Instagram is currently the fastest growing social media platform. It provides brands a creative medium to reach millions of viewers through social promotions that provide a tremendous way to grow communities, increase brand awareness or both!
Really successful Instagram accounts tend to have a theme, brands should do the same, in fact, it should be easier for a brand because it has a predetermined persona.
Post daily and stick to a schedule, even if you have to use a program to set up photos to post in advance. Users need to know what to expect and when they can expect a new picture. Provide followers with really interesting, great quality photos. Showing followers behind the scenes glimpses, videos and insider moments allow followers to intrinsically feel like they belong to an exclusive community.
Edit your images to make them more interesting and make sure to use colors that are soothing such as cool, earthy tones like blue, green and beige, all of which are more engaging than warm reds, yellows or pinks.
Try to get featured by Instagram! Instagram features photos that it finds interesting in three places; the app’s blog, its Explore page or in their Suggested User List, which shows up under “Find People to Follow” in Instagram’s settings. If you are lucky enough to make one of these lists, you will definitely see a surge in followers.
Interact with your audience! Be sure to like your follower’s photos, especially those that illustrate them using your brand.
Another great way to increase your following is by sending influential Instagrammers to events or send them your products to take photos of and post on their own pages. Both of these are winning strategies to get the influencers audience attention focused on your products.
Running a promotion on this platform can be as simple as asking fans to use specific hashtags. One of the most interesting promotions using Instagram functionality we have seen is the creation of a microsite populated with photos loaded by your followers using a specific #hashtag by aggregating your content. Because Instagram has an API, a programmer can easily set up #hashtag grabs to populate the microsite from audience photos.
Tiffany’s ran a contest using a specific hashtag. Followers were asked to post pictures inspired by the phrase, “It was true love when _______.” They then took the photos with the hashtag and automatically allowed those photos to populate their microsite.
Use interesting #hashtags and make sure each hashtag is unique. Something like #car or #dog are too common to make you stand out, but #DreamCar or #myfatcat would be more interesting and garner more interest.
Run contests that offer prizes to the best photos. Make sure the prizes make sense for your products or services. Also make sure that you include your official terms and conditions with any contest you run. Remember, no rules equal increased problems and possible cheating! No one wants that, neither you or your followers.
With so many users on Instagram, businesses should be developing their own strategies to engage audiences.