerful. In Facebook you can have a million users, and only get 40 likes on a post. On Instagram you could have 100 thousand, and get a thousand likes on a post. The gap between followers and interaction is much less in Instagram than anywhere else, making your campaigns and posts much more effective on instagram than anywhere else.
- Sincerity: Instagram is also difficult because, you have to be sincere to have any success. You have to be yourself or well your companies self. The more honest to your brand and company culture that you are, the more powerful your posts will be, and the more attention you will get.
How should you use it?
- Share your product/service: The obvious way of using Instagram, is to share photos of your product or service. Go above this though, show your product in use, show the packaging of your product. Show your portfolio of work, through different areas. People enjoy seeing how a product is made (if they didn’t the program “How It’s Made” would be off air already).
- Share your Culture / Lifestyle: Now not everyone has a service or product that is visually appealing. If that’s the case, that doesn’t mean instagram isn’t for you, it just means you’re going to have to work a little bit more to show what you do. Show your company culture, employees working, employees doing charity events or entertainment events for the office. Share your celebrations (Mike’s birthday party from last week), or your accomplishments (after 12 hours of working overnight your team finished the code for the software you were developing). This is going to help in a lot of avenues, one it will make your company look like a good place to work for prospective employees, but also it will make you a brand that can be trusted. If a customer feels like they know your employees and your brand and company, they are going to want to work with you more than a company they do not know and seems inaccessible.
- Share with Eachother: Remember Two-Way Marketing? Well, do this through images! Ask your costumers to share images of them using their products, ask them to just share you their day. You need to keep things fun on Instagram as well as promotional. Share picture of the company dog, and have everyone share an image of their pet. The more interaction, the more the message will stick on your followers. The more they will understand you, and want to be a part of your brand.
What do I do to make it better?
Here are some fun tips to make your Instagram use more effective!
- Hashtags: These guys are everywhere, and Instagram is not immune. Find out which hashtags are having popularity, use the standard week hashtags as well (#throwbackthursday, #mancrushmondays, #selfiesunday). These will increase your reach to outside of just your followers, and also allow you to post fun things without having to think to much about it. Create a hashtag campaign to make you trend and have people share stuff about you on their feeds increasing your reach. (Example: Anthropologie Dog Post: Tip #2 on the article here)
- Promoted Feeds: Buy some ad time on instagram. Instagrams promoted posts are so well integrated onto the users feed that sometimes it just like someone else posts. This will increase your reach, but make sure that it’s something fun and creative, not just an ad that you see everyday. (Example: Mercedes-Benz GLA)
- Reward Followers: Make sure people who follow you are rewarded for it. Offer a discount only for one day that you only show on instagram, do give-aways, or anything else that will make your followers feel special for following you, and hopefully get others to follow you too.
- Use Videos: Don’t forget about the 15 seconds instagram allows you use for a video.Videos are great for big announcements, since videos are less used, it makes it more special to see one.
Never forget to make it unique if you can
Of course you can’t expect every company to do something crazy and unique and creative through Instagram, but never always be open incase that great ideas comes your way. Do something crazy and unheard of, this usually will get you the most results than any other post.
Examples: IKEA’s instagram catalog, and Lexus Instafilm below:
On a final note, if you want to keep excellent track of your engagement levels, what hashtags and posts are doing the best for you, below is a list of tools you can use for your account: