10 Feb How Brands Should Be Using Instagram
Before you start pointing, clicking and uploading everything under the sun, have you figured out your brand’s goal for Instagram? Are you solely looking for a herd of followers or are you looking for engagement and loyal customers? This is the biggest decision every business using social media must be clear on before they set out with a social strategy.
A recent article on Hootsuite.com illustrated an instant social success story with Oreo and last year’s Super Bowl commercial. They showed a clever commercial that had a 3 second call to action asking viewers to vote #cremethis or #cookiethis. And where did they direct millions of attentive Super Bowl viewers? Instagram. Oreo exploded in followers, going from 2,200 to 86,000 in a matter of weeks.
What happens next? Unless they continue their social ploy of the battle between cookie or cream, they will keep their audience… for now. But how do brands keep followers longer than their contest’s lifespan?
How Can Brands Retain Followers?
Understand that monitoring your brand’s social presence is a full time job. Including Instagram. You need someone creative that understands your brand and the different ways to treat each social network, individually. Using creative visuals and effective captions, you can gain loyal followers (and eventual customers).
Social savvy adults like online shopping. They make their purchase decisions by following brands on Instagram and Pinterest – if the accounts are creative and interactive it really does influence the purchase decision.
Don’t think of what pleases you, what would your followers take pictures of? Start there and then add creative photo shoots with your product or show off your services. Treat Instagram like your brand’s lifestyle eZine.
As for best practices, here are a few tips from Hootsuite:
- Create a theme for your content and be consistent. Constant product placement is not a theme.
- Take lots of photographs and make them aesthetically pleasing and creative.
- Give your followers a reason to want to follow your brand in Instagram.
- Spread out posts like you would any other network. Post once or twice a day.
- Engage with your followers. Comment. Follow back. Like things. Be human.
- Tell an interesting brand story through your images and captions.
- Lastly, throw a creative #hashtag contest or #project to get interaction going and amplify it across your already-established social networks.