5 Tips for Companies On Instagram

In my last blog post I discussed the appeal of Snapchat and how companies can utilize the app to endorse their brand and create unique relationships with followers. I mentioned that Snapchat can be used in a more casual way, since content disappears after 24 hours. However, it is a bit different on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Because the content posted on these sites is much more permanent, it is of higher importance to mediate and edit what is posted to these platforms.

Pictures are an important part of online campaigns and they should be utilized in order to achieve the best results. People are visual beings and by using photos a company can bring people into their brand and get them interested in what they have to say. Regina Luttrell points out in her book Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect that, “photos allow a company to tell a story that otherwise could not have been accomplished through other, more traditional mediums…by integrating photos as a means to inform your audience you can create engagement and interaction,” (130).

One of the most popular photo-sharing sites in existence today is Instagram. Instagram is owned by Facebook and is an app which allows users to apply filters to images and videos. The app also lets users comment on photos and easily share them on other social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. The super sharable nature of Instagram is beneficial to companies since they can distribute content to other sites which then brings more people to the post.

For an app which boasts 300 million active monthly users, it would be crazy for a company to not jump on the Instagram bandwagon. This being said, there are some tips and tricks to effectively using the app. So, let’s get down to business, here are my 5 tips for any business who wishes to move their brand to Instagram.

Hello?

Instagram pulls in a massive number of users, so it is imperative to keep your company’s presence alive and thriving. If you’re running social media for a company, you’re likely incredibly busy. Although it would be wonderful to take a hiatus from Instagram, that’s just not gonna fly. Followers want consistent content. Don’t blow up their feeds with 10 posts a day, but also don’t disappear for weeks or months at a time. Create a schedule, post every week, and keep the content fresh and engaging.

#Annoying

As with Twitter, Instagram utilizes hashtags to categorize content. Companies can add appropriate hashtags in their photo caption in order to classify their image and to bring other people to the image, aside from the account’s followers. Going off of this, it is annoying when hashtags are used excessively or when the hashtags are not relevant to the photo or company. Hashtags can be used to convey humor, but make sure to stay focused on the message the brand is trying to convey.

Initiate a Convo

You can’t simply post pictures and videos to Instagram without a caption. It is important to explain what the image is and how it relates to your followers. The image caption is also a great place to start a conversation by asking your audience to comment on the image with their thoughts.

Show Them Ya Care

Don’t forget to maintain that relationship with your audience. By following back those who follow the company account, this shows your audience you care. You saw that they followed you and you are interested in what they have to say as well. It’s also important to respond to comments and to occasionally share images your fans post relating to the brand. This can be accomplished by reposting the picture and giving a “shoutout” or a credit to the original poster.

To Filter or Not to Filter?

One of the unique aspects of Instagram is the wide array of filters one can apply to any image. These filters can give your account eye-catching images which creates an overall creative feel. According to Marketo, the Instagram filter you choose can say a lot about you keep this in mind when you’re posting. You don’t want every photo to be highly edited, this gives off an almost fake impression. Try mixing up the filter ratio every now-and-then by taking an au naturel approach. Post an unedited image, or at least switch up the filters a bit.

These are just a few broad tips for Instagram, but what about the photo itself? What types of images do you like to see posted to company accounts?  

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5 thoughts on “5 Tips for Companies On Instagram

  1. Abriel, I loved your post. You listed some very interesting and smart tips for the usage of Instagram. I’ve noticed how a lot of brands have a fairly firm grasp on how to handle social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but Instagram is still a challenge for many companies. I feel like many of the companies who fail at Instagram use the site like an online catalogue for showcasing their products.

    One of the questions you asked at the end of your blog was, what types of images do you like to see posted to a companies account? For me as a user of Instagram I want to see behind-the-scenes images from the companies I follow that I wouldn’t normally be able to see through traditional media. While I also love when companies post things that still gear toward their target audience but is something different from the companies product. For example, Burberry, is always posting cool images of London, where the company is located at. While It sometimes posts the occasional merchandise image, but does not flood its account with boring pictures of clothing or purses. Which I think is very smart.

    I also loved how you wrote about how companies need to have a conversation on Instagram. You cant just post a picture and be done with it. This will go a long with companies having engaging content that users would want to share across social media sites. You want to make sure that the opportunity for conversation and engagement is there.

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    • Thanks Tamika, I appreciate you responding. I agree with you, i also like to see behind the scenes content, i hate when companies just use social media as a catalog, like you said.

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  2. This was a great read! I liked that you stuck with photo sharing for this second post. Your tips are unique and definitely something that plenty of brands don’t have a clue about, so super helpful. The whole time I was reading, I was rolling my eyes thinking of excessive, irrelevant hashtaggers and accounts that are just focused on likes.
    Your point about captions especially hit home; it’s just annoying when a company posts a photo of their product, or someone endorsing, and they don’t explain anything. Posting a caption that makes people laugh, smile, or think is crucial to success on Instagram.
    On Instagram accounts, I really like simple photos. No one likes being sold to, and Instagram is definitely not the platform to do it on, so just some nice behind the scenes or exclusive content is all you need. Photos of people wearing your brand is always cool, especially when it’s just a #regram of happy customers, because then it makes consumers feel like they really matter to the company. I follow a brand called WickedClothing and they do a great job of keeping up with consumers and posting photos of people loving their clothes. If you use their hashtag, or tag them in your photo, there’s a good chance you’ll end up on their page, giving you a little bit of

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  3. oh shoot I didn’t get to finish that comment, not sure what happened!
    It should say, at the end, “giving you a little bit of pride in the company”

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    • Mary, I agree with you. I can definitely find the beauty in simplicity; when brands show less, sometimes they show more. When an account is blatantly promoting the brand in every post this gets annoying. I too notice that many clothing companies try to show people wearing their line, but they do it in a more discrete way. Instead of saying “wow look at this super thin model wearing our brand new skirt!” I see more companies moving towards a realistic image and trying to show followers what the brand cares about. I also like your comment about the captioning of photos. I agree, a company should try to elicit some sort of emotion from the viewer.

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