Goodbye Facebook, Hello Instagram
With Facebook becoming a pay-to play model, its time to re-focus marketing efforts on other platforms. If utilized correctly, Instagram can be a powerful tool for brand awareness and fan engagement. Below are some strategies to jump-start your Instagram account.
It’s about quality not quantity
In order to grow your followers, your photos have to be compelling. What you post on Instagram needs to get people excited and wanting to share and learn more. To do this your need to be thoughtful, creative and relevant.
Create Context to tell a great story :
Instagram is most effective when you can tell your product story through context. For example Lucy targets a female demographic and inspires them to get fit. Instead of trying to directly sell or talk about their products, they post photos that focus on how good it feels when you live an active lifestyle.
Go Pro does a great job demonstrating their product value with very minimal photos showing the actual product. Instead it posts breathtaking pictures and videos. These not only display the amazing quality of the shots/videos you can take, but more importantly the endless potential of experiences that you can now capture.
Find that context for your brand to get your fans to desire your product.
Timing is everything with Instagram. Be prepared to have posts ready for holidays, major events and other key dates that are relevant to your brand and industry.
Events such as the Superbowl can get you a lot of eyeballs and allow you to put your own spin on. Brands like Oreo which have nothing to do directly with the Superbowl use creativity to get into the conversation .
Think out of the box and find ways to integrate your brand into those important occasions
Oreo shows their version of seven layer dip for the superbowl party
Sending users down the funnel
Pictures are great but there needs to be a call to action to get your users to take the next step. Instagram does not make it easy to add links to your posts. To get around this issue, in your description mention to click on the bio link which you can update regularly. This will enable your fans to take the next step and allow you to better track the effectiveness of which types of posts lead to conversions.
Brands like Nordstrom will mention to click on the bio link to purchase a product they mentioned
Engage your community
Growing followers is a good start but it is important to retain them and keep your brand on top of mind.
- Run contests and giveaways asking fans to share their photos.
Clothing brands like H&M run contests to collect content and extend reach of their campaigns
- Regram your fans content and give them a shoutout
Regrams like this one show your appreciation to your fans and provide authenticity
- Celebrate those big wins with your fans
Taco bell gets creative showing they reached 500k fans on instagram
Hashtags: Make content discoverable
Similar to Twitter, Hashtags are important for making your content searchable. Try and choose the hashtags that are most relevant to your brand or industry. You can also use hashtags to separate out your posts or campaigns to reach a tipping point for your brand. The #ALS #ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE is a great example of driving awareness for a good cause. Whatever hashtags you choose make sure they can tie back to your brand.
Celebrities from all walks of life joined in on the message adding the hashtag #IceBucketChallenge
- Let your pictures tell your product story
- Keep your photos contextual and timely
- Brainstorm ideas in advance so you have captivating photos ready for every big moment whether its a global event or your personal company achievements
- Keep your brand on top of mine and extend its reach through contests and fan appreciation.
- Use hashtags strategically to get your content discovered