A 'novel' experience for Facebook Messenger
Upon hitting the 80 million user mark on July 26 (source: Instagram blog), it’s no surprise that consumer-facing companies are flocking to the photo sharing mobile app as a fun and quirky way to capture the lifestyle of their brand or showcase products in a different way. Instagram is compatible with Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, allowing people to push photos to all four platforms, and if you specify a location with your photo, you can opt to be checked in on Foursquare. And it just launched its latest user interface overhaul, capitalizing on geolocation. Instagram’s new Photo Maps feature is a digital photo album that’s organized according to where pictures are taken.
The visual and social sharing application lends itself nicely to brand promotion, and as my colleague Emily Bird pointed out in her recent post, “Show Off Your Brand’s Personality with Instagram,” B2B brands are increasingly tapping into Instagram. And it appears Instagram itself is focused on attracting companies, having launched its new and suitably named Instagram for Business blog last week, targeting…you guessed it…businesses!
So you’ve decided your brand should be on Instagram. Or maybe your company already is on Instagram, or simply evaluating the platform at this point. Either way, aside from creative examples of brands using Instagram like the ones Emily shared in her post, and taking a look at the five most followed brands on Instagram – MTV, Starbucks, E! Online, Victoria’s Secret and Burberry – we can all benefit from tips about how to best use Instagram. And who better to give advice for the platform than Instagram itself? Below is a recap of the points captured in the best practices post from the Instagram for Business blog, which is helpful regardless where your company falls in terms of Instagram.
- Experience Instagram as a consumer – Ensure you sign up for a personal account to experience what the users engaging with your brand will experience, how they’ll consume content, what’s most compelling and interaction with other users.
- Share compelling content – Seems straightforward, yet critical. It’s the same with any form of communications – traditional media pitching, or digital, whether it be visual or written, or for a blog, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; why would anyone be interested if your content isn’t compelling?
- Tell your story – Leverage photos to tell a story about your brand or product through use-cases, with the goal of demonstrating to people how it could fit into their life.
- Expand your audience – Connect your account to your other social networks and share the content you post on Instagram to those platforms. This way your followers on those platforms know you’re active on Instagram, and it increases the likelihood they’ll follow you there.
- Post consistently – Same with other social platforms, you need to post a variety of content regularly. Be cautious not to bombard people with photos, but post one compelling photo a day or every few days. Otherwise there’s a chance people will forget about you and/or lose interest.
- Engage with the community – In your caption ask questions, respond to questions, and leverage hashtags and encourage users to use them for submissions and/or at events.