By Kelsey Jones
Instagram is the hottest thing to hit social media since…the last hottest thing, and as social media marketers it is important to take advantage of any popular online platform that you can.
First and foremost, it is important to remember that Instagram is based on photographs, not texts in an image promoting your products or services. Being successful online means taking full advantage of what each separate platform is meant for and why users actually use it.
Show the Personal Side of the Company
Use Instagram to showcase employees, new products or products in development, company events (like conference booths or the company picnic), or other personal moments that would be better captured via an image rather than a lengthy, unappealing blog post or news item. Be sure to have a succinct but descriptive caption to the photo and use filters that help enhance the photo, not make it cheesy or harder to decipher (For instance, if you want to promote your new purple sport performance leggings, you wouldn’t use a sepia or black and white filter).
Several companies have tried holding contests via Instagram to drive community engagement. For example, if an auto manufacturer had a new sports car coming out, they could ask users to take a photo of one when they see it out in public (or on an advertisement) and use an custom hashtag in their description to be entered into the contest. Promotional items or gift cards could be given away randomly to users who have participated.
And companies don’t have to have a new product coming out to get users involved. You could create a campaign around the holidays, your industry, or a theme that ties in with your new marketing campaign. For instance, a company that sells protein shakes might have success with a campaign based around users submitting a photo explaining their healthy New Year’s resolutions. The Instagram company profile can then add the photos to an Instagram stream on their website or blog .
Don’t just spend your time posting photos that relate to the company. Share user submissions (with their permission), like and comment on photos, follow users who are customers or may be interested in your products, and utilize hashtags whenever you can. Make your company instagram marketing strategy more than just publishing photos onto a smartphone app. Turn it into something artistic, creative, and engaging to your customers.