Instagram is a simple and funny way to capture the instants of your everyday life in photos or videos and share them online with your family, friends or whoever you wish. Among all the social networks, Instagram is probably the most creative one: pushing us to focus on details that could be easily stay unnoticed, it should stimulate our artistic vein and somehow also educate our sense of beauty.
Differently to what happens on Facebook (with whom Instagram is anyway strictly connected as it has been acquired by it in 2012), the criteria that stays at the basis of the interactions of this social network is not “friendship” but interest: I follow you because I am interested in what you are doing. On Instagram in fact you can follow also people who you do not know directly: photographers, celebrities, athletes, fashion icons and get inspired by their pictures, their art or simply their lifestyle. Instagram is one of the 10 most popular smartphones’ APPs and it is actually becoming day after day more and more popular: at the moment there are over 400 million people who are using it and accordingly to the tendency, numbers are supposed to keep on growing.
This is why Instagram represents definitely a great opportunity also for brands in order to reach easily audiences and catch their interest with engaging and sharable content. The potential is pretty big and this is why every brand should include it in their Marketing strategy.
More visibility = more brand awareness
For companies that are at their start-up level (but not only, after all), Instagram can also be a really useful tool to understand in a better way the audience they are supposed to address to – or even to define it. For example if at the beginning your brand’s account has no followers – you can simply start by having a look to your competitors’ followers and maybe follow them to see what they are looking for in general from the pictures or videos that they ‘like’. This of course will be very useful to have a better understanding of the kind of content that could be appreciated the most and that hence could be posted on your profile as well.
The strategies to get a bigger visibility on Instagram are quite a few and pretty direct. For example, a good move would be adding to your photos and videos some hashtags related to the topics represented. In this way the content will be visible not only by your current followers but also by people who might be interested in the topic that you are posting about. To be always updated about the most used and most popular hashtags, do not forget to have a look to this website: http://websta.me/hot, it can be very useful.
To gain an even wider audience – another idea could be to create an Instagram contest and for example reward your followers with some promo codes, discounts, vouchers, etc. In this way it will be possible to get at the same time a bigger visibility and also enhance the brand awareness.
On Instagram, content is the king
The real key element for an Instagram strategy that rocks is content. The first thing to avoid is being too pushy in promoting your brand: do not post hundreds of pictures of your products. It is rather better to inspire your followers showing them what they could do with your products or what other people are currently doing with them. Then think about how to be creative and distinguish yourself from the others. The thing is: give to your audiences what they would like to see and catch their interest. For example if you are the owner of a shop, of course you can post some pictures that show your products and promote your activity – but why not share also some shoots of what’s happening inside your shop or outside its window? And why not asking directly to your customers to actually choose the content they would like to see online or even to produce it?
3 accounts to follow
1.Starbucks: the largest coffeehouse company in the world.
An example of Instagram strategy that really rocks is represented by the Starbucks’ one. Starbucks’ strategy on Instagram basically consists in finding and then re-sharing photos that were actually posted by fans (with their permission obviously). For example now that Christmas is coming, it will not be difficult to spot on their feed those characteristic red cups with lights, decorations and Christmas trees in the background – taken but their clients of course. Connecting to what I was saying before, in this case it is like the content is provided directly from the users and because of that it is almost certain that people will enjoy it. Furthermore, they will also feel more easily part of the Starbucks’ brand and experience.
2. General Electric: the world’s Digital Industrial Company
Another example of winning Instagram strategy is represented by the one developed by General Electric: on their Instagram feed you can find beautiful pictures and inspirational quotes that drive the audience through the multi-years, glorious story of the brand. Very often they also develop some creative projects such as the current one which is promoting the GE’s classic ‘Adventures In Science’ book series that is relaunched on Wattpad.
3. Buffer: social media management for marketers and agencies
And why not asking directly to your employees to provide some content? This is exactly what Buffer did: they launched the “New Week in My Life” project where every week a member of the company was supposed to manage the Instagram account of the company posting the pictures of the places where they were, the things they were doing, etc.
And do not forget to keep your activity tracked
Finally, last but not least, as every activity of Digital Marketing also the one on Instagram will have to be precisely planned and kept monitored. On Instagram there is no section dedicated to the analytics (as it happens on Facebook for example) but there are several external tools that can be used in order to get some additional information and track your activity. One of them is for example Iconosquare: a free set of analytical tools that, by providing you insights about your account, the engagement rate and in general the interactions that are generated by your posts – can help you to define important elements for your strategy and understand better what and when to post to get the most out of that.