Social media platforms start as websites and later develop an app for smartphones, right? Well, maybe that is changing. Today we’re continuing our “Social Savvy Email Marketer” series by talking about Instagram, a social media platform that actually started as an iPhone app then turned into a . . . well, let’s find out.
How Instagram works
In short: as a user, you can take or upload retro-styled photos and share them with your Instagram community. It can be a great way to give your customers a behind-the-scenes peek into your company and, most of all, tell your company’s story in an exciting new way.
Since mobile photo sharing has become one of the fastest-growing social media trends over the last few years, it can become a cool branding support. And you can even combine it with Pinterest! 😉
Here are a few tips:
- Find a topic you want to photograph, (e.g. how your products are made/delivered, how people work in your company, product sneak peeks, etc.) then create a company account, and upload pics on a regular basis.
- Make your pictures creative, as with Pinterest, so people will want to share them and follow you to see more. Don’t make it all about bluntly promoting your product. Instead show people something related to it, but which they won’t see anywhere else!
- Share your Instagram pics in other social media channels as well as emails to give them more exposure and attract followers to your company’s Instagram account.
- Use hashtags, just as you do on Twitter. You can also organize periodic hashtag-themed contests and send newsletters asking people to upload pics on a certain theme. Imagine how this can engage your subscribers!
- Follow others and encourage people to follow you. Comment and like others and they will do the same! Instagram is a bit like any other social networking site (although it’s not tehcnically a site), so similar rules apply as to interactions with people.
- Pin Instagrams to Pinterest. 🙂 Although Instagram is purely an iPhone app (at least for now and soon coming to Android-based smartphones), there are already numerous services that let you browse photos online – and some, such as Copygr.am, already have the “Pin it” button.
These are just a few tips and techniques – look around the Internet and you’ll find loads of good ideas for branding by watching companies that already use Instagram.
Remember: When deciding on the sites you want to be on, there is one rule: go where your customers are.
And stay tuned to this series for more on other interesting social networks.
Are you already using Instagram in your marketing? Tell us about it!