If you’re connected to social media, whether you realized it or not, you’ve likely seen someone post an Instagram photo. A startup launched in October 2010 and bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, Instagram’s popularity continues to soar, boasting over 100 million monthly active users and 40 million photos uploaded per day.
Like cameras of yore marketed as “instant,” you’ll love this fun, quick way to capture and “telegram” moments that express your brand. Tell your real-time brand story on digital picture book pages. Here’s a primer on branding with Instagram.
For exactly $0.00, and foregoing fancy cameras, lighting and an art school education, you can publish gorgeous images directly to your brand’s fans. But before you start fumbling for your own phone, know that the Instagram app is currently available only for iPhones and Androids.
Enjoy socially acceptable voyeurism.
Isn’t that what social media is all about? Peeping Toms the world over are already hooked on Instagram. Give them a captivating glimpse of your brand’s underbelly, and they’ll follow your photos
obsessively loyally too.
With minimal labor and cost, you can reward customers (and supplement your marketing efforts) with up-to-the-minute, behind-the-scenes peeks into life with your brand. Publicize your latest news and offerings visually. Show your team setting the scene for that morning’s blissful wedding or dynamic meeting. Highlight your Chef concocting tonight’s tantalizing dinner special. The possibilities are endless!
Feature your fans.
Invite followers to post their own Instagram photos—moments they’ve experienced with your brand—marked with a unique hashtag you create. Sponsor enticing promotions, such as an Instagram photo contest for fans, or even for your employees.
Frequently involving ambassadors in your visual marketing will encourage them to interact with your brand more AND spread the word to their friends. When you can, join in by engaging them in the online conversation and responding to their posts too.
“Imperfect is the new perfect.”
As we learned in Your Guide to 2013 Tourism Trends, the masses are gravitating toward photography illustrating “real” people and a homegrown feel. While not snapped professionally, through Instagram, everyday moments become works of art everyone will want to share. Like magic, the custom-designed effects add new vibrancy, depth and details to mere mobile phone photos.
Craft and curate a collection of original brand visuals that enriches your existing photo library of stock and professionally staged shots. It’s an easy, authentic and exquisite opportunity to portray your brand from new and different points of view. Be sure to share them throughout every social network on which your brand is active.
But don’t go crazy.
Stick to a steady social media schedule, but be selective about your posts. Always make sure the photos you share represent your brand in the best possible light. Remember, Instagram is about visual storytelling, and you want your brand story to be a bestseller.
And be smart about optimization. Tag photos properly for maximum searchability. Observe the rate of “Likes,” comments and activity to gauge which types of photos appeal most and which you should post more of. Additionally, the excitement generated will provide deeper insight into what customers love most about your brand, helping you fine-tune your future plans, offerings and promotions.
It’s a snap!
If branding with Instagram is your next step in social media, we’ll show you how. Reach out to Lynn Kaniper at email@example.com.