Just recently we looked at how imagery is dominating social media in 2012 and one of the biggest stories in social media this year has been the purchase of Instagram by Facebook.
Whilst we’re awaiting exact details on what Facebook plan to do with Instagram, we’ve taken the initiative to create a refresher guide for brands.
In this article, we will help you understand if Instagram is right for your brand, and we’ll give you some tips on what you can do to really make the most of it.
Is Instagram right for you?
Not all brands are created equal and not all brands are suited to all types of social media.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is not about telling. It’s about showing.
Here’s some questions you need to ask before you start your Instagram journey:
- Is my brand visual?
- Do my products look good in images?
- Do we have a customer base that is enthusiastic enough to consume images of our brand or add their own user generated content?
Here are some examples of brand’s that would benefit from an Instagram presence:
- Beauty and fashion brands; Brands that your customers want to show off.
- Food and drink brands; There is an insatiable hunger for cuisine online and your brand could be part of this.
- Sports brands; Sports create exciting, life-affirming spectacles and the images to go with them.
- Nonprofit/Charity brands; You do amazing things – energise supporters with inspirational imagery and share how your charity is helping the world.
- Travel brands; Travel is very visual. People love taking photos and videos when on holiday.
What content can you share?
The straight facts – Instagram is made for images, not big walls of text and certainly not video. Instagram allows you to place a variety of different filters over your image, with tools to focus in on a certain part of the picture.
These deceptively simple customisation tools are a method of building a story around your brand through artfully altered images. Here’s a few things that translate well into Instagram content:
- New products: Got something brand new to show? Position it, snap a picture and upload to Instagram.
- Events: If you’re out and about promoting your product or involved in events and festivals, share the fun uploading photos of your stands, smiling staff members and the event atmosphere.
- Office fun: Fun visual brands on Instagram often have fun, visual workplaces. Let people see your inner workings through photographs of the decor, office socials and staff creating your products or working on your brands.
- Customer feedback and user generated content: Don’t be shy, shout about your praises from customers. Include pictures of extraordinary testimonials and ask users for them to submit images of themselves using your brand.
Tip: Be sure to tag their Instagram name in your description too.
How are other brands using Instagram?
Several trailblazers have been engaging with users on Instagram for a while, here’s our pick of the best:
- Jamie Oliver: A hugely powerful one man brand, Jamie uses his Instagram feed to promote his books & magazines , share news on his various products and previews recipes. Food images are hugely popular and attract high engagement.
- Starbucks: Starbucks peppers user’s feeds with enticing pictures of their popular drinks and fun, energetic photos of life in Starbucks, from staff involved in community projects to photos of their live concerts for Gold Card holders. Starbucks carefully choose the best parts of their brand (the products, the perks and helpful staff) and broadcast it to their users.
- Threadless: A crowdsourced T-shirt company gives users a behind-the-scenes peek at their production process, previewing brand new T-shirt designs before they go on sale, even conducting flash sales on Instagram with special discount codes included in images.
How do you supercharge your Instagram strategy?
Once you’ve got your Instagram strategy in place, you now have the option to build valuable relationships with powerful Instagram users whose influence and reach can help get your brand’s products and messages in front of engaged, savvy consumers.
Instagram does not have an ad network as yet, but Instagrid acts as an ad/PR service, connecting brands with relevant Instagram users with large followings and high engagement rates. Brands can even invite skilled amateur photographers to photograph their events or curate their Instagram feed. http://instagridnetwork.com/
How does Facebook fit into all of this?
We can only predict what changes Facebook will make to Instagram, although Mark Zuckerberg has promised to develop Instagram as a separate application, preserving the applications individuality. However, we can make an educated guess that brands will be able to send their Instagram photos to the new Facebook Timeline, building the story of their brand visually.
Also, brands may be able to help their Instagram campaigns by exposure to the huge audience and advertising power of Facebook.
Get in touch to find out how we can help your company to maximise your social media marketing. Call 0117 905 5195 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you think Facebook has in store for Instagram?