Picture Your Brand on Instagram

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Instagram is a highly underutilized area of mobile marketing.  Here are 3 types to get started to building your very own Instagram presence. Instagram is a highly underutilized area of mobile marketing.  Which is a shame as it is easily integrated with Facebook and Twitter and brings visual stimulation.  It’s unique from Facebook and Twitter, as Instagram is a mobile-only driven network.  You can view Instagram pictures from your desktop, but you cannot publish anything.  There are approximately 150 million users on Instagram and that should be reason enough to look into the app and see if it would be a profitable addition to your mobile marketing strategy.  A great place to start learning how to use Instagram for business is Instagram’s blog for business.  Here are 3 tips to get started building your very own Instagram presence.

#1 Take Interesting and Relevant Pictures

Make your pictures stand out.  High quality pictures are essential for success on Instagram.  Use cutouts, overlays, text, etc. to highlight your content, but keep it tasteful and visually appealing.  Another idea is to balance fun images with professional ones.  Customers want to see business images, but also your employees out to lunch laughing with each other.  The fun pictures make your company human and more approachable.  Don’t be afraid to use a mix of filter types and even no filter images.  And remember, use your pictures to tell your brand’s unique story.

#2 Use Hashtags

Hashtags are important on Instagram, but must be used appropriately.  It’s important to note that hashtags are different on Instagram than on Twitter.  I just learned this myself as I was researching Instagram.  On Instagram you should use hashtags to describe what’s in the picture, as opposed to what the picture is about.  It is common to use 1-3 hashtags on the picture and then to comment on the picture with more hashtags.  Once again you should do research to determine which hashtags to use.  It is also good to choose popular hashtags that are searched often.  You can even encourage your customers to use a specific hashtag that you could monitor and even incorporate a contest.  To learn more how to use Instagram to host contests, check out this article.

#3 Integrate Instagram with Facebook and Twitter

It is very important to integrate all your social platforms so that your customers can find you.  Cross-link all your images and video on Instagram with your Facebook and Twitter profiles.  The best way to cultivate a following is to integrate all your social media.  Using the same name on Instagram as your Twitter handle is helpful when customers are searching for your company.

Instagram is a relatively new app and has a lot of potential for digital marketers.  It is important to remember to blend into the environment you are in.  Make sure what you are posting is consistent to the purpose of Instagram.  Marketing on Instagram is not about interrupting your customers with a sales pitch, but about creating interesting and relevant content your customers will want to interact with.  How are you using Instagram? Or, how do you see Instagram being used by businesses?  I would love to hear from you, please comment below!

5 Responses to Picture Your Brand on Instagram

  1. Kelley Neumann November 19, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    I agree, Megan. Instagram is a great tool for businesses. If you are in the right industry, there are so many opportunities to engage your customers with Instagram. What businesses do you follow/which ones do you think do the best job of using this tool?

    • Megan Cotterman November 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

      Thanks Kelley for reading! I follow a few companies on Instagram, my favorite is Starbucks. I am a huge Starbucks fan and I think their photos are really fun and showcase their brand. What’s interesting about Starbucks is that most of their content is user driven. Fans can submit photos of their coffee and can be featured on Starbucks Instagram. I think this a great way of building loyalty and give customers an opportunity to interact with Starbucks in a different way.

      • Kelley Neumann December 11, 2013 at 3:12 am #

        Thanks Megan! You’re right, they do a great job…I just started following them!

  2. Kaylee Reed November 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    I also agree that intsagram is underutilized when it comes to promotion/forming relationships with their customers, however this is a tool that I believe can be easily misused. The company has to be careful in the content it posts on an image only site, marketing is all about perceptions and its easy to give the wrong impression through a social media site like instagram.

  3. Nathan Chanski December 5, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    I actually just started an Instagram account for this class so I will try and implement these tips! Really good post, I think you have a good handle on what it takes to successfully utilize the social networks in effective ways. I already have a personal instagram account, and I’ve noticed a lot of the things you mentioned here. Great post, Megan!

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