Welcome back to our three-part Creative Engagement series, where we debunk social media and discuss innovative ways to captivate consumers. Last week was all about photo-happy world of Pinterest. This week, we talk branding in a whole new way, and on a new platform. You’ve heard of it before – you’ve probably even used it to post gratuitous pictures of restaurant dishes in filters like Valencia (guilty). Let’s talk about how to build an audience on Instagram.
Businesses have hopped on the Instagram bandwagon, and are utilizing the photo stream app to share their brand’s unique point of view. Instagram for Business blog scoured through their favorite business accounts, and created a comprehensive list of the best tips to engage an audience, with their favorite examples from companies (some of which you are probably very familiar with).We picked our top three tips to share with you, so that you can engage your audience in a whole new way.
- Be True To Your Brand– What is it that makes your company unique? What’s your personality, your voice? Share it through images. Avoid being overly-staged or too serious, but don’t be afraid to be quirky – people connect with people.
- Eyeglass retailer Warby Parker captures this perfectly. Through images like this, they present themselves as creative and unconventional. And, they feature their product, without it feeling pushy or too promotional.
- Share Experiences– When you find a customer that has posted your product or their experience with it, repost. Reward your fans for their loyalty with a shout out. If these people are sharing positive experiences on Instagram, chances are they’re advocating for you elsewhere. Build out these relationships, and grow your customer base.
- Indie swimwear brand Acacia uses this concept to encourage past customers to reengage with the company. Through hashtags, Acacia orchestrated contests and giveaways by encouraging followers to upload and hashtag a picture of themselves in their Acacia gear. Acacia posted some of their favorites with shout-outs, and celebrated the winner with a re-post and personal message. There was only one winner – but an ample amount of followers who are eager to participate in hashtag contests like this again.
- Inspire Action– Start a movement around your brand. Come up with a hashtag that encompasses your brand, experience with your product, or an emotion you want customers to associate with you brand. Hashtag your pictures that embody that movement, and encourage customers to do the same. Get them involved, and enable them to feel connected to your company in a more emotive and visceral way.
- Nike created a movement around the hashtag #runfree. Nike posted both original content as well as reposted customer pictures with the #runfree tag. Runners, athletes, and Nike consumers can associate the feeling of freedom and the bliss that follows with Nike now. Do Nike shoes elicit freedom any more than any other athletic shoe? No, probably not. But the campaign did its trick. If you want to run free, you need Nike.
Next week will be the final installment of our Creative Engagement series. For more tips on how to bridge Instagram and business, check out Instagram’s “For Business” blog.