With over 500 million people (300 million of which are daily users) Instagram is the perfect place to leverage pictures of your everyday life to build a big following.
Brands on Instagram benefit from 58% more customer engagement than Facebook and 120% more engagement than Twitter… that means a great potential ROI for you! Instagram has a broad consumer base of both men and woman under the age of 45, and is suitable for almost any organization with great visual content.
Instagram is rapidly gaining users and is expected to double its number of users by 2020.
If you really want to see engagement from your Insta followers, it’s important to go beyond the obvious (like product shots) with your posts. Surprising, engaging, and relevant content is where it’s at. If you’re stumped for ideas, we’ve got a few beyond-the-basics suggestions for you:
- Flat Lays: This streamlined photography technique is a big moment on social media. A flat lay is exactly what it sounds like -- an overhead shot of your products laying flat. It's a great way to showcase your goods, partner company's products, and your values. This style is perfect for fashion, beauty brands, or on-trend restaurants.
- Press mentions: Sharing “as seen in” images can help give your products credibility and keep your consumers up-to-date with all your latest brand happenings.
- Reposts: Been hearing rave reviews from a customers lately? Or maybe a not-so-rave review? Regram their testimonials or post a video of their feedback. There’s no better way to earn credibility with consumers than posting organic, unfiltered reviews. Letting a few negatives slip into your content builds trust with customers and lets them know you’re not hiding anything!
- Daily happenings: Post behind-the-scene images of a regular day at the office, of an employee event, or an in-progress project.
- Events: Have an upcoming event? Start sharing the details on Instagram a few weeks out. If it’s a big event, consider creating a clever hashtag so that your guests can get social with their support for your cause.
- Hashtags: 70% of the most popular hashtags are brand related. Create one for your brand so that more users can find you. BUT, don’t overload the hashtags. Social media users are a savvy crowd, and they’ll be able to easily identify people who are just looking for likes. To avoid your content being considered SPAM stick to only a handful of the most relevant hashtags.
Creating a hashtag for an annual event?
Leave the year off so that people can see all the fun had in preview years. Your feed will already be populated when it comes time for next years event and you won’t have to worry about people not utilizing your hashtag.
- Promotions: Advertise upcoming sales, discount codes, or weekend only flash sales. Consider creating a promotion exclusively for your Instagram followers – you can PM them a special code, have them prove that they follow you at checkout, or run an Instagram contest.
- Get tagging: Engage your followers by asking them to tag a friend who might like a product.
- Go live: Whether you’re giving a tour, running through a product tutorial or just sharing something fun, video is what’s hot right now. The only thing better than video? Live video. Figure out which of your usual posts could translate to video and then take Instagram Moments for a whirl!
Want to make those gif-like videos that look like they’re on a loop? Use Boomerang.
- Throwback Thursday: Show how much your brand has grown! Throwback Thursday is a great chance to highlight something that happened a while ago. Whether it was last week or a few years ago your customers will love to see how you’ve progressed.
Before linking to employee Instagrams make sure their profile is something you would want associated with your business. If not, it might be time to go over the companies social media policy again.
- Job Openings: You already know that your followers love your brand – so what better place to find your next employee? Alert your followers when a new position opens up and you might just find the perfect candidate!
- Employee reposts: Put a face to the name for your customers by regramming employee posts about their day at work!
- Holidays + Celebrations: Celebrate the big holidays on social… and the little ones! If you can find a way to tie National Coffee Day, National Best Friend Day or National Donut Day into your feed go for it! Hopping on a trending holiday hashtag is a great way to get new reach.
- Hand your account over: Have a trusted employee, customer, or brand advocate? Let them manage your account for a day or week to give people a first hand account of what it’s like to work for your brand, live on one of your properties, or shop in your store!
- Experiencing a lull? It might be time to break out quotes or entertainment content to keep your feed fresh. Fridays and Mondays are the best days for a little light-hearted content.
If you’re a little confused about how these ideas might apply to your industry, no need to worry -- just check out these more tailored suggestions:
Fitness: Healthy food, exercise demonstrations, B+A shots, motivational quotes, workout tips, inspirational athletes, customer success stories, outdoor inspiration.
Artists + Galleries: Mosaics, color palette inspiration, video of work progression, creativity quotes, gallery installation sneak peek, behind-the-scenes look at a collectors home, tutorials, sneak peak of new exhibits.
Restaurants: Daily specials, fresh ingredients, customers in the restaurant, behind-the-scenes videos, recipes, user submitted pictures, seasonal food pictures, tutorials, food & drink parings.
Car Dealership: New inventory, dealer profiles, tips for choosing a new car, negotiation tips, how to select a used car, car features, proper maintenance tips, custom features + upgrades, safety ratings information, test drive videos.
Non-profits: Event updates, sponsor and donor features, mission related content, community impact facts, office tour video, staff profiles, features on people served by your organization, must know facts related to your mission. Have a product like Wine to Water or Goodwill? Use social media to broadcast it!
No matter what your industry, the possibilities for leveraging Instagram are endless.
And, as always, the cardinal rule of social media is engagement. Class A content is useless if people don’t feel like there’s a relatable individual behind the posts!
Need more personalized ideas to help promote your brand on Instagram? We can do that. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.