5 tips for branding with Instagram

While many companies are busy focusing their marketing and branding efforts on social media platforms giants like Google +, Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In, crafty brands have realized that a diverse social media campaign can yield a more robust and engaging presence. One of these often overlooked branding platforms is the photo-sharing phenomenon Instagram. Instagram is a free photo sharing program launched in late 2010 that allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it on a variety of social media platforms, including Instagram itself.

Though Instagram is a very popular social media platform, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for every brand. If your brand relies on tangible goods or services that can be expressed visually then Instagram may be a good fit. If not, then you might want to see if you can show the lifestyle benefits that your brand can provide to consumers. However, if using photograph’s does not add to a cohesive narrative for your brand, you may want to stick to more text based platforms. So if you’re ready to take the leap and start taking and sharing pics with the world, but don’t want to go through the motions like every other brand, we’ve come up with some tips to help you market your brand to the more than 50 Million Instagram users.

LIMIT PHOTOS PER DAY.

Just as you don’t want to go overboard with tweets on Twitter, the same is true for photos on Instagram. If followers are bombarded with pictures, scrolling through excessive feeds will feel like a task rather than a treat. We recommend a limit of 4 per day. This helps to make your users to feel like they are updated rather than being advertised to.

USE HASHTAGS (#).

The hashtag, which is also the pound symbol (#) is used in a very similar fashion to Twitter, hashtags provide a means for subject discovery. By using relevant hashtags, instagram users that may not be following you can discover your brand through different means such as complimentary brands, lifestyle related . Because many users have not applied hashtags, your brand will have an edge over others and the ability to own certain keywords.

CONTESTS.

Everyone loves free stuff, and brands have a great opportunity for a lot of exposure. Entry into your contests can require that fans share, like or comment on your photos. Contests also provide a great chance to crowdsource unique and authentic content. For example you can ask fans to submit pictures of themselves enjoying your brand of soda in a unique or funny way.

FOCUS ON COMMUNITY.

As Instagram is a much smaller and narrowly focused platform, brands need to take special care, ensuring that updates are unique photos and not just self serving advertisements. If your brand is very specific, consider branching out to include lifestyle, obtainment, environment and other tangentially related pictures.

GO BEHIND THE SCENES.

As consumers continue to place an importance on the story and values of a brand, there is an increasing interest in the inner workings of the brand; the content that “not everyone” gets to see is a great way to strengthen fan bases and reward those die hard fans for their loyalty.

However you choose to brand your company with Instagram, just remember that fans want to be engaged. Creativity and a connection to the community will go a long way towards solidifying your fan base and increasing the relevancy that your brand has to the daily lives of your consumers.