Brands on Instagram

Author: Gina Mason – October 28, 2013

Someone once said, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and in today’s crazed social media world, it may also be worth a thousand “likes.”

The image-based application, Instagram, is quickly becoming one of the most popular social platforms around the world. According to a recent study done by MarketingProfs, in the last year Instagram has increased its users by 500% totaling over 100 million active users worldwide. However, Instagram is no longer limited to people posting random #ThrowbackThursday pics, #nofilter skylines or images of #foodporn. Now, many major brands are flocking to the social network to reach a broader audience in a different capacity.

Brands such as NIKE, Disney, McDonald’s and Starbucks are all utilizing the trending app to engage followers by posting images that embody the essence of their brands.  They are no longer simply selling a product; they are selling a lifestyle that helps them connect with followers to build brand loyalty.

Here are a few tips for brands when posting photos to Instagram:

Post interesting photos that define your brand

Instagram is a place where users go to find exciting photos and videos, not to simply view photos of a product on a shelf. Get creative! Select photos that reflect the heart of your brand and come up with a strategy of how you want to communicate with your target audience through the image or video. For example, NIKE’s Instagram account incorporates its products by showing people who personify its famous slogan, “JUST DO IT.” From professional athletes to regular people, NIKE displays photos that bring its mantra to life. Whether it is a photo of a runner crossing the finish line in NIKE shoes or Serena Williams celebrating in her NIKE shirt after a win, all of the athletes #justdoit.

Use #hashtags

Like Twitter, Instagram incorporates hash tags to enable users to see what is trending. Although there is no character limit on Instagram, it is still imperative for brands to tag their message which will ultimately broaden their reach to a larger audience. Starbucks incorporated this strategy by posting fall-inspired photos and using broad hash tags like #PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) #HelloFall and #pumpkin. Those keywords opened the door to anyone searching topics like fall or pumpkins who may not have been following the coffee powerhouse before.   

 Utilize the video feature

Instagram gives users the ability to bring their photos to life. The new video feature allows users to create videos that range from three to 15 seconds.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to posting videos for your brand, so think outside of the box and make sure each video is unique. To do something different, Disney recently posted a video of a blank white board that slowly built the signature phrase from the film, The Lion King “hakuna matata.” Although this was a very simple video which consisted of a white board and magnetic letters, it was a great way to promote its message, “it means no worries for the rest of your days.

Share your photos

Instagram has a great feature that enables users to share their photos across multiple platforms. So be sure to share your photos on your brand’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Also, ask your Facebook and Twitter followers to follow you on Instagram to continue to build your following. 

Instagram is a great platform to reach a larger audience and visually expand your brand. IT provides you with a creative outlet to connect with your followers on an alternative level.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram @IndraPRGroup to see photos of some of our fantastic clients and events. As always if you like what you read, be social and share.

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