Social media users love posting, viewing and sharing photos, and the Instagram photo sharing app is quickly becoming one of the most popular tools they use. According to an August 2012 post I read on the HubSpotBlog, “Instagram recently made headlines with the news that it had surpassed the 80 million user mark (up from just 15 million in January 2012!).” And in case you didn’t hear the news when it broke back in April, that little social network Facebook purchased Instagram and most likely has some big plans for the photo sharing app.
Is there a way you can work Instagram into your brand’s social marketing strategy? Yes there certainly is and I’m going to share five tips to get you started.
Make Your Photos Eventful
Does your company host events, conduct workshops or participate at trade shows? Ask participants to take, post and share photos to create excitement and spread the word for you. Your brand can create a unique hashtag (think Twitter) for your event and create a contest around the Instagram posts to engage your community further.
Let Me Tell You a Story
If a picture is worth a thousand words, why not post multiple photos and tell a compelling story. Get creative with your products or services and create a story that revolves around your brand. Instagram gives you the ability to upload multiple photos so why not create a collage that draws your customers into a fun photo-filled story.
On the Hunt
One fun way to put Instagram’s geo-tagging to good use is create a social media version of a scavenger hunt. Your brand can pair this with a contest and come up with numerous interesting ways to use this geo-tagging feature. I once saw a music venue use Instagram photos to lead their community on a hunt for free tickets to concerts and the participation level was incredibly high.
Don’t forget the one big takeaway from any good social marketing strategy. Your brand must not forget that the social conversation is not one-sided. Reach out to your community, like their Instagram photos, comment on their pictures and thank them for their support and engagement. Getting involved in your Instagram community will pay off in the form of brand loyalty and help create brand evangelists.
There are many other ways brands can use this photo sharing app to grow its business and reach new customers. But before you dive in headfirst, take the time to learn a few Instagrambasics first. As with social networks like Twitter and Facebook, there is a social etiquette to be followed. Understanding the basics and the etiquette will not only ensure your brand comes across as authentic, but it will also help stimulate creative marketing ideas for Instagram.